Joseph “The Kid” Cada was born and raised in Utica, MI, and is, perhaps, best known as the winner of the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event and the youngest ever to do so. At the time, Joe Cada was only 21 years of age and had just landed a sponsorship deal with Team PokerStars. Joe Cada’s introduction to poker came courtesy of his older brother, Jerome, as well as playing in low-stakes home games.
Prior to winning the Main Event, Cada played primarily online under the name “jcada99,” where he had won more than $500,000.
Today, the 31-year-old Cada’s live tournament winnings are nearly $13.67 million, and he is 40th on the all-time money list.
Even though Cada’s family includes many card enthusiasts—his mother was even a blackjack dealer at Detroit’s Motor City Casino—his parents were not too pleased with his chosen career. In addition to being an exceptional player, Cada is also very outspoken in support for gambling legalization.
Joe Cada began playing online poker when he was 16, initially with PartyPoker. Because Cada was not legally permitted to play live poker in the US, he traveled frequently to Ontario, Canada and—with his winnings both there and online—he traveled to play tournaments in Costa Rica and the Bahamas.
Joe Cada and the WSOP
When Cada obtained his first WSOP success, he was playing as many as 2,000 hands per day online. Thus, between the end of 2008 and his November Nine appearance in 2009, Cada had already won nearly $552,000 online. However, because he was experiencing a downswing just prior to the WSOP Main Event final table, he sought financial backing from Cliff Josephy and Eric Haber who agreed to stake Cada for half of his winnings.
Before winning the Main Event, Cada also cashed in two other 2009 WSOP events: 64th in the $1,500 NLH event for $6,681 and 17th in the $1,500 NLH event for $21,533. Then, his victory in the $10,000 Main Event earned him a whopping $8,546,435. When he secured his Main Event victory, Joe Cada was just one week shy of 22 years of age, thus superseding Peter Eastgate—who was 22 at the time of his victory—as the youngest WSOP Main Event champion in history.
Post-Main Event life
In 2012, Joe Cada placed second in the WSOP’s $1,500 NLH event, winning $412,424. The following year, Cada finished fourth twice in two different WSOP tournaments, thus adding more than $240,000 to his total winnings.
Cada won his second WSOP bracelet in 2014 when he won the $10,000 6-Max NLH Championship along with $670,041—his second largest live cash win. This win was even more impressive in that he beat out the likes of poker greats Erick Lindgren, Martin Jacobson, and J.C. Tran.
Then, in 2018, Cada won two more bracelets—in the $3,000 NLH Shootout event and the $1,500 NLH $1M guarantee The Closer—earning him $226,218 and $612,886, respectively, and bringing his bracelet total to four.
However, his greatest accomplishment that year was in making the Main Event final table for the second time, becoming the first former winner to so since Dan Harrington—who won in 1995—made the final table again in 2004. Cada ended up finishing fifth, winning $2,150,000.
Cada’s tremendous success that year earned him a third-place finish in the WSOP Player of the Year, behind Shaun Deeb and Ben Yu.
As mentioned, Cada is a huge proponent of online gambling legislation, stating that he believes that poker is a hobby and a game that relies less upon luck and more upon logic, math, and decision-making. He is also an avid indoor soccer player.
Until next time.
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