At close to 1.45am Tuesday, in the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Joe Cada, from Shelby Township, MI, was crowned the youngest World Series of Poker champion in the event’s 40-year history. Once the bracelet was wrapped around his wrist and the whooping of his supporters had temporarily abated, PokerStars Blog sat down with Cada for his first exclusive interview since that momentous victory in Las Vegas.
PS Blog: You’re the new World Champion. How does that make you feel?
Joe Cada: I feel great. I mean it’s a pretty sick feeling, but everything is positive.
PSB: What was going through your mind at that final moment?
JC: I can’t picture it any different. It’s a dream come true. It really didn’t hit me after I won it, and it still hasn’t really hit me yet.
PSB: How long do you think it will take to sink in?
JC: A few weeks.
PSB: What did you make of Darvin Moon, your heads up opponent?
JC: Darvin played a great game. He put me in a lot of tough spots. He did really well. Props to Darvin. He played great. He had my back against the wall, but luckily I came through.
PSB: You explained that you were petrified of losing, but did that affect your game?
JC: I mean, the fear of losing sucks, but you just have to play your game. And you can’t think about what’s at risk. You just have to play correct poker and I just tried to ignore first place at the time.
PSB: Can you just remind us of your online name?
JC: It’s JCada99.
PSB: And the nines played quite a big part in tonight’s proceedings, didn’t they. [Cada’s winning hand was pocket nines, but he also lost the first pot of the evening with the same hand against Moon’s queens.] Did you look down on the nines and fear the worst?
JC: Yeah. But he was reraising a lot. At first I wouldn’t have been so comfortable with him reraising there. But he was reraising a lot and it was an easy hand to ship. Fortunately I won the race.
PSB: How are you going to celebrate?
JC: Party it up with all my friends who came out here to support me.
PSB: Any final words?
JC [admiring bracelet]: PokerStars takes another one down.