Online poker players who have played at World Series of Poker Michigan in its opening week very well may have been (virtually) sitting next to a famous face: Joe Cada.
The Michigan resident and 2009 WSOP Main Event winner said he’s been playing every day since the platform launched Monday morning.
But do other players recognize him?
“I would say it’s a pretty mixed bag,” Cada told PlayMichigan. “I can’t say for sure, but it’s maybe one or two players out of 10 that do. On a podcast the other day I said that a lot of times I’ll sit down at a poker table, and not everyone recognizes me. I won the Main Event 13 years ago, and not everyone was watching back then. Some people, they know who I am. Other people have no idea.”
Joe Cada helping to promote WSOP Michigan
Cada is excited about the launch of WSOP MI, and not just because he signed a deal with the company as a local poker ambassador.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of the WSOP, ever since I got into poker,” Cada said. “I really don’t play much (in-person) or travel a ton outside of the World Series now. I mostly just play online most of the year. I’m looking forward to when the states connect soon…but I’m excited about the future and where it’s going.”
He said his partnership with WSOP is “pretty broad” and will include a lot of promotional activity. Playing on the site and hosting tournaments is a big part of that, and WSOP Michigan is offering a $1,000 bonus to any Michigan resident that can outlast Cada in the 2022 WSOP Main Event.
“I’ve been just trying to play with everyone,” Cada said. “I play cash games on the side and play some small tournaments. The first day, I played a freeroll. It’s really fun for me, playing again in the smaller stakes tournaments and playing with everyone.”
He also plans to do some streaming on Twitch.
One major thing that excites Cada about WSOP MI going live is the ability for Michigan online poker players to join satellites for the Main Event.
The launch of WSOP Michigan has received mostly positive reviews from players around the state.
Cada a four-time WSOP bracelet winner
Cada was the youngest player in history to win when he claimed the 2009 WSOP Main Event at 21 years and 11 months old. That was an $8.5 million payday for the Shelby Township native.
He’s won four WSOP bracelets, and advanced to the final table of the Main Event again in 2018. His other bracelets came in the $10K No Limit Texas Hold’Em Six Handed tournament in 2014, the $3K No Limit Hold’Em Shootout in 2018, and the $1.5K The Closer No Limit Hold’Em tournament, also in 2018.
His WSOP player profile credits him with more than $13.6 million in career earnings.
While Cada has experienced widespread success as a professional poker player, he’s never forgotten his Michigan roots. Especially when it comes to the local sports teams.
“I’m a huge sports fan,” Cada said. “I love all the Michigan teams. I’m a big homer.”