Joe Cada’s Wife Urged Him to Return for WPT World Championship

Joe Cada is still in the mix on Day 3 of the 2023 WPT World Championship, and he knows a thing or two about playing through big $10,000 tournament fields.

Tim Fiorvanti
Dec 17, 2023


Joe Cada’s running deep in the 2023 WPT World Championship, and the 2009 WSOP Main Event champ hopes to add another major title to his trophy case.

When it comes to cutting through major $10,000+ buy-in fields, it’s hard to find someone more qualified to speak on the topic than Joe Cada. In 2009, at 21 years old, Cada beat out 6,494 players to win the World Series of Poker Main Event and an $8.5 million first-place prize. Nine years later, Cada beat out almost 1,000 more players in a field of 7,484 players, and finished fifth in the 2018 WSOP Main Event.

These days, it takes a lot to get Cada out of his home state of Michigan for anything other than a few weeks each summer. But the WPT World Championship festival checked all of the right boxes.

“I am just a homebody kind of guy,” said Cada. “And the more time goes on, the less I feel the need to play. I’m not a big traveler for MTTs. But this is a tournament that’s kind of hard to miss if you like poker. It was a no brainer for me to come out here. And I love the Wynn.”

Cada’s likely loving his decision right now. With less than 200 players left in the field on Day 3 of the 2023 WPT World Championship, he’s still in the mix for the $5.6 million first-place prize. Even more so, in fact, after flying out to Las Vegas for the WPT Prime Championship and then making a quick return trip home.

“After the Prime event, I flew home for my anniversary and I wasn’t sure if I was gonna go back out,” said Cada.

His aversion to travel and comfort at home was almost enough to keep Cada from joining the field for the biggest Championship Event in WPT history. But a little push out the door got Cada back on a plane and at Wynn Las Vegas for Day 1C.

“My wife was like, just go out and play,” said Cada. And so I flew back out on Thursday and, luckily, I’m in on one bullet, which is pretty sick.”

While Cada’s cut his way through a lot of players on his way to the latter stages of Day 3, there have been some challenges along the way. Comparing it to his big runs in the WSOP Main Event, Cada pointed to a slightly more difficult path to picking up chips, especially early on.

“I would say this tournament’s a little bit tougher than the WSOP Main Event,” said Cada, “Mainly for two reasons. A really good player has multiple chances with one bullet each day. And then also, the WSOP Main Event at this point is a bucket list item for some people and you get, you know, certain uniquely unexperienced players out there.

“But this World Championship is still a great tournament,” said Cada. “When you get 3,800 players for a $10K, I mean, it’s unbelievable. It’s a good tournament and a good field regardless.”

As for his chances at a run at another major title, Cada has been grinding through much of Day 3 so far. He’s been known to hit a heater or two and ride it a long way, though, so if he continues to pop up in the chip counts on Day 4 and beyond, it shouldn’t come as any surprise.

“Day 3 has been really boring,” said Cada. “I don’t think I’ve ever played like as few hands as I have in this amount of time. I think I’m probably like 5 or 10% VPIP. I’ve just been folding everything and haven’t really been dealt much. But that’s poker. So hopefully I get hit by the deck in the next few hours.”