WSOP Event #2: I've got the monkey off my back, says Moneymaker
Chris Moneymaker's superb run during day one of the $40,000 no limit yesterday impressed not just because of his chip count (805,000), but for the manner in which he got there. Since we watched in awe when he won the WSOP main event in 2003, he'll be the first to admit his form since has been patchy.
Now, in a typically modest interview with the PokerStars Blog, Chris Moneymaker has revealed he understood and came to accept what the shortfalls in his game were - and has been working hard to improve them. And yesterday's performance showed just how far he'd come.
"I've been working on my game on PokerStars a lot because whenever I get chips in a tournament I play too fast and bluff them off. It was a real bad habit, so it's one key thing I have been working on - trying to slow down.
"I think I am better early in a tournament, but that counts for nothing when I would get too excited and play when I shouldn't, which meant I would get into bad spots. When the blinds get bigger and the antes are out there, I would think, 'Wow, look at those chips', and go after them when I shouldn't.
"As I said, that got me into bad spots and I'd lose my chips and momentum - and when I did that I had a second problem with my game... tilt. That's something else I've been working real hard on, and these kinks in my game are something I think I have got rid of now.
"I have a lot of fans, but I know I have a lot of knockers, too. You have to expect that, and they don't bother me. I feel I am a good player, and now that I have tried to improve further I think I can do well here. I've been really looking forward to this World Series because of that."
There was so much expectation on Moneymaker after he won the Main Event that he felt it contributed to the bad points in his game - being too aggressive and then tilting when things started to go wrong.
"Yes, winning the WSOP did create a monkey on my back for a while. But I learnt to live with that, and now I have tried to improve, I think it's gone and I can just let my poker do the talking."
He had some tough tables yesterday, facing off against the likes of fellow Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein and Ireland's Andy Black. And today he kicks off with another tough one, sitting alongside the likes of Doyle Brunson and Ted Forrest.
"But, hey, it's a $40,000 event - so it's bound to be tough," he said.
We said in yesterday's blog that Moneymaker was looking like a man who means business, and now we know he's been working on his game so much, we can see why he is so full of confidence.
You can follow his progress in day two right here today - and Chris will also be updating his Twitter page as often as he can.