November Nine preview #1 – The Chip Leader

So now it comes to the individual previews, and where better to start than the man everyone is talking about.

No, not Phil Ivey, the other one. Darvin Moon.

Darvin Moon

The story is a familiar one. Everyman qualifies for World Series of Poker in $130 satellite at his local casino, catches cards throughout the tournament, and ends up at the final table with a massive chip lead.

So, could the logger from Maryland, a self-confessed amateur, win it all?

By his own admission, Moon has been hitting cards throughout the tournament and getting paid off, most notably in one hand on day 8 (which I won’t spoil for those of you who haven’t seen it – it should be up on Pokertube next Wednesday)

One small step for man…

Most importantly, however, the 45-year-old has been enjoying himself at the table.

His dry wit and down-to-earth attitude has, by extension, provided entertainment for his table mates and those watching at home, as this clip demonstrates.

When an amateur makes it this far in the Main Event, the attitudes of the pros around him say a lot about his chances.

And, judging by the respect shown to Darvin by Antonio Esfandiari, the Moon-man will have as good a chance as any other member of the November Nine.

If you believe…

So, what will it do for poker if Moon takes home the $8.5 million first prize?

People have been talking about the possibility of a new Moneymaker Effect, and you can see why.

Chris Moneymaker’s win in 2003 arguably sparked the growth in internet poker, but many groups of people were left behind by the boom.

Chris Moneymaker after winning the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2003

The first wave brought in all the ‘math guys’ eager to cash in on their resources, but – as Barry Greenstein so famously remarked – math is idiotic.

Bear in mind also that Moon is not a hugely rich man – emphasised by his minimal financial outlay in reaching the World Series, his first ever trip to Vegas.

Potentially his success will open doors to those who saw money as the biggest obstacle to playing poker, be it as a hobby or a job, and draw more fish into the poker pool as a consequence.

With Moon rejecting all sponsorship deals waved in his direction, the big poker sites may not be happy at the moment, but that could be all set to change when he sits down at the felt on November 7.


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Hi I’m Tom. I’m a freelance journalist, and I recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism at Cardiff University. In my spare time I like to play, watch and talk about poker. I hope you enjoy reading my blog.

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