Memorable Hero of 2009 WSOP Main Event, runner-up Darvin Moon passed away

Rising to fame back in 2009, amateur poker player Darvin Moon captured the hearts of many poker enthusiasts for his overall humble and true-to-self personality. Over a decade ago since Moon’s first appearance in the renowned World Series of Poker Main Event, Moon passed away last September 20th as shared by friend Todd Anderson on Twitter.

The 56-year old reportedly had surgery done a week before his death as told by Anderson to Pokernews. While the surgery initially went well and Moon recovered days after the surgery, sudden complications arose on Saturday morning, leading to the loss of another great poker personality.

Moon’s shot of a title

Hopping on a plane for the first time after having won a seat to the 2009 WSOP Main Event from a small satellite in his local casino, Moon stormed through the last two tables garnering the chip lead once the final November Nine players was set. A big pot with both players holding a flush had opponent Billy Kopp drawing dead and eliminated in twelfth place with Moon’s stack climbing up to almost a quarter of the total chips in play. Moon’s run good did not stop there as he proceeded to rank up player after player and make his way to heads up play against then 21-year old Joe Cada.

After three hours of action, the final hand brewed up to what happened to be a huge flip for a majority of the chips. Cada’s pocket nines ended up scooping the 150 million pot after Moon’s Queen-Jack suited failed to connect with the board. Left to settle for the runner-up status, Moon collected $5.18 million for his legendary run. Apart from the impressive finish, Moon had a few more cashes thereafter but nothing close to as significant as his WSOP earnings.

Humbling personality and simple life

darvin moon
Darvin Moon. Credit:

Contrary to his incredible finish, Moon’s lifestyle remained ideally the same even after claiming the huge sum of money. His modest outlook of life and closeness to nature brought Moon to cherish the years after, working in his 600-acre farm with his loving wife Wendy.

“We’ve lived on 20 to 25 thousand dollars a year for 26 years. I can now live the rest of my life comfortably. I am still working, because my entire family was raised that way,” Moon told Card Player in 2010.

“I’ve had guys who worked for me who kept me alive the first 25 years, and I can’t just tell them, ‘You don’t have a job’. So I just keep working.”

Aside from his simple way of living, Moon famously turned down a lucrative endorsement deal with an online poker operator during the 2009 tournament because he said he did not want to answer to anybody. Moon continued to wear his New Orleans Saints hat saying, because “I like cheering for the underdog” which landed Moon to be invited as a guest at the team’s games for the entire playoff run in 2010.

Known to be the ultimate recreational player, Moon’s legacy will always be remembered as an inspiration for many up and coming poker players.

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Janette Dee

Graduated from De La Salle University, Janette works as a full time teacher in Manila, Philippines. She has long joined the local poker community as a recreational player for the last decade. Having a natural love for the game, she decided to branch out into a different avenue of poker. Currently, Janette works for Somuchpoker as a content writer reporting local and international news for the site.

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