Chris Moneymaker Leaves PokerStars After 17 Years3 weeks ago
2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion and Poker Hall of Famer Chris Moneymaker has announced that he is ending his sponsorship deal with PokerStars, effective immediately.
Moneymaker announced the news in a minute-long video posted on his @CMONEYMAKER Twitter account:
“I will be leaving PokerStars effective immediately,” Moneymaker said. “I’m going to be at home more and play a little bit less poker potentially.”
The popular Moneymaker also noted that he hadn’t traveled at all since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, and the continuing lack of live-poker opportunities surely impacted the mutual benefits of the sponsorship deal.
“I want to thank everybody at PokerStars. It’s been an amazing 17 years.I was able to travel the world and play poker. I met a ton of wonderful people… . I want to wish everybody well at PokerStars. It’s been a great company to work for.”
PokerStars offered the following via social media, soon after Moneymaker’s tweet:
The announcements end a 17-year relationship between Moneymaker and PokerStars that effectively began with his industry-changing 2003 win. Moneymaker famously won his way into the Main Event through an online PokerStars satellite, then topped a star-laden final to etch his name into poker history. His all-in, heads-up bluff against eventual runner-up Sammy Farha remains one of the game’s most legendary hands.
In the wake of his 2003 triumph, he and his name became the unofficial moniker for the rapid growth of online poker in the early and mid-’00s. What is now known as the “Moneymaker Effect” humanized a part of what fueled the game’s rapid growth, in that a former accountant and amateur player from Tennessee could take on the best of the poker world and emerge a champion and a millionaire, inspiring untold others to try to do the same.
While Moneymaker claimed sole responsibility for ending his relationship with PokerStars, it’s also possible that the site and parent company Flutter Entertainment wanted to keep him on, but at a significantly reduced rate too low for Moneymaker to accept. Other players have left PokerStars after having been offered such cuts, notably including Moneymaker’s successor as the WSOP Main Event world champ, 2004 winner Greg Raymer. PokerStars could have wanted to keep Moneymaker on in some form because of his enduring name value, but sometimes changing market conditions can end even the most friendly business relationships. Moneymaker’s 17-year run with PokerStars will nonetheless go down as one of the longest sponsorship relationships in online poker history.
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