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Maryland Millions?

Darvin Moon heads into the World Series of Poker Main Event final in November with the chips lead. (IMPDI for World Series of Poker)

What are the odds? Maryland's Darvin Moon started playing poker three years ago -- and is now vying for $8.5 million in the game's top tournament.

"Bunch of us used to play softball together, then we got too old for that," said the 45-year-old logger from small-town Oakland, in the state's western panhandle. He started playing Texas hold 'em with a group of local guys -- mostly benefits for charity -- and won a $10,000 seat for this month's World Series of Poker's Main Event in Las Vegas.

In his first trip to Sin City, Moon emerged last week as the improbable chip leader in a field of 6,494 players and, as one of the nine finalists, is guaranteed $1.2 million; in November he'll battle for the top prize at the final table. Moon's already back in Oakland, and playing in his weekly game. "I don't think it's really sunk in yet," he told us.

By The Reliable Source  |  July 20, 2009; 1:01 AM ET
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