It's a quiet time for me right now, poker-wise. I've been in Toronto lately, playing on PokerStars and kind of biding my time until things start getting busy again. I've played on Full Tilt some as well, enjoying a couple of FTOPS events including the 25-game mixed event which has forced me to figure out what the heck Irish Poker is.
Meanwhile I've been planning my schedule for the fall and winter. I'll be coming back up here to my apartment in September to play the WCOOP for sure. I'll play a pretty full schedule -- as many events as possible. After that I'm going to play the UKIPT Isle of Man in October, then the BSOP Millions in Brazil in November and EPT Prague in December. Then it'll be the PCA in January, so I've got my schedule laid out for the next six months or so.
I continue to be involved with the play money games on PokerStars as well. In fact we're working on some new ideas for those games -- some promotions and other ways of pushing the envelope a little there. They just came out with the "Billionaires Club" for play money players on PokerStars and I'm a member. As I've written about before, those "high-stakes" play money games really do play like real money games.
When I'm not playing I've also been reading this new book that just came out this summer. It's about a subject with which I'm a little bit familiar -- The Moneymaker Effect by Eric Raskin.
The book expands on Raskin's long Grantland article about the 2003 WSOP Main Event. If you read that article you know he compiled lots of interviews of people who were involved in the WSOP that year. The book adds a few more interviews along with some "real time" updates of what various people were thinking as things were playing out. There's also more in there about the history of poker to put that year in context as far as what was going on in poker before and then afterwards, too.
It's pretty interesting to read what others have to say about that year -- about my play, about the tournament in general, about everything that was going on with Binion's, and everything else.
Besides my story, there were so many incredible personalities involved at the final table that year, too -- people like Amir Vahedi and Dan Harrington and Sam Farha and everyone else -- that made the Main Event even more interesting and memorable for a lot of people.
You don't see that so much these days with the Main Event, where most of the final tables have been younger online guys who are a little more reserved. And of course the whole dynamic between Sam and myself, being so different -- basically polar opposites -- made things fun, too. Sam was definitely the Vegas grinder, the typical pro, and people didn't know as much about poker back then which made his personality even more interesting.
But truthfully every seat at that final table was filled with an interesting character. It was kind of the perfect storm, and it really hasn't happened since.
If you are looking for some summer reading and want to find out more about that 2003 WSOP, I definitely recommend Raskin's book. He uses all of the interviews well, and it's a good way to tell the story. I remember when I did my book back then, I didn't really know how to reach out to people and get their takes. I'm glad he was able to do that and include all of those different perspectives.
It's probably the best way to write poker history -- to try to talk to everyone involved and get all of those different views like Raskin did. I don't think there's any other poker book like it.
Maybe there will be in the future, though. If there is, they can call it The Moneymaker Effect effect.
Chris Moneymaker is a member of Team PokerStars Pro