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Christopher Bryan Moneymaker (born November 21, 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American poker player who won the main event at the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP).[1] His victory is generally credited for being one of the main catalysts for the poker boom in the years following his win.

Moneymaker attended Farragut High School in Farragut, Tennessee and later earned a master's degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee. He was a member of the fraternity Pi Kappa Phi during his college years.

Moneymaker is married and has a daughter named Ashley, born three months before winning the WSOP main event. His autobiography, Moneymaker: How an Amateur Poker Player Turned $40 into $2.5 Million at the World Series of Poker was published in March 2005 (ISBN 0-06-076001-X).


World Series of Poker

Moneymaker was working as an accountant when he won a seat into the main event of the 2003 World Series of Poker through a US$39 satellite tournament at the PokerStars online poker card room. Although largely unknown prior to the tournament, on day one of the tournament his skills caught the attention of professional sports handicapper Lou Diamond, who called Moneymaker his "dark horse to win the whole tournament."[2] Moneymaker went on to win the first prize of $2.5 million, instantly garnering poker superstar status. It was his first live poker tournament.

One of Moneymaker's most memorable hands was heads-up against Sam Farha, when on the river he bluffed "all in" with King high. Farha folded a pair of nines, quickly changing the momentum of the match. Moneymaker eventually won the WSOP when his Template:Cards beat Farha's Template:Cards on a board of Template:Cards, giving Moneymaker a full house.

After winning the WSOP, he quit his job to serve as a celebrity spokesman for Series owner Harrah's Entertainment as well as PokerStars. He also began traveling to play in more large buy-in tournaments.

World Poker Tour

Moneymaker has since played on the World Poker Tour, finishing second at the 2004 Shooting Stars event, earning $200,000.[3][4]

Online poker

During Event 5 of the 2008 World Championship of Online Poker which was a $10,300 buy-in of No Limit Holdem, Moneymaker finished in sixth place, taking home over $139,000. He also did well in Event 16, the $215 Pot Limit Omaha with ReBuys, where he finished fifth, earning over $28,000.

As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $2,800,000.

Last name

Moneymaker's last name is not a pseudonym, and is in fact his real birth name (this kind of coincidentally apt name is often known as an "aptronym"). His ancestors made silver and gold coins and chose the name "Moneymaker". It actually is a modification of their German last name which approximately was "Nurmacher".[5]


External References