In a couple hours from now, 46-year-old Maryland logger Darvin Moon is going to face off against 21-year-old whiz kid Joe Cada.
The winner gets $8.5 million, a bracelet and the right to be called the winner of the 2009 World Series of Poker.
As we told you earlier, Moon's story is as improbable as it gets. My interview with him, which follows, is one of the more interesting I've ever done.
Darren: When did you start playing poker?
Moon: I started playing small games around the home about four years ago.
Darren: Did you ever feel like you were actually good?
Moon: No. You get the cards, you can win. You don't get the cards, you can't win. But I'm no better than anybody else. I don't even think I'm near as good as anyone out here. A lot of these guys had more experience and they just know the game better.
Darren: How much of the game is luck?
Moon: 98 percent.
Darren: The World Series of Poker suspended play in July and came back this weekend. You came into the final table as the chip leader. What did you do in between?
Moon: Since I made the final table in July, it has been a lot different. I own my own company and I usually cut the trees down and buy all the timber but, to be honest, I haven't done much since July.
Darren: So what have you been doing?
Moon: A lot of interviews. The phone has been ringing off the hook. So many people want to talk to you.
Darren: What was one of the last things you did before coming to Las Vegas?
Moon: We went to Wyoming to go hunting and spent 15 days in the mountains away from everybody. It helped me get focused on poker instead of everything else in life.
Darren: If you win in the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, what's your future as a logger?
Moon: I'm going to keep working.
Darren: A lot of people are shocked you don't have a computer. Never sent an e-mail. Never played an online poker game.
Moon: I don't know what I would do with it. I've never had it, so I don't miss it. I really don't know how to answer that question. Except back eighty years ago, how did they do without a car? They just never had one, so they didn't think about it.
Darren: Tell me why you wear the Saints hat?
Moon: I've just worn it forever. I've always rooted for the underdog. It's funny, now they are on top.
Darren: Will money change you?
Moon: Money won't change me. I am who I am. I was raised this way my whole life. I've worked my whole life. I don't know anything else. Money doesn't mean nothing. Family and friends are worth more than any money you can ever have.
Darren: You received $1.25 million by getting to the final table. Have you bought anything?
Moon: I bought a Silverado four door. I upgraded my logging equipment. I got my new home done a year early.
Darren: Are you going to grow your logging business? Hire more people?
Moon: I won't hire anybody else. It's me, my brother and my brother-in-law.
Darren: Have you gone back to your regular game at home?
Moon: Yeah, they all tease me. They tell me I'm a pro. I'm a long way from a pro.
Darren: There's a lot of money flying around here. What kind of money were you playing with at home?
Moon: We were playing with $30 buy-ins. You win a tournament, you won $700. We never played with much cash.
Darren: Are you forever going to part of the poker scene now?
Moon: I'm going to play some at Foxwoods, some at Atlantic City and some here. Other than that, I'm not guaranteeing anything.
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