The Chris Moneymaker story is common poker lore. Chris played in a satellite event on an online poker site and won a seat at the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. Moneymaker hadn’t played in a live Texas No-Limit Hold’em tournament before the main event.
Chris Moneymaker was an accountant by trade with a knack for the game and the numbers. He won the main event over a field of 839 players and took the first-place prize of $2.5 million. Word spread like wildfire about this huge underdog winning. It was a true to life Rocky type story.
After Moneymaker’s victory a huge number of players entered the game. They were searching for fame and fortune by playing the elusive and fickle game of poker.
The 839 players at the main event more than tripled to 2,576 players in 2004. The entrants ramped up to over 8,700 players by 2006.
The explosion in Texas No-Limit Hold’em interest after 2003 helped coin the phrase: The Chris Moneymaker Effect.
It was a major inflection point in the participants at the main event (a bellwether of player interest).
Note: An inflection point is when the direction of a curve changes dramatically.
Poker books, hole cams, RFID Technology, the internet & cell phones and the Chris Moneymaker Effect have all contributed to the explosion of interest in poker. However, in 2006 the winds of change started blowing through the poker landscape. These changes were significant.
In the next Blog we will Explore the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and Black Friday in poker.
I was very fortunate to meet and talk with Chris Moneymaker at the Texas Card House in 2019. He is a really great guy and a strong promoter of Texas No-Limit Hold'em!
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