WSOP Main Event Day 1A: The Moneymaker effect


What to do with a post about Chris Moneymaker? Can we really get away with saying how he changed the nature of the game, again? Can we really talk of the thousands of players around the world; millions in fact, that now play poker online? Can we joke about his appropriate surname? The folksy charm of the former Tennessee accountant who won a $39 satellite, a seat to the Main Event, which he then won, becoming the first World Champion to have won his seat online?

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Chris Moneymaker

No, no need to say all that again. It was seven years ago. Seven years for Moneymaker to take it easy while the world got to grips with the "Moneymaker Effect."

Well, not quite. Since his historic win that day Moneymaker has strapped himself in to life of representing PokerStars, and chalking up some more results in major events around the world. Right now those winnings add up to more than $3 million.

So has life since 2003 taken anything from his competitive sprit? Does he still play tournaments with the same attitude and a desire to win?

"Of course," said Moneymaker. "Otherwise what's the point? Although I liked my chances a lot better two hands ago."

Moneymaker had just played back to back hands, losing a few thousand in each of them, to take his stack down to around 30,000. In the first his top two pairs were beaten by a set of fours. Then, in the next, he was forced to fold a straight to an ace-high flush.

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He's making progress, up to 49,200 right now, a similar start to his winning campaign. While you or I might not remember where we left the car keys or the remote, Moneymaker recalls everything with crystal clarity.

"There were two hands," said Moneymaker. "I re-raised with fives to a button raise - queens called me. The flop came J-5-3 and then the money went in."

It got better that day.

"Later, when I had lots of chips, I called a raise with sevens. The flop was J-7-5. Then I got into a raising war with aces."

The result, a big stack. Big enough to carry Moneymaker through five days of play and 837 other players. A king-high bluff and that last full house against runner-up Sam Farha and the rest, as we've said again and again, is history.

"My overriding feeling was nerves," said Moneymaker, recalling day he walked into day one of the Main Event for the first time."I'm always nervous for the main event. It's a special feeling and I'm up for it every year."

It's a feeling many players will have experienced this morning and will do so for each day they're alive in the big one. And after busting early on some rough hands last year, Moneymaker was clear on his intentions in 2010.

"This year I'm here to go deep."



"Where is the Amazon Room?" --Woman standing outside Amazon Room next to a sign that read "Amazon Room"



@RealKidPoker: "Its like 110 degrees out today I'm wearing jeans and a black shirt walking from Caesars to Palms. #reallybadidea"



Fat content in one Sasquatch Big Stick beef jerky available free to media: 26 grams


As a table is broken from the blue section and the nine players are scattered across the room:

"Please go to your new table as fast as humanly possible. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200."



Michelle Timbrook from Kingman, Arizona, reading a book while her husband plays a side event at the Rio.


Players are streaming out of the Amazon Room, having lost their 30,000 in double quick time. That means there are a lot of phone-calls being made home detailing the elimination. Here are a few overheard snippets:

"...but I didn't have a spade and there's three spades on the board..."

" I shoved, he called, and he had a set of queens..."

"...I go all in, he calls, and the river is the nine of f*****g clubs."


Who do you know who is playing the World Series of Poker who qualified on PokerStars? Let us know all about your friend/family member and we'll do our best to bring you information of their progress here in Vegas.

Write to with their name, their starting table (if possible) and a few nuggets of information about them and we can pass on any message of support, try to get a photo of them on the blog, and tell the world how they're doing.

Hear from you soon.