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Chris Moneymaker: The Moneymaker Effect

This article was written by: Jannah Strat for Celebrity Poker Players

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Jannah Strat is an efficiently writer from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. She's writes anything that has to do with online gambling. She tackles all about Casino Games, Poker Players and Sports Betting. She also owns two blogs about some of the best and hottest Poker Players and her blog about Celebrity Poker Players.

The poker world owes a great deal of gratitude to Chris Moneymaker. It is a funny thing that the 29 year-old accountant from Tennessee, who had never played a live tournament before the 2003 World Series Of Poker (WSOP), would go on to win the Main Event, and in the process become one of the most influential figures of the the modern poker age. 

But there Chris Moneymaker is, walking proud and standing tall, and serving as an inspiration to all the people who sit down at their home games and dream of bigger things.

Before Chris Moneymaker's career was a skyrocket, he was a travelling accountant who spent many lonely hours on the road. Many a night he sat in his crummy hotel room trying to pass the time. He enjoyed playing poker but he found it difficult to find a game, so he turned to the internet. He started playing on PokerStars whenever he had free time which he still does under the same name, “Money800”.  

Over time his game improved, so he decided to take a run at qualifying for the WSOP. As luck would have it he eventually won a seat, paying $40 in the process. Cash was tight and Chris realized he probably wouldn't even be able to afford to travel to Vegas to play poker, so he sold pieces of his action to his father and a friend. 

It turned out to be a better investment than anyone could ever have imagined, and when the dust had settled Chris was clutching both the trophy and $2.5 million in cash. It is in this respect that Chris has emerged as the most influential figure in poker. His rags-to-riches story has prompted millions of average joes to take a shot at poker glory, both in live play at online poker.

As “Money800' on PokerStars, he entered, and won, a $39 satellite to the 2003 World Series of Poker. As Chris Moneymaker, he turned that seat in a World Series of Poker Championship and $2.5 million, capturing the world's attention and highlighting the fact that it's not just poker players that can win poker's most prestigious title. 

Wearing his trademark, a cap and sunglasses that have become the uniform of poker's next generation, Chris Moneymaker finished day one of the WSOP with over 60,000 in chips and realized that although he was an amateur amongst pros, he had as good a shot as anyone at winning the tournament. 


He has a 2nd place finish in the 2004 WPT Shooting Stars event for $200K, and two World Championship of online poker final tables for a combined $175K. In 2005, Chris Moneymaker also published an autobiography entitled, Moneymaker: How an Amateur Poker Player Turned $40 into $2.5 Million at the World Series of Poker.

Whenever someone has success there will always be people who attribute it to luck, and Chris Moneymaker is no exception. Many people have stated that they could have won the WSOP too if they were holding the same cards Chris Moneymaker held. It is undeniable that luck was on Chris' side during the tournament. He busted out Humberto Brenes' pocket A's when his pocket 8's hit a set on the turn, and he rivered an A to make a higher full house than Phil Ivey and knock him out in a bitter 10th.

But luck plays a factor in every tournament with large fields, and when the play got down to the final table Chris Moneymaker took control of the table. And what a tough table it was, with former World Champion Dan Harrington and feared cash player Sammy Farha. Chris played like a seasoned veteran and never backed down. He slowplayed his top pair to bust out Harrington in third and then went mano a mano with Farha. 

On one critical hand, Chris bluffed Farha off of his top pair when the board turned up three to the flush. It was a ballsy all-in move that showed the heart of a champion, and it gave Chris a 2-1 chip lead. It set the stage for the final hand, when Chris' 4-5 flopped two pair to Sammy's pair of jacks. All the poker world.

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