Originally from Atlanta, Chris Moneymaker spent his formative years in Tennessee. He graduated from the state university with a master’s degree in accounting and began working in the industry, playing online poker in his spare time. He could never have predicted he’d go on to become one of the most important people in the world of professional poker.
The story of his rise to stardom is one that’s been told many times, but still deserves to be repeated. In 2003, Chris entered an $89 satellite on PokerStars and won. This gave him a seat in a larger satellite, one that had a World Series Main Event package up for grabs. Chris won that too, and was soon heading off to Las Vegas to play in what was to be his first live tournament. The rest really is history. Against all odds, Chris made it to the final table and went on to claim the gold bracelet, winning prize money of $2,500,000.
His story sparked a tidal wave of interest in poker, a phenomenon that’s been nicknamed the ‘Moneymaker Effect’. Inspired by the tale of how an amateur managed to beat hundreds of world-class players and earn a huge cash prize, millions of people began playing online and in card rooms across the globe. For Chris himself, being the man responsible for kick-starting the poker revolution is a title he’s more than lived up to since. Less than a year after the Main Event, Chris finished 2nd at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars tournament, cashing for $200,000. In the same year, he also came close to making his second World Series final table when he finished 10th in the $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha event. Chris is also a regular face at PokerStars European Poker Tour events and has found success there too, earning $24,480 for a 17th place finish at EPT London in 2007. In September 2008, Chris made the final table of the $10,300 No Limit Hold’em event in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker, taking home $139,635. He then came painfully close to winning his second major title again, this time with a runner-up finish at the National Heads-Up Poker Championship in March 2011, good for $300,000.
When he’s not busy travelling the world on the poker circuit, Chris spends most of his free time with the family. He also has various business interests and published his autobiography in 2005. When he gets the chance, Chris likes playing a range of sports, especially golf, football and basketball.
Regardless of what Chris achieves in the future, he’ll always be remembered for that epic victory in 2003. It’s a legacy he is clearly proud of and one that’s given him the kind of life all poker players dream of.
Check out Chris’ official website here.
|2003 WSOP* $10,000 Main Event||May 2003||1st||$2,500,000|
|WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars $5,500 Main Event||March 2004||2nd||$200,000|
|2004 WSOP* $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha||May 2004||10th||$21,000|
|EPT London £5,200 No Limit Hold’em||September 2007||17th||$24,480|
|PokerStars WCOOP $10,300 No Limit Hold’em||September 2008||6th||$139,635|
|PCA Main Event||January 2011||11th||$130,000|
|National Heads-Up Poker Championship||March 2011||2nd||$300,000|
*World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Caesars License Company, LLC ("Caesars"). Caesars does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with PokerStars or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.
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