Many people have commented that the first time they heard the name “Chris Moneymaker”, they thought it was a joke! Far from being a joke, Chris Moneymaker is now an icon whose name is well known in the annals of Texas Hold’em Poker.
Chris is the first person to win the prestigious World Series of Poker (WSOP) Tournament by qualifying on the Internet. In fact, the first actual table game he played was at the WSOP. Before participating in the WSOP, his poker playing was limited to three years of activity online where he qualified for his seat at pokerstars.com.
Chris, an accountant at the time, was up against Ihsan “Sam” Farha in the final round. Each of the two men was accompanied by his good luck charm. Chris held his good luck crystal and Sam had his good luck tiger figurine. The No Limit Texas Hold’em Poker God smiled on Chris that day by giving him the full house winning hand of three fives and two fours – in addition to the Championship Title at the 34th annual World Series of Poker – along with the top prize of $2.5 million.
Since his big win and catapult into celebrity status, what is Chris Moneymaker doing now? And what advice does he have for the rest of us?
Chris had his life story – “Moneymaker” by Chris Moneymaker – ghostwritten for him and published by Harper Collins Book Publishers. Chapter One entitled “Easy Money” starts with an interesting Chinese Proverb we should all take to heart. “At the gambling table, there are no fathers and sons”.
In his autobiography, he reveals learning to play all kinds of card games from the age of seven on. These were taught to him by his Knoxville Grandma on weekend visits to her home. Chris, along with his six year old brother Jeff, learned to play bridge, hearts, spades, gin and cribbage.
He states he has approached several different producers regarding making a movie about his life and there is some interest in this project – but this has been relegated to being worked on “down the road”.
Chris plans to spend some more time with his family as well as promoting PokerStars and Canadian Club whiskey. He also plans to play in approximately six tournaments a year and is running his own company which deals in the sale of poker chips and poker related accessories.
His advice to those who wish to earn their living attempting to become a poker star: “Don’t quite your day job.” Chris wants us to be aware that although the world of poker is a glamorous world indeed, it takes a great deal of time, money, sponsors and endorsements to become a poker professional. In addition, the skills needed are the ability to read people, a very good memory and well developed math ability.