Darvin Moon

Darvin Moon, 45-year-old logger from Maryland, USA—chip leader at the final table of the 2009 WSOP Main Event.

Of the entire 6,400-person playing field that started out the Main Event last month, Moon might just have been the least likely player to take the first spot in the November Nine. Even Moon himself admits that about 6,300 of those players are better at poker than he is.

Though inexperienced in Texas Hold ‘em (he just learned the game three years ago), he has been playing poker since he was 12 years old. He learned to play poker from his granddad, who beat Moon more than he lost to him. Moon continued playing for fun because he enjoyed the competitive edge to the game. Once he learned to play, though, he put his skills to good use and played poker to raise money for firefighters and other charitable causes.

Now Moon sits up against eight fellow players, all of whom couldn’t be any different than him. Moon is a good-old-boy, who claims he just happened to get dealt some really good hands, hinting that his spot as chip leader was achieved on a wave of luck. However, this may just be his modesty talking because he can’t suck that bad. Though he has no registered tournament earnings and doesn’t rank as a professional by any means, he played hard just like everyone else to be where he is right now.

Moon actually earned his ticket to the Main Event in a satellite tournament at a casino in West Virginia. If this guy isn’t lucky, I don’t know who is. Perhaps the only other player in the November Nine that may have Moon out-lucked is Phil Ivey, but even Ivey has a long way to go to catch up with Moon’s almost 60,000,000 chips.

Moon is the all-American simple man with his own logging company and humble upbringings. In fact, he declares that his successful run in the WSOP this year, whatever the outcome, will not change his life. He plans on buying a pink Cadillac for his dad and taking a couple months to travel across Alaska before returning to his everyday life as a logger. Is the world ready for such a gentleman in poker? He might just be too drama-less for this crowd, but let’s hope not.