WSOP Classic Moments – Chris Moneymaker Starts the “Poker Boom” by Winning 2003 Main Event
If you are a poker fan, then you know all about the 2003 WSOP Main Event. A Tennessee accountant, Chris Moneymaker, turned an online satellite into $2.5 Million. The 2003 Main Event was the largest field in Main Event history to that point with 839 players.
The final table of the Main Event included several named players and a former world champion. The 1995 Main Event Champion, Dan Harrington, joined professionals Sam Farha, Amir Vahedi, David Singer, David Grey and Jason Lester in the quest to take this title.
Harrington finished in 3rd place to leave heads-up play between Farha and Moneymaker. Moneymaker had a huge chip lead when the final hand went down between the two. Moneymaker held 4-5 offsuit and called a pre-flop raise from Farha who held J-10 offsuit. Farha bet out 175,000 on a flop of Js-5s-4c and Moneymaker raised 300,000. Farha moved all-in and Moneymaker snap-called with his two pair. The turn fell 8d, missing both players. The river then fell the 5h to give Moneymaker a full house and history is made.
After the Main Event, Chris Moneymaker became the every man of poker and players from all over the world flocked to both live and online poker rooms to “play the game Moneymaker plays.” The subsequent exodus into poker was called the “Poker Boom” and lead to much of what you now see in the poker world.
A few months after his Main Event win, Moneymaker finished 2nd at the Bay 101 WPT event. Since that time, Moneymaker has not made much of an impact on the poker world. He has a few modest cashes and a win in a PLO event at the World Poker Open in July 2009.
While Moneymaker may not have set the world on fire with his play since the 2003 WSOP, his win during the 2003 Main Event sparked a new generation of Moneymaker’s and has helped to bring poker into the mainstream.