Though from Atlanta, GA., Chris Moneymaker spent most of his formative years in the great state of Tennessee. He graduated from the state’s university with a master’s degree in accounting and began working in the industry, playing online poker in his spare time. He never imagined he would go on to become one of the most important people in the professional poker world.
The story of his quick rise to success is one that has been told many times, but still deserves to be told again. In 2003, Chris entered a $39 satellite on PokerStars and won. This gave him a seat in a larger satellite, one that had a World Series Main Event package within reach. Chris won that also, and was soon heading off to Las Vegas to play in what was to be his first live tournament. The rest really is history. Against all predictions, Chris made it to the final table and went on to claim the gold bracelet, winning prize money of $2.5M.
His adventure initiated a tidal wave of interest in poker, a phenomenon that’s been nicknamed the ‘Moneymaker Effect’. Inspired by the story of how an amateur managed to beat hundreds of world-class players and earn a huge cash prize, millions of people began playing on line and in card rooms across the planet. For Chris himself, being the man responsible for kick-starting the poker revolution is a title he’s more than lived up to ever since. Less than a year after the Main Event, Chris finished 2nd at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars tournament, collecting a prize of $200,000. In the same year, he also came close to making his second World Series final table when he finished 10th in the $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha event. In September 2008, Chris made the final table of the $10,300 No Limit Texas Hold’em event in the PokerStars World Championship of On line Poker, taking home $139,635.
When he’s not busy traveling the world on the poker circuit, Chris spends most of his off time with his family. He also has various business ventures and published his autobiography in 2005. When he gets the chance, Chris likes playing a variety of sports, specifically golf, football and basketball.
Regardless of what Chris accomplishes in the future, he’ll always be remembered for that epic win in 2003. It’s a legacy he takes much pride in and one that’s given him the kind of life all poker players dream of.