WSOP 2013: Ten years, two faces, one Moneymaker

There are two Chris Moneymakers, and these days, it's rare they meet. They're two men operating in different worlds. They're of the same matter and soul, but they live in different realms.

You know this one.

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That's Chris Moneymaker today as he plays the 2013 WSOP Main Event, a muted celebration of the ten year anniversary of his landmark 2003 victory. His face is stoic, if betraying just a little misery at finding no foothold in the first half of the day. This is the face--give or take--that we've seen for the past decade, a sort of living single-headed Mt. Rushmore monument to the day poker changed forever.

Those who have known him since have seen the face change some since his younger days, but it's still largely the same. His was a unknown poker face that became the face of poker.

Say what you will about how nice it must be to be this Moneymaker. Say what you will about how you would trade positions with this Moneymaker today. You very well might, and there's nothing wrong with that.

After all, some ten years ago, Moneymaker would likely agree that this was the only version of him. He was a man who lived for action, who loved to be in the thick of it, who bounced from game to game, and sprung enough leaks to break any levee. It was the only Moneymaker Chris Moneymaker had.

But today, if you look at the 2003 champ's Twitter feed, you will find scare evidence of the Moneymaker you've come to know. This second Moneymaker is still a poker player. He's still a pro. He's still making a living. But all that other stuff--that stoic face, that frustration, that grinder's stare--is all gone.

And when you take all of that away, you are left with faces that look like this.



That's the everyday Moneymaker, the family man, the man who refuses to make his job his life. You might think he spends weeks here in the summer, grinding poker, playing cash at night, and succumbing to leaks. He doesn't do that, and really never has. In fact, he's never played more than eight events in any WSOP.

He wrote about it a couple of weeks ago here on the PokerStars Blog. In that post, he talked about wanting to be at home for his kids' summer vacation, and he admitted something you might think is antithetical to a poker pro's mission.

"If I did try to play the entire Series, I'd probably either go insane or not like poker very much anymore or both," he wrote. "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."

And so he comes out here. He plays the Main. He celebrates ten years of a champion's legacy. All the while, he thinks about the time he can be the other Moneymaker, because when he's a home he doesn't need a poker face.

Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging. Photos courtesy Poker Photo Archive.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker