Chris Moneymaker: From Degen Gambler to Taking Minimal Risks

9 months ago
Chris Moneymaker: From Degen Gambler to Taking Minimal Risks
25 Feb

This year marks 15 years since Chris Moneymaker won $2.5 million in the WSOP Main Event after earning a seat to the big dance via an online satellite at PokerStars.

The former accountant, who admits to being a degenerate gambler and often broke during his college days at the University of Tennessee, quickly put those degen habits behind him after becoming a poker millionaire. Moneymaker went so far as to not spend even a dime of his riches for a full five months following the 2003 victory that brought hordes of new players to the game.

“I didn’t buy anything, I put it in the bank," Moneymaker told the Independent. "I said: ‘I don’t want to f*** this up.’ I’d seen all of those stories about lottery winners who lost all of their money in a few years."

How many degen gamblers do you know that would be able to sit on $2.5 million for almost half a year? Moneymaker did it, and continued working as an accountant during that time.

Two Cashes, Two Big Scores

But crunching numbers and balancing ledgers for a living eventually took a back seat to the lure of poker. If the WSOP victory wasn't enough to convince Chris that poker was his destiny, perhaps his next live cash did the trick.

In March of 2004, a 2nd place finish at the $5,200 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars added another $200,000 to his burgeoning bankroll. In the ensuing years, Moneymaker has cashed for another $1 million, putting his live winnings to date at $3,704,161.

A lot of the tournaments Chris enters are events with buy-ins of just a few hundred dollars or so. Not what you might typically see from a former WSOP Main Event champ, and a former degen gambler to boot.

"I don’t like risk, and I’ve nothing left to prove," Moneymaker said. "I work with PokerStars and get a bunch of great opportunities, I live the life I want, and I’m happy.”

A simple and happy poker-playing life.

Articles 788

Charles is a Chicago native and long time poker player who dusted off his journalism degree and began writing about poker following the events of Black Friday in 2011. He has written for a number of leading poker websites, offering his insights and expertise on subjects ranging from online poker leg...Read more


You need to be logged in to post a new comment

No Comments found.