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Monday, November 19, 2018
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Joe Cada takes gold in WSOP $3,000 NLHE Shootout
 

Joe Cada

Joe Cada (photo by WSOP)

Name: Joe Cada
Nationality: American
Birthplace: Shelby Township, Michigan
Current Residence: Shelby Township, Michigan
Age: 30
Profession: Poker player
Number of WSOP Cashes: 30
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 7
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament): 3
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 1st, 2009 WSOP Main Event
Total WSOP Earnings: $10,331,305
Personal Facts: Nicknamed “The Kid”, Cada remains the youngest-ever Main Event winner
in WSOP history.

2009 WSOP Main Event winner Joe Cada has captured Event #3 of the 2018 World Series of Poker, $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout, winning $226,218 and his third WSOP gold bracelet. Cada triumphed over a tough final table that also included another former Main Event winner, in 2015's champ Joe McKeehan.

Cada, from Shelby Township, Michigan, survived indifferent cards during the early hours of Day 3, then surged to the victory behind a handful of huge timely hands. Cada entered heads-up play with a large lead over eventual runner-up Sam Phillips, only to see Phillips claw back to take a narrow lead before Cada doubled through for nearly all the chips in play. That hand found Cada raising pre-flop, with Phillips then moving all in. Cada paused just briefly before calling with 6-6, while Phillips turned over A-4. Phillips caught a four on a 9-10-4 flop, but improved no further on the Q turn and 2 river.

That left Phillips with just 140,000 in chips and in auto-push mode. He doubled up once, but not twice. Cada closed out the win in a hand where he showed J-3 to Phillips' 8-6. The 7-J-8 runout offered plenty of theatrics, as both players made full houses, but Cada's hand led throughout and the win was sealed on the turn. It left Ohio's Phillips with a hard-fought second-place payday of $139,804.

McKeehen, seeking his own third career bracelet win, instead finished in third for $101,766, also falling to Cada's late rush.

Cada's previous bracelet wins came in 2009 and 2014, and even as he entered rarified air with a third title,he didn't take it lightly. "It's tough to win any no-limit event," he told the WSOP. "You have to get really lucky and I ran really well. There were points in the tournament where I could've easily been on the sidelines."

"There's a much different dynamic at the final table than while playing through the tournament," said Cada, about his ability to survive slow stretches and up winning three straight shootout rounds. "I just stayed patient and hopefully [would get] a rush of cards at the end, when the blinds were big." That's indeed how it played out, with Cada coming out on top in huge pots against both Phillips and McKeehen, who between them held the lead for most of the final day's action.

In the hand against Phillips that essentially decided the event, Cada paused just for a beat or two before calling Phillips' all-in shove. "I knew it was a call," he said, "playing so many heads-ups and so many simulations. The stakes were high. I wanted to give it a couple of seconds. It was for over thirty big blinds, it was a big pot, but ultimately I knew it was a call."

As for those earlier sideline possibilities, Cada himself had need for a brief medical timeout early in heads-up play, after catching his pinky finger in a chair that he swiveled too suddenly. Properly bandaged — and a tiny bit bloodied — Cada soon returned to the duel against Phillips and soon sealed the win.

Ten players returned for Day 3 action in this three-round shootout, with each of the ten returning to roughly equal stacks. The players jostled for chips in the early going, with McKeehen picking up the day's first knockout, of Jeffrey Trudeau in 10th. McKeehen rivered the nut flush with K-J on a 2-10-7-2-A board, and induced Trudeau, who had A-Q, to call off the last of his chips. Trudeau earned $14,437.

The official nine-player final table final stayed that way for only eight hands. Joshua Turner, who had seen his stack reduced in a couple of earlier pots, got the last of his chips in with 9-8 after a 2-9-Q flop. Phillips, at that point the chip leader, moved all in with K-Q and forced Anthony Reategui out of the pot. Phillips' top pair held up on a dry runout of 10 and 2, sending Turner off to an $18,526 payday.

A short-stacked Taylor Wilson exited in eighth not long after when his pocket kings fell to Reategui's pocket sixes when Reategui rivered a ten-high straight. The complete board offered 7,8,10,10,9, leaving Wilson with $24,013 for his three-day run.

Reategui, though, remained on a shortish stack himself, and exited about 30 hands later in a hand against McKeehen. This time there was a flush on the board – K-6-7-A-3 – and Reategui moved in the last of his chips with a 10 in his hand. McKeehen asked for a count, then called and showed the J, trimming the field to six and sending Reategui off to a $31,435 payday.

Fifth-place money went to Belarus's Ihar Soika, who pushed the last of his chips in with K-9, only to find McKeehen waiting with A-Q. Soika moved ahead on the 9-8-2 flop, but McKeehen spiked his own pair on the Q turn. A 3 river changed nothing, and Soika went to the rail.

The UK's Harry Lodge ran into more McKeehen run-good a short time later. This time Lodge had the A-Q, all in against McKeehen's pocket tens, and McKeehen spiked a set on the flop of an otherwise dry board. Lodge was drawing dead by the river, and on his way to a $55,480 payout.

Lodge's roommate at this year's WSOP, Sam Maskill, made his first WSOP cash a good one. Maskill nursed his short stack up the payout list to fourth before Cada sent him to the payout window. The knockout hand found Cada jamming all in on the river of a Q-9-A-K-10 board. Maskill tanked and called with Q-2 for two pair, but Cada showed J-J, trimming the final to three.

McKeehen returned from a dinner break with nearly half the chips in play, but he was the next to depart. Cada first chipped up to the lead in a series of smaller pots, then bounced McKeehen in a pre-flop, all-in battle of pocket pairs. McKeehen's 6,6 trailed Cada's K-K, and the hand appeared over after a K,Q,J flop. The 6 river gave McKeehan his own set and one-out river hopes, but the 9 came instead.

The knockout gave Cada roughly 80% of the chips in play entering his heads-up duel against Phillips, setting the stage for the final theatrics.

Final Table Payouts (approx. POY points in parentheses):

1st: Joe Cada, $226,218 (997)
2nd: Sam Phillips, $139,804 (499)
3rd: Joe McKeehen, $101,766 (449)
4th: Jack Maskill, $74,782 (399)
5th: Harry Lodge, $55,480 (374)
6th: Ihar Soika, $41,559 (349)
7th: Anthony Reategui, $31,435 (299)
8th: Taylor Wilson, $24,013 (274)
9th: Joshua Turner, $18,526 (249)


(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

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