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Chris Moneymaker

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Chris Moneymaker
Moneymaker at the 2006 World Series of Poker
ResidenceNashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Born (1975-11-21) November 21, 1975 (age 48)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S
World Series of Poker
Money finish(es)9
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
Winner, 2003
World Poker Tour
Final table(s)1[2]
Money finish(es)2
European Poker Tour
Final table(s)None
Money finish(es)3[3]
Information accurate as of 10 July 2022.

Christopher Bryan Moneymaker (born November 21, 1975) is an American poker player who won the Main Event at the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP).[3] His 2003 win is said to have revolutionized poker because he was the first person to become a world champion after qualifying at an online poker site.[4] This has been referred to in the press as the "Moneymaker effect".[5]

Early life


Moneymaker was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended Farragut High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, and later earned a master's degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee.[4] After receiving his master's degree, Moneymaker worked as a controller. He was also a part-time employee at a local restaurant, in Spring Hill, Tennessee.[4]

Moneymaker claimed that his ancestors made silver and gold coins and chose the name "Moneymaker" as a modification of their German last name, "Nurmacher".[6]

Poker career


World Series of Poker


Moneymaker was working as an accountant when he won a seat in the Main Event of the 2003 World Series of Poker through an $86 satellite tournament at the PokerStars online poker card room. Although largely unknown prior to the tournament, on day one of the tournament his skills caught the attention of professional sports handicapper Lou Diamond, who called Moneymaker his "dark horse to win the whole tournament."[7] Moneymaker went on to win the first prize of $2.5 million, instantly garnering poker superstar status. The 2003 WSOP Main Event was his first live poker tournament. One of Moneymaker's most memorable hands was heads-up against Sam Farha, when on the river he bluffed "all in" with King high. Farha folded a pair of nines, quickly changing the momentum of the match. Moneymaker eventually won the tournament when his 5 4 beat Farha's J 10 on a board of J 5 4 8 5, giving Moneymaker a full house (5 5 5 4 4) to Farha's two pairs (J J 5 5 10). After winning the Main Event, he quit his job to serve as a celebrity spokesman for Series owner Harrah's Entertainment as well as PokerStars. He also started his own company, Moneymaker Gaming,[4] and began traveling to play in more numerous and larger buy-in tournaments.

His autobiography, Moneymaker: How an Amateur Poker Player Turned $40 into $2.5 Million at the World Series of Poker was published in March 2005. Eric Raskin, editor of All In Magazine, compiled an oral history of the 2003 WSOP Main Event, which included input from three dozen top poker personalities who were involved, also titled The "Moneymaker Effect."[8] As part of Moneymaker's success, it appears that Moneymaker misremembered the buy-in to the satellite that he won on PokerStars, leading to the error in the title of his autobiography, which refers to winning a $40 satellite, rather than the correct figure of $86.[9]

Other poker tournaments


On the World Poker Tour, Moneymaker finished second at the 2004 Shooting Stars event and won $200,000.[2]

During Event 5 of the 2008 World Championship of Online Poker, which was a $10,300 buy-in of No Limit Hold'em, Moneymaker finished in sixth place, taking home over $139,000. He also did well in Event 16, the $215 Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys, where he finished fifth, earning over $28,000.

Moneymaker won the Deep Stack Pot Limit Omaha event of the World Poker Open tournament in July 2009 and won $15,889.[10]

Moneymaker placed 11th in the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event, earning $130,000.[11]

In 2011 Moneymaker placed second at the National Heads Up Poker Tournament against Erik Seidel, earning $300,000.[3]

As of 2022, his total live tournament winnings exceed $3,950,000,[3] over $2,550,000 of which has come from the World Series of Poker.[1]

In 2019, Moneymaker was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.[12]

Personal life


Moneymaker has been married twice. He and his first wife divorced in 2004; in an interview for a 10-year retrospective on the 2003 WSOP Main Event, he said "The main reason was me wanting to be a traveling poker pro. She didn't sign up for that life. She was married to a stay-at-home accountant who was not traveling the world, gone all the time, and gambling a lot of money. And it was a choice I had to make. I tried to be good, stay at my job, and be that accountant, but in all honesty I didn't want to."[13] With his first wife, Moneymaker has a daughter.[4] He married again in 2005.[citation needed] As of 2021, they live just outside of Memphis, Tennessee.[14]


  • Moneymaker: How an Amateur Poker Player Turned $40 into $2.5 Million at the World Series of Poker (2005) ISBN 0-06-076001-X
  • Chris Moneymaker: A True Story, Graphic Novel (2015)


  1. ^ a b "Chris Moneymaker". WSOP.com. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  2. ^ a b "Chris Moneymaker". World Poker Tour. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  3. ^ a b c d "Chris Moneymaker's profile on The Hendon Mob". The Hendon Mob Poker Database.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Chris Moneymaker - money800 - Poker Player - PokerListings.com". Pokerlistings. Archived from the original on August 22, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  5. ^ PokerNews.com: The Moneymaker Effect: Five Years Later May 23, 2008
  6. ^ Levy, Don Riddell,Glen (November 17, 2021). "The Moneymaker Effect: Meet the man who helped change the fortunes of poker overnight". CNN. Retrieved May 24, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Moneymaker, Chris; Paisner, Daniel (February 2005). Moneymaker: How an Amateur Poker Player Turned $40 into $2.5 Million at the World Series of Poker, pg 99-101. HarperCollins. ISBN 9780060760014. Retrieved July 1, 2009.
  8. ^ Raskin, Eric (August 3, 2014). "Interview with All In Magazine Editor and Moneymaker Effect". Cardplayer Lifestyle Poker. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  9. ^ Willis, Brad (February 16, 2016). "The Moneymaker Boom that almost wasn't". PokerStars. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  10. ^ "2009 Gold Strike World Poker Open, Pot Limit Omaha". The Hendon Mob. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
  11. ^ "2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure - PokerNews". www.pokernews.com. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  12. ^ "Chris Moneymaker and David Oppenheim Inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame". www.pokernews.com. July 16, 2019. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  13. ^ Raskin, Eric (May 22, 2013). "When We Held Kings". Grantland.com. Archived from the original on June 8, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  14. ^ "Whatever Happened to Chris Moneymaker?". www.gambling911.com. Retrieved April 21, 2022.