Chris Moneymaker ready for risky WSOP experiment

teampro-thumb.JPGThis could end in disaster, and nobody seems to recognize it. While everyone is smiling and doing a happy dance about tonight's World Series of Poker grudge matches, no one is paying attention to the metaphysical ramifications of what could happen. It will serve them all right if they end up raptured into the ether before Friday's sunrise.

If you've been under a rock (and, let's face it, if you aren't worried about getting disappeared by all of this, you must be), tonight the WSOP is hosting some made-for-TV grudge matches in which some of the most famous heads-up battles in WSOP main event history get replayed. On offer for the masses will be fights between Erik Seidel and Johnny Chan, Chan and Phil Hellmuth, and Chris Moneymaker and Sammy Farha.

Oh, it all seems in good fun, doesn't it? Moneymaker joked, "Even though I'm agreeing to run it again against Sammy, I have been assured they can't take away my title if my bluffs don't work as well this time."

Sure, laugh it up, but what if...well, just consider this for a moment.

It's been an odd time in the poker world recently. It's sometimes hard to figure out what's going to happen next. So, consider for a moment the ramifications of a Moneymaker loss.

It goes without saying that had Moneymaker not put Farha in his place back in 2003, I wouldn't be writing this blog. Those of you who read this blog wouldn't be reading it or have much reason to, probably. You'd likely be reading about basketball or hockey. All of those people planning to play the main event this year? You think they would be showing up if Moneymaker hadn't done his thing eight years ago?


So, I'm not saying it's probable. Maybe the bad side of a coinflip. But, what if...what in the holy hell if a Moneymaker loss sends us back to 2003? How would you like that, you marketing wizards of the WSOP?

Oh, 2003 was a grand year up until May, wasn't it? Fewer than 1,000 people in the main event. Robert Varkonyi as the reigning champ (no offense, Robbie, but come on...). No WSOP Poker Kitchen nachos. Hell, no Poker Kitchen at all. My heavens, I played $1-$5 Stud in Atlantic City in 2003. The horror...

And now we're chancing going back to that time? Are we mad? Are we all such degenerates that we think this gamble is going to be fun?

I'm not so worried about the other matches. If Seidel wins, what? Mike McD doesn't get all motivated and ends up graduating law school instead of spotting Oreo cookie tells? Chan beats Hellmuth? I could do with a world that didn't include an insufferable brat.

But if--even if it's only ceremonial--we give that cigarette-dangling poster boy for swarthy a bracelet, well, we might as well be playing Russian Roulette with our poker existences. We might as well move back to Binion's and play out the Main Event in a few days. We might as well tell Jack Link's it can keep it's dehydrated meat products.

So, good luck tonight, Chris. I mean that in the most sincere way possible. Beat Sammy Farha and save us all from our near-certain peril. I can't go back to playing $1-5 Stud in AC and you certainly don't want to be an accountant again.

Please, Chris. Save us from ourselves and beat Sammy Farha like a bad dog tonight. Next beer is on me if you do.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Team PokerStars Pro