MarieLizette

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Are Darvin Moon and Phil Ivey the David and Goliath of the WSOP?

July 17, 2009

Tags: Ivey, Moon, NLH, WSOP, Poker, tournaments.

Below is an expert from my article entitled The 2009 WSOP Championship and the tale of David & Goliath

There are two players at this year’s final table that have already set tongues wagging. Dubbed the “David and Goliath” of the November–Nine, all eyes will be on Chip-leader Darvin Moon (a 45 year old self-employed logger from Oakland, MD) and Professional poker player Phil Ivey (33 years old from Las Vegas, NV). Moon is a virtual unknown in the poker world but will be seated in Seat 1, to the left of the dealer, atop nearly one-third of all the chips in play. Ivey already holds 7 WSOP bracelets (two of which were won this series), and although he is short-stacked, Ivey is the sentimental favorite of the poker community. Ivey will be sitting in Seat 3, to the left of Moon.

While Moon may have a “Goliath” chip-stack, he is “David” against Ivey, considered to be one of the greatest players in the world. If history has taught us anything at all, it is that being the chip-leader at the commencement if a final table is hardly a guarantee to win. Dennis Phillips found himself in the lead when play was halted in July 2008, only to return in November to take third place of the WSOP main event; amateur Jerry Yang won his main event bracelet two years ago after repeatedly chipping away at Philip Hilm who was chip-leader going into the 2007 WSOP final table. Ivey himself was the chip-leader at the European Poker Tour 2006 final table, but eventually came in second to Bjørn-Erik Glenne.

Ivey, among others, will be gunning for Moon’s chips when play resumes in November and side-bets have already begun as to whether or not the “Tiger Woods of Poker” can effectively chop down Moon’s menacing stack and take down the main event. The finalists will have the next three and a half months to fine tune their game and study their opponents’ play. In this regard Moon has a slight advantage. While hours and hours of footage exists of Ivey’s years at the felt, Ivey (along with the rest of us) will have to wait for the 2009 WSOP main event to air on ESPN to see how Moon chipped his way up to the final table. Moreover, it should not be difficult for Moon to find a poker mentor or two who know Ivey’s style and will coach Moon on how to play back at Ivey.

One of the most accomplished players at the final table, Ivey is expected to use his entire arsenal of talent to rebuild his chip-stack and work his why back to the top. Few are counting Ivey out; and, of course, who could forget the day when Jack ‘Treetop’ Straus pushed what he thought was all of his chips into a pot and lost – but as he stood up to leave the table, found he still had a single $500 chip hidden under a napkin. Straus went on to win that event, which happened to be the 1982 WSOP championship, earning his second bracelet and $520,000 – thereafter, poker’s most famous expression, “a chip and a chair” was born. If it is not enough that Ivey has incredible poker skills, he generally runs well and many poker players believe Ivey has the added benefit of luck on his side. Even if Ivey and Moon do not lock horns early on, Moon will have to fend off eight other highly skilled poker players and Ivey is sure to get Moon’s chips off of the other players at the table.

The anticipation is already building to a fever pitch, but we will just have to wait for the drama to unfold before we will know if the 2009 WSOP Champ will be a professional or an amateur.

You can also read the full article: The 2009 WSOP Championship and the tale of David & Goliath

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