Chris Moneymaker became a household name in 2003 when he won the World Series of Poker which was shown all over the United States on ESPN. I was reminded of this fact in September 2005 at the CAC conference. We listened to North Dakota Representative Jim Kasper explain that he became interested in poker after watching Chris Moneymaker on television. Jim Kasper is trying to legalize online poker in North Dakota which would make it easier to legalize it throughout the United States. If Jim Kasper is successful then maybe we should all thank Chris Moneymaker and ESPN. Winning 2 Hold'em Tournaments and 1 Omaha Tournament, Kasper has learned a few things about poker. One thing I've heard is that Chris Moneymaker was not as much of a beginner as ESPN made him out to be. He wasn't exactly a well-known professional but he wasn't a first-time to big tournaments either.
On September 5th I was fortunate to turn into the WCOOP Stud Hi/Lo Tournament to see Moneymaker battling it out with Bunsen and Scott Fischman(emtyseat88) from CardPlayer Magazine. The players talked about chopping but Bunsen wanted a bigger cut because of his chip lead and Moneymaker and Fischman were unwilling to accommodate his demands. It was cool watching them negotiate. Bunsen explained that he plays Stud Hi/Lo and Chris Moneymaker replied "I don't care." Moneymaker was not trying to be disrespectful but he did explain that he can play stud too. We all know Chris Moneymaker because of No Limit Hold'em but Bunsen did acknowledge that he know that Moneymaker is a good stud player. In the end Bunsen took first, Fischman took second and Chris Moneymaker took third. It was a lot of fun watching the 3 of them battle it out and have their chip stacks change. At one point Bunsen was pretty far down in chips but he managed to climb back and take the whole thing.
Here is how PokerStars describes Chris Moneymaker and the 2003 World Series of Poker:
In an incredible final of the 2003 World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event, Chris Moneymaker (money800 on PokerStars) took first place, $2.5 million in prize money and the coveted World Championship bracelet.
Jeff Shulman of CardPlayer Magazine had an interesting interview with Chris Moneymaker in the Volume 16, No. 13 issue. Here are some of my favorite parts of the interview:
Chris came to the final table as the chip leader, which he maintained for several hours before losing a key hand to Sam Farha, well known high stakes player, giving up the chip lead for several hours. In a back-and-forth match, he and Sam eventually were in a virtual tie at about T3.5 million each, with former World Champion Dan Harrington the short stack at just over T1 million. But the two big stacks had difficulty eliminating Harrington, who repeatedly came back from under T500,000.
Chris finally took Harrington out when Harrington moved all-in with second pair against Chris' top pair, setting up a short heads-up match between Sam and Chris.
After a back-and-forth match lasting about 30 minutes, Sam bet out on a board of Js 5s 4c. Chris raised, Sam came back over the top all-in and Chris called with 54, having flopped two pair. Sam had flopped top pair. The turn and river brought no help for Sam's single pair, and Chris Moneymaker became the new World Champion of poker.
Chris won his seat in a satellite on PokerStars, and although he has played many tournaments on PokerStars, the WSOP Main Event is his first live tournament.
PokerStars is thrilled and proud to have helped Chris achieve the ultimate goal of all poker players. Congratulations from all of us on the PokerStars team!
PokerStars players have won a total of 37 seats in the 2003 World Series of Poker, making PokerStars the single largest source of WSOP players other than Binion's Horseshoe, the host of the WSOP.
Jeff Shulman: Chris, I saw you bluff at a huge pot on the fourth day with most of your chips at stake, and then you showed it. Do you always show bluffs?
Like 2004 World Series of Poker Winner Greg Raymer, Chris Moneymaker came from PokerStars. PokerStars is widely acknowledged as one of the best online sites for MTTs.
We've all heard the story about how a $39 satellite tournament entry on PokerStars made it possible for Chris Moneymaker to go on and win $2.5 million at the World Series of Poker. One of the funniest parts of the 2003 WSOP came on Day 3.
Chris Moneymaker was on one of ESPN's televised tables
with Howard Lederer, Paul Darden and Johnny Chan.
There was a hand where Johhny Chan raised the pot and Howard Lederer put in a re-raise.
Chris Moneymaker was so busy watching the pros that he forgot about his cards not being folded.
Moneymaker sat back, studying Chan, wondering why
he was taking so long to make a decision about the re-raise.
Finally, Chan reminded Moneymaker that it was on him.
Moneymaker realized what happened and he folded his cards. Other player should learn a lesson from this. Even if you do something embarrassing early in a tournament, you can still go on to win the whole thing. I saw another hand with Chris Moneymaker against Phil Ivey. Ivey got Moneymaker all-in when Ivey was the favorite but Moneymaker got lucky with his outs.
Chris Moneymaker: I bluffed a lot and never got caught except when I tried to bluff Sammy off a set of aces. I was showing bluffs, and then I bluffed Scotty Nguyen and decided not to show it out of respect, and was worried that the players may pick up information on me. I wasn't sure if I had a monster tell or not, so I stopped showing my bluffs.
Jeff Shulman: What advice do you think can help beginners?
Chris Moneymaker: Find a style that works for you. Mix it up and do what you are comfortable with. You don't need to bluff a lot if it makes you uncomfortable. Make sure you have a flexible game plan.
Jeff Shulman: Which players impressed you the most?
Chris Moneymaker: Sammy was awesome and played a lot of hands. It was hard to figure out what he had. Also, Olaf from Sweden, who also qualified like me, played great poker, always putting people to the decision. I really thought Phil Ivey would win. He played very well and is so aggressive.
Jeff Shulman: Who were the most entertaining players?
Chris Moneymaker: Marcel Luske from Amsterdam would stand up and sing when he moved all in. Also, Scotty Nguyen made a huge bluff before the flop when he reraised with an 8-3 and showed it to the cameras.
Jeff Shulman: Poker is getting very close to obtaining sponsorships. Was there any product that you used throughout the tournament? I think Scotty Nguyen may have gotten a beer sponsor from when he won.
Chris Moneymaker: Damn, I should have had a few beers. I did wear Oakley sunglasses the entire time I played. I would love to get free sunglasses, because they are way too expensive.
Common Misspellings for Chris Moneymaker:
Have you ever come across a confusing poker term? Our poker dictionary has 1224 definitions!
Play for FREE and practice your game at...
Would you like to submit your own poker article to be featured on FTR? You can by clicking here - Submit a Poker Article!