If there is one person your grandmother knows in the poker world, it is Chris Moneymaker. If there is one person who single-handedly changed the poker world, it is Chris Moneymaker. If there is one person who is responsible for why you became a poker player instead of a lawyer like your mother wanted you to be, it is Chris Moneymaker. Sure, Moneymaker will not play in the same leagues as Ivey, but does it matter? Moneymaker is influential because he has that everyman quality. As he makes a deep run at the PCA Main Event, we stopped to ponder the man who changed poker forever.
APPT Macau 2009
Unlike the majority of tournament poker pros the world over, Moneymaker is not a huge traveler. Granted, he is such a marquee name that he does get to pick and choose from only the best events. He did, however, make it all the way to Macau in 2009 for APPT Macau. The jet lag almost killed him, but if I remember correctly, he did end up having a fantastic time in the Orient.
EPT Grand Final 2010
The last big tournament I remember Moneymaker going deep in was at the 2010 Grand Final in Monte Carlo. Now, granted, I do not remember where he actually busted, but whenever his name is on the leaderboard, everyone suddenly pays just a little bit more attention to what is going on. It really is an amazing thing to witness. It is almost like everyone wants him to do well because it means they, too, can do well.
Moneymaker is easily one of the most approachable people in poker by a long ways, however most people do not know he is also one of the most self-deprecating. Moneymaker seems to be more than aware of the Cinderella quality his story has, so he is willing to poke a little fun at both himself and the game that has brought him so much fame. Here he is at the 2010 World Series of Poker clowning around as some fellow poker pros giving Lynn Gilmartin their best poker faces.
WSOP PokerStars Party
Moneymaker is just one of the WSOP Main Event Champions in the PokerStars stable. However, he takes his responsibility as brand ambassador pretty seriously, even when that means having to go to fantastic Las Vegas parties to watch Snoop Dogg perform for the poker world’s elite. Poor Moneymaker. I know I wax poetically about players sometimes, but Moneymaker seems genuinely blessed to be where he is, and it more than shows when dealing with him - even when I try to get him to rap.
Over the past few days at the PCA, everyone has gotten a little more excited as Moneymaker keeps edging up and up in the chip counts. Another major title has alluded him since his fantastic 2003 Main Event Title, yet he cannot be written off. He openly admits he is constantly working on his game and that he is a better player now than in 2003. However, the question remains: does he have it in him to take down the 2011 PCA Main Event? We will have to wait and see.