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How did Chris Moneymaker win the World Series of Poker in 2003?

For those who do not know the story, Chris Moneymaker was a Tennessee-based 27-year old accountant who played a $39 poker game on PokerStars that led him to winning 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event and taking home $2.5 million. It was probably the most notable win in the history of poker, and has influenced the game to quite an extent over the years.

It has now been over 10 years since Moneymaker ignited the online poker boom after winning the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event on May 23, 2003. Ever since then there have been nine other champions, and even though a few of them have achieved more success in poker playing in the following years, Moneymaker has remained the most renowned of them all.

How did he do it? In an interview, Moneymaker claimed that he was not really thinking of winning when he was playing the World Series of Poker in 2003. Apparently, he left all the thinking until after he had won the tournament, and he understood what he was going to do.

The term “Moneymaker Effect” has become quite popular and has quite a ring to it, even though Moneymaker admitted he has never used it himself. Nonetheless, there were apparently several things that contributed to Moneymaker’s win and the boom of poker.

Perhaps the biggest factor was the fact that Moneymaker has a master’s degree in accounting, which probably made him the right guy to sit at a poker table and end up winning $2.5 million. Of course, it did not happen overnight.
Moneymaker began his journey towards the huge win by entering the now-famous 18-person $39 satellite tournament on PokerStars, and won it to be advanced to $600 satellite. That tournament had 68 players out which three were awarded seats at the World Series of Poker, and Moneymaker was one of them.

Moneymaker admitted that he had not even looking forward to advance, rather he had been hoping to win the $8,000 that were to be awarded to the fourth-place finisher of the $600 satellite. In fact, Moneymaker was not even hopeful that he would get anywhere “past the first day” of the World Series if he did manage to advance.

The rest is history. Not only did Moneymaker advance but also ended up winning the World Series of Poker and bagging the $2.5 million prize. Since then, Moneymaker has even posted a memoir about how his $39 investment led him to becoming a millionaire. Considering that he was quite an average Joe before winning the World Series of Poker in 2003, his name somewhat reflects his win.

And yes, Chris Moneymaker is his real name!

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