A little-known bit of World Series of Poker trivia is that none of the past 12 Main Event champions has won a second bracelet.
Joe Cada changed that on Monday night.
Cada, the winner of the 2009 Main Event, survived a loaded final table to win the $10,000 buy-in Six-Handed No Limit Hold’em tournament at the Rio Convention Center.
Carlos Mortensen of Spain is the most recent Main Event champion to capture another bracelet. Mortensen, who won the big one in 2001, was first in a $5,000 buy-in Limit Hold ‘em tournament in 2003.
“Just winning a bracelet in general is amazing,” Cada told WSOP.com. “To win two is a great feeling.”
The 26-year-old Cada had been written off by many poker fans who focused on his good fortune at the final table in 2009 en route to becoming the youngest winner of the Main Event.
But Cada, from Shelby Township, Mich., had two fourth-place finishes at last year’s WSOP, and he was second in a $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold ‘em tournament in 2012.
“It’s funny when people talk about that, because a lot of people that talk about that aren’t really experienced in tournaments,” Cada told WSOP.com. “There’s a lot of variance, there’s so many players in these tournaments. It’s tough to win. It’s tough to go deep and make the final table. You need a lot of things to go right, no matter how well you play.
“I don’t really let that stuff affect me, I just try to focus on playing every decision how I think is correct.”
Cada, wearing his trademark University of Michigan T-shirt on Monday, took home more than $670,000 for his victory, and “The Kid” is now just shy of $10 million in career earnings at the WSOP.
The final table featured a combined six bracelets, three Main Event final table appearances and a WSOP Player of the Year title.
Jeremy Ausmus, who had the chip lead for a large portion of the final table, finished second and won $414,104. On the final hand, Cada’s pocket queens held up against Ausmus’ pocket jacks.
Two-time bracelet winner J.C. Tran finished fourth, while two-time bracelet winner Erick Lindgren was fifth.
“This is definitely up in the top three (events I wanted to win),” Cada told WSOP.com. “The heads-up $10K, the Six-Handed $10K, and the $25K … I think those are the three next best events (after the Main Event.”
Also, Brett Shaffer captured his second career WSOP bracelet as he won a $1,500 No-Limit Hold ’em event for the second straight year. Shaffer, of Beloit, Kan., defeated R.J. Sullivan after only 13 hands of heads-up play.
Shaffer outlasted a field of 1,631 players and took home more than $414,000. Last year, he overcame a field of more than 2,800 players to win.