Still picking my spots ten years later

I'm writing from poolside right now, watching the kids swimming and enjoying some down time. I suspect you'll e reading this while I'm on a family vacation before I go back for the Main Event in July.

When I look at the WSOP schedule each year, I tend to prefer playing the non-hold'em games, especially tourneys involving a mix of games like H.O.R.S.E. or the 8-game. Unfortunately it doesn't look like the schedule has much beyond no-limit hold'em during the week I'm going out in June, but I'll be playing a few events nonetheless.

People might be surprised to hear I don't go out and grind the WSOP start-to-finish. In fact, I never have. I get asked every summer, people wanting to know "Why aren't you out in Vegas?" when the WSOP is going on. But the truth is, I've never been too interested in spending all summer playing at the Series. In fact, the most events I ever played at the WSOP was eight in 2004, and since then I've always only played about 3-4 events each year.


One of the great things about being a poker professional is being able to pick when and where you play. To be honest Las Vegas isn't really my favorite place in the world to go spend weeks and weeks playing poker. Especially during the first part of the summer when my kids are just getting out of school, for me to take off for a couple of months to go to Las Vegas isn't really something I want to do.

Don't get me wrong. Vegas has a lot to offer for some people, including a lot of great places to eat and shows and so on. I've been to some shows but I'm not too big into that, nor am I really into the night life, being a married man. All things considered, I prefer going to places like London or Monte Carlo or Barcelona where there's a lot more that is interesting for me to do besides playing poker or gambling.

If I did try to play the entire Series, I'd probably either go insane or not like poker very much anymore or both. Especially if I bricked off. You hear stories every summer about a pro playing all summer and never cashing or min-cashing once or twice. That's not too appealing to me, and I don't think I'd handle it very well.

It's probably better for me in terms of my poker EV, anyway, not to play all summer. By the time the Main Event rolls around, most players who have been out there for the entire Series are pretty drained, while I'm usually pretty fresh and eager to play.

The WSOP is such a unique event, though. Besides going on so long, it's also the only tournament series all year for which people notice if you happen not to be there.

I've heard some rumors there might be some sort of recognition or something to do with it being the 10th anniversary of my 2003 Main Event win, which is very cool and of which I know I'll be appreciative.

All of which is to say, while I won't be spending all summer in Vegas, I look forward to being out there some and picking my spots... as I usually do.

Chris Moneymaker is a member of Team PokerStars Pro

Chris Moneymaker
@PokerStars in Chris Moneymaker