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The Bernard Lee Poker Show 11-17: 2003 WSOP Champion, Chris Moneymaker

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Happy New Year Everyone!

In this episode of The Bernard Lee Poker Show on the PokerNews Podcast Network, Bernard Lee interviews the man who changed poker forever, the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion, Chris Moneymaker.

Incredibly, last year, Chris celebrated his 15th anniversary of his epic victory over Sammy Farha. Bernard speaks exclusively to Chris as they reminisce about his 2003 WSOP Main Event victory. Additionally, Bernard speaks with Chris about the 2018 Moneymaker PSPC Tour in which Pokerstars gave away multiple seats to the $25,000 Pokerstars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC), which will be held next week at the 2019 Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure at the Atlantis Casino in the Bahamas.

Show Time Stamps

0:00Welcome to The Bernard Lee Poker Show as this week’s guest will be 2003 WSOP Main Event Champion, Chris Moneymaker.
1:55Chris Moneymaker joins the show and wishes everyone a Happy New Year.
2:19Chris discusses how he felt about the 2018 Moneymaker PSPC Tour. “The tour was obviously phenomenal. Originally, the tour was going to give away one (Platinum) pass…but that ended up morphing and we gave a Pass away at every single stop, which was phenomenal.”
3:52Chris discusses the inaugural $25,000 Pokerstars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC), which will be held next week at the 2019 Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) at the Atlantis Casino in the Bahamas. “I’m definitely looking forward to a very fun week and a half in the Bahamas and hopefully a profitable one.”
5:26Bernard recalls funny story of how he introduced his wife to Chris at the PCA years ago.
7:11RunGood Gear Ad
7:55Bernard welcomes back Chris Moneymaker to the show.
9:21Chris explains what he thinks about the 2003 WSOP Main Event being 15 years ago.
10:34Chris discusses eliminating Phil Ivey on the 2003 WSOP Main Event final table bubble. “If he takes me out, then it’s not Ivey is the guy who took out Moneymaker, probably Ivey the guy who won the (2003) World Series (of Poker Main Event).”
12:30Chris recalls qualifying for the 2003 WSOP Main Event online on Pokerstars, but found out that it was a $86 buy-in from a single-table sit-n-go, not a $39 two-table satellite seat as he previously thought. “And I wrote a whole book about it being $39.”
14:10Chris discusses the initial concept of the 2018 Moneymaker PSPC Tour, before the tour was officially announced during the 2018 WSOP.
14:33Bernard and Chris continue to discuss how Chris almost purposely didn’t win his satellite seat into the 2003 WSOP Main Event, trying to take the bubble money prize to pay off his credit card debt.
17:55Chris describes his thought process heading into his first live poker tournament, the 2003 WSOP Main Event. “Honestly, I felt like if I’m starting with 10,000 chips…I thought I could literally fold for two days and (almost) make the money. I knew I was going to play really, really tight, and only play hands that made the nuts, and play in position. That was my strategy.”
19:06Chris recalls Day 1 of the 2003 WSOP Main Event. “I finished the day with 60,000. Flopped three sets and all three, the guy had an over pair. And the good thing about 2003 is no one ever laydown an over pair. No one ever believed that you had a hand and whenever they had an over pair, they just stuck it all-in.”
19:28Bernard and Chris reminisce about the play when the WSOP gave you the same number of chips as your buy-in. Therefore, the Main Event gave you 10,000 in chips, but some of the preliminaries gave you only 1,000 chips to begin. “You lose your first hand, you were super short.”
23:11Chris remembers the few players that he recognized in 2003. “It was a different time. You don’t have social media and live reporting isn’t really a thing…So I knew three names. I knew Doyle Brunson because of Super System, Phil Hellmuth and Johnny Chan, just because of Rounders.”
25:50Chris recalls how players viewed online poker players back in 2003. “You were a second-class citizen…Internet poker wasn’t poker…Poker was a face-to-face game with tells and reading people.”
27:08Chris remembers playing with and eventually knocking out Johnny Chan. This elimination helped him gain confidence during the 2003 WSOP Main Event.
29:27Chris recollects the memorable hand shown on ESPN in which he forgot he still had a hand versus Johnny Chan and Howard Lederer.
33:08Share My Pair Ad
33:40 Cabot Cheese/Creamery Ad
34:11Bernard continues his exclusive interview with the 2003 WSOP Main Event Champion, Chris Moneymaker.
35:36Chris recalls the vibe in Benny’s Bullpen where the 2003 WSOP Main Event was held. “The buzz was quite unique.”
37:02Chris discusses the fact that most people didn’t know he won the 2003 WSOP Main Event until it was shown on ESPN.
39:40Chris contemplates whether no day break before the final table was beneficial for him during the 2003 WSOP Main Event. “Everybody at the final table was really tired, me being the youngest guy at the table, I probably had the most stamina.”
40:03Chris didn’t like the November Nine concept. “When you come back and you play the November Nine, you got months to go hire coaches, analyze hands and look at people on TV and you just change your whole playing style. When you come back in November, you not the same player that got to the final table.”
45:42Chris states what the Poker Hall of Fame would mean to him. “Honestly, I could care less. Again, it’s not going to change my life one bit if I was in the Hall of Fame or not.”
47:04Chris discusses his transition to live poker after Black Friday and today he enjoys playing live poker.
48:57Chris explains why he decided to work with Chip Leader Coaching, specifically Joe McKeehen. “It’s helped me find some of my weaknesses and try to work on those.”
51:29Chris describes his excitement to play the WSOP Main Event again, but he doesn’t play that much during the summer as this timeframe is his vacation with his family.

Let us know what you think of the show - tweet about the podcast using #BernardLeePokerShow, and be sure to follow @BernardLeePoker on Twitter or Instagram.

You can follow Chris Moneymaker on Twitter @CMoneymaker.

The Bernard Lee Poker Show is now available on iTunes.

Don't forget to subscribe to the PokerNews podcast on iTunes here.

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  • LISTEN:The Bernard Lee Poker Show's exclusive interview w/2003 WSOP Main Event Champ Chris Moneymaker

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