Darvin Moon Advances In Poker Tournament

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Host Guy Raz checks back in on Western Maryland logger Darvin Moon's quest to win the World Series of Poker. The near-novice played a record 18 hours straight over the weekend, and he's in the final two. He'll square off against 21-year old Joe Cada on Monday night for the $8.5 million grand prize.

GUY RAZ, host:

A postscript now to a story we brought you yesterday. It's about Darvin Moon, a small stakes poker player from rural Maryland who made it past 6,500 players to the final table at the World Series of Poker. Now, normally, Moon runs a small-scale logging operation in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. His poker strategy is simple: he doesn't do a lot of bluffing, he doesn't study the game, and he doesn't use math skills. But before he left for the tournament in Las Vegas, Moon told me he does have a killer instinct.

Mr. DARVIN MOON (Poker Player): The part I like about the most is see how many chips you can get out of somebody else when you know you got them beat. When they say they're all-in and I know I got them, I just outplay them. That's what I like about poker.

RAZ: Well, Darvin Moon joined eight other players around the table yesterday, a marathon game that went on into the morning. Here's how a pair of ESPN podcasters relayed the news.

Mr. ANDREW FELDMAN (Host, Poker Edge Podcast, ESPNRadio.com): Welcome to the Poker Edge here on ESPNRadio.com. Andrew Feldman alongside Bernard Lee, and we are both tired. We watched 18 hours of the World Series of Poker main event final table�

RAZ: That's right, 18 hours of almost continuous poker play. That's a World Series of Poker record. And Darvin Moon was able to outlast seven of his eight opponents. Now, it's down to two. Tomorrow night, he'll go heads up against 21-year-old Joe Cada for the grand prize. At stake, $8.5 million.

Not bad for Moon. His foray into tournament poker began earlier this year with an investment of $30. But his opponent, Joe Cada, now has twice as many chips as Moon, so we suspect Darvin might be a little nervous.

Mr. MOON: No, you can't make me nervous.

RAZ: Or maybe not. Shortly after the 18-hour session, ESPN's Bernard Lee caught up with Moon.

Mr. BERNARD LEE (Host, Poker Edge Podcast, ESPNRadio.com): So, you're about a two-to-one or maybe a two-and-a-half-to-one chip underdog, but are you comfortable in the situation you're in right now?

Mr. MOON: I'm always comfortable. Give me one chip and I'm comfortable.

Mr. LEE: Did exhaustion start settling in at six o'clock Pacific time?

Mr. MOON: No.

Mr. LEE: Were you tired at all?

Mr. MOON: I'm good to go.

Mr. LEE: You got a little bit more than 24 hours. What are you going to do? You going to rest up?

Mr. MOON: They got a Texas Hold 'Em bonus table waiting on me up the hall here.

RAZ: That's Darvin Moon, finalist for the World Series of Poker championship.

(Soundbite of song, "The Gambler")

Mr. KENNY ROGERS (Singer): (Singing) Know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, know when to run. You don't even count your money while you're sitting at the table�

(Soundbite of Guy Raz reading credits)

RAZ: For Sunday, that's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. Have a great week.

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