That day, the kid took away $8.5 million first-place prize money. If this would have been some other year most of us would have been in Rio All Suite’s casino floor or engrossed in our smart phones watching the best ever World Series of Poker (WSOP). Hundreds and thousands were geared up to make the new decade the most memorable one, although that did happen but of course not the way we planned on doing so. Well, WSOP remains close to the heart of poker world crammed with endless inspiring stories and today we bring another one to cherish and celebrate the outstanding moment, the one that created history.
Jerry Cada’s youngest of the four children Joe Cada was always great with number. His father once said, “I can remember Joe being as young as 5 or 6 years old and I could already tell he was great with numbers, As he got older, I’d always be quizzing him with different math problems. We’d be in the car and I’d yell a question back to him and he’d always have the right answer,” he continued further, “But I have to admit, I would have never guessed it would have had to do with all of this.”
By “all this”, Jerry was referring to Joe taking down the 2009 WSOP Main Event flipping his way over Darvin Moon. It was Peter Eastgate breaking Phil Hellmuth’s record of 19 years as the youngest Main Event champion. The following year Cada became the youngest winner in the WSOP ME history just eight days shy of his 22nd birthday, surpassing Eastgate.
On one hand Moon called all-in bet and the other side the 21-year old sitting tightly on his seat with $150 million in chips in the pot. None of the last five cards paired Moon’s Queen Jack and that’s how Cada’s pair of Nine held up, ultimately outlasting 6,494 entries, ‘The Kid’ took home the gold bracelet and $8.5 million prize.
“They meant everything to me,” Cada said of the crowd of friends and family there to cheer him on. “They cheered me on when I had no chips. I had two million and they were standing out of their chairs. I got down to 40 million here and I heard them go crazy and that helped me get back in this. Momentum is a big thing in poker.”
According to Hendon, Cada’s first-ever live poker tournament was the 40th WSOP NLHE. Within a span of 1 month Cada became the ultimate world champion. After 6 years, he came closer to win his second bracelet but ended up in 2nd position for $412K. He took down the 2014 WSOP $10K NLH Six Handed for $620K. Winning became a habit for the young mind, grabbing his next two bracelets in 2018. As of June 2020, his total live winnings exceeds $14 million!
Cada’s poker journey started at the age of 16. He twice staked accounts but lost all the money in the accounts he shared with his brother Jerome who gave his little brother poker lessons. At the time of his WSOP success, he was playing almost 2,000 hands per day online at PokerStars under the username ‘jcada99’. Jerry said, “Money hasn’t changed him; he’s still the great kid that he’s always been and that makes me more proud than you can imagine.”
The popular saying “age doesn’t matter” came true that day when the entire world witnessed the 21-year-old beating 45-year-old opponent with his hard work. “I don’t know; it still hasn’t hit me,” Cada said moments after the win. “I don’t know what to think. I put a lot of time into poker. Poker has been my life for some time now. Doing this the first year out (at the WSOP) is unbelievable. I got really lucky, I ran well and I am very fortunate.”
For more such stories on the World Series, stay tuned to GutshotMagazine.com!