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July 18, 2019

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Former champ Joe Cada among 26 players remaining in WSOP Main Event

Poker’s world championship will play down to a final table tonight at the Rio


Justin M. Bowen

Joe Cada, 21, wraps his arms around his $8.5 million winnings after beating Darvin Moon in the final round of the 2009 World Series of Poker at the Rio.

Updated Wednesday, July 11, 2018 | 12:04 p.m.

WSOP 2018: Main Event Day 1

A man receives a head massage while competing on day 1 of the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Monday July 2, 2018. Launch slideshow »

Of all the World Series of Poker Main Event champions in the last 15 years since the tournament exploded in popularity, Joe Cada has proven to be one of the most successful.

The Shelby Township, Mich., native never slowed down after becoming poker’s world champion in the 2009 Main Event. He’s gone on to win two more WSOP championship bracelets, including one earlier this summer, and pushed his career tournament earnings to more than $10 million.

Cada has a chance to further separate himself and pull off one of the greatest feats in World Series of Poker history today at the Rio. The 30 year old was one of 26 players remaining out of a starting field of 7,874 in this year’s $10,000 buy-in Main Event when play wrapped up at around 1 a.m. this morning.

The tournament will resume at noon on Wednesday and continue until a final table of nine players emerges. PokerGo will stream the action until 6:30 p.m., when ESPN2 picks up coverage and airs the rest.

Cada is looking to become the first former champion to return to the final table since 2004, when 1995 winner Dan Harrington finished fourth. A final-table appearance comes with a guaranteed payout of $1 million, while the eventual winner will make $8.8 million — $300,000 more than Cada’s prize nine years ago.

Click to enlarge photo

Sylvain Loosli, 26, a poker professional originally from Toulon, France, but now residing in London, during the final table of the World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in no-limit Texas Hold 'Em tournament at the Rio Monday, Nov. 4, 2013.

Cada will by no means have an easy route to the final table. He currently sits 19th in chips with 8.85 million, and blind levels are at a costly 1 million-2 million with a 300,000 ante.

And although he’s the most famous survivor through nearly 64 hours of play, he’s far from the only notable. Four other bracelet winners are still in the field — Yueqi Zhu, Eric Froehlich, Ivan Luca and Barry Hutter — along with another player who’s also made a Main Event final table in Sylvian Loosli, who finished fourth in 2013.

Froehlich, a two-time bracelet winner, figures to command considerable attention. The longtime professional is the lone local left in the field, and has an above-average stack of 15.28 million to put him in 10th place.

Aram Zobian, who’s from Cranston, Rhode Island, currently sits atop the leaderboard with 41.56 million chips. Zobian’s previous highest cash at the World Series of Poker was for $4,324 two years ago.

All 26 remaining players in the Main Event will earn at least $282,630 with pay jumps increasing significantly every few spots. Eleven nations are still represented, though 14 players are American. France and China each have two players remaining.

ESPN will show the entirety of the final table beginning at 6 p.m. each night from Thursday to Saturday. It’s every poker players’ dream to reach that point of the Main Event.

Cada, and Loosli, are close to realizing it for a second time.

Check below for full chip counts heading into the final day of play.

1. Aram Zobian, Cranston, R.I. — 41,585,000

2. Artem Metalidi, Kiev, Ukraine — 30,845,000

3. Antoine Labat, Vincenna, France — 28,445,000

4. Michael Dyer, Houston — 26,515,000

5. Alex Lynskey, Brisbane, Australia — 22,045,000

6. Yueqi Zhu, Benxi, China — 19,245,000

7. Kao Saechao, Portland, Ore. — 18,985,000

8. Matijn Gerrits, Netherlands — 17,790,000

9. Nicolas Manion, Muskegon, Mich. — 17,630,000

10. Eric Froehlich, Las Vegas — 15,285,000

11. Paulo Goncalves, Brazil — 15,230,000

12. Tony Miles, Jacksonville, Fla. — 14,945,000

13. John Cynn, Indianapolis — 14,750,000

14. Alexander Haro, Claremont, Calif. — 12,940,000

15. Hari Bercovici, Beer Sheva, Israel — 12,775,000

16. Frederik Jensen, Copehagen, Denmark — 12,100,000

17. Sylvain Loosli, Toulon, France — 11,635,000

18. Ryan Phan — Omaha, Neb. — 9,545,000

19. Joe Cada — Shelby Township, Mich. — 8,850,000

20. Ivan Luca — Purta Alta, Argentina — 8,820,000

21. Konstantin Beylin — St. Louis —8,305,000

22. Ming Xi, China — 7,550,000

23. Jeff Trudeau, Orlando, Fla. — 5,090,000

24. Nirath Rean, Jacksonville, Fla. — 4,950,000

25. Bart Lybaert, Miehlen, Germany — 3,825,000

26. Barry Hutter, Hollywood, Fla. — 2,250,000

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

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