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July 23, 2017

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November Nine:

Main Event features surprise chip leader

The whole tournament has been a dream come true for Moon

Click to enlarge photo

Darvin Moon looks up following a hand during the World Series of Poker at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 15, 2009. Moon is the chip leader when the final table resumes on Nov. 7.

Final Table Chip Count

Darvin Moon sported a New Orleans Saints hat every day of the World Series of Poker Main Event this summer.

Why would a logger from western Maryland possibly root for a team from New Orleans? No reason, really.

“It is mostly Steeler fans where I live,” Moon said in July. “And I wear this hat to mess with them.”

The Saints hat fits well with Moon’s run through the Main Event. A lot just doesn’t add up.

Moon says out of the nearly 6,500 players in the event, he is better than maybe 100 of them. But entering the final table, he has a large lead with nearly 59 million chips.

“It’s easy to play when you get hands like I was getting,” Moon said. “It’s just unbelievable. It’s like a dream.”

Moon’s path to poker stardom certainly reads like a fairy tale. He won his seat in the Main Event after winning a satellite in a tournament in Wheeling, W.Va.

Traveling to the Main Event was the first time he had ever flown on a large passenger plane. It was also his first time to ever come to Las Vegas. “I never expected this,” Moon said. “It’s overwhelming.”

Possessing 30 percent of the chips in play, it would likely take a monumental collapse for Moon not to finish at least in the top four. Moon says that won’t happen.

He has no plans to change the way he plays poker and won’t push around players with smaller stacks.

And who knows? Maybe Moon will become the most improbable champion in the history of the Main Event.

“If he walked out of the woods of western Maryland — where he’s got no credit card, no cable, no online, no e-mail, no nothing — and gets eight-and-a-half million dollars, it’s another microcosm of what the Main Event is,” ESPN poker commentator Norman Chad said. “It’s another unbelievable, improbable story where you shake your head and say ‘Darvin Moon?’”

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