Joe Cada Makes 2018 Main Event Final Table: 2009 Champion Going for it Again

Joe Cada
Joe Cada is gunning for his second Main Event title after making this year’s final table. Can he repeat his 2009 performance?

It’s been a long time since one player managed to seize two Main Event titles. The last man who made it happen was Johnny Chan who went back to back in 1987 and 1988. Both of those times, however, fields were under 200 players.

This year’s Main Event saw a turnout of 7,874 players, making it the second-biggest Main Event it the history of the series, and one former champion actually managed to make the final nine. His name is Joe Cada, 2009 winner, who had to outlast just shy of 6,500 players to sit on the throne the first time around.

Joe Cada going for the history

The fact that no one has managed to seize two Main Event titles in the modern poker history is hardly a surprise. With all fields after 2005 having 6,000+ contenders, the odds of a repeat victory are very slim – and that’s being generous.

However, Joe Cada is in a position to defy the odds and make the history like no one before. Call it luck, skill, or whatever else, if he were to go and make the impossible happen, the media would probably explode – poker and otherwise – which should be great for the game in general.

Been there, done that

Of all the nine remaining players’, Cada is not just the only one to know what it feels like to become the Main Event champion but he’s also the only one with the Main Event final table experience. This may not be crucial in how the final table will play out, but it should provide the American with an edge.

At the same time, Cada will probably feel the pressure of all eyes looking at him to repeat his 2009 performance.

On the other hand, Cada will be starting out as one of the shorter stacks, with the 23.7 million stack (around 40 big blinds). Antoine Labat of France is the official short stack with just 13 big blinds, followed by Ukranian Artem Metalidi (26 bigs) and American Aram Zobian (31 bigs).

The player just ahead of Cada, Alex Lynskey from Australia with 46 big blinds, is the last non-American at the table. The remaining four all hail from the USA.

Big deficit to overcome

Although Cada’s stack may not seem that bad, two chip leaders might prove a difficult hurdle to overcome. Nicolas Manion will be starting the final table play with almost 113 million (188 big blinds), followed closely by Michael Dyer at 109 million.

The remaining two players are Tony Miles and John Cynn, sitting at 43 and 37 million, respectively.

But, as we all know, anything can happen in tournament poker, and couple of lucky doubles could put Cada in a great spot to win the whole thing. A lot will depend on the cards dealt but also the overall dynamics at the table.

The game is afoot

As already mentioned in an earlier article, players will be battling it out for the prestige and the first place of $8.8 million. Right now, everyone is guaranteed at least a cool $1,000,000, but as the final table dwindles down, those pay jumps will become increasingly important.

Joe Cada
Joe Cada will have to battle against two dominant chip leaders at the table if he is to realize the dream of making the double crown, but anything can happen in a poker tournament

Cada may be on his way to make history, but it is safe to assume the remaining eight players won’t make things easy for him. In the end, skill and poker gods will determine the fate of the Main Event finalists, but the final table should be a lot of fun to watch.

Are you rooting for Cada to take the whole thing down? Do you think his win would be great for poker in general and create a lot of positive titles in the general media, promoting the game? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments’ section!

Ivan Potocki on EmailIvan Potocki on Twitter
Ivan Potocki
Ivan Potocki
Assistant Editor and Columnist at Beat The Fish
Ivan first started playing poker in 2006 and played professionally from 2010-2013. He holds a BA in English language and literature. Since joining the Beat The Fish team in 2016, Ivan has made an immediate impact, leading the news section and contributing numerous feature articles. You can reach Ivan directly at ivanpotocki@gmail.com
  • It’s been a while since I watched poker tournaments obsessively, but I was glad I caught some of the WSOP final table last night after expecting to turn on SportsCenter.

    Cada made it to the final 6 at least, but looks like he’s probably going out soon. Dyer’s getting hit with the deck over and over, but there are a couple of stacks that could flip the tables on him quickly.

    Entertaining for sure and that’s all you can ask for when you’re watching other folks get rich playing poker.

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