My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

The game where you can beat the professionals

Chris Moneymaker

We all dream of beating top sportspeople at their game, but in reality, you wouldn’t really expect to beat a golf professional on the golf course or win a boxing match against a top fighter.

However, there are some games where you have every chance of beating world-class opposition. And yes, you’ve guessed it, that’s at cards.

Once you have learned the basics of poker and get a little slice of luck, you can beat anyone, including the multi-millionaire pros. First, you must read up on some strategy tips from poker professionals. There is plenty around, and it will help you to beat them at their own game.

And that’s exactly what aptly-named accountant Chris Moneymaker did when he won the World Series of Poker in 2003, beating top pro of the day, Sam Farha.

Chris had no prior live tournament experience when he entered the WSOP and walked away as World Champion.

Moneymaker turned a $39 online satellite tournament into a $2.5 million Main Event victory against a then-record 839 participants.

His WSOP victory was particularly significant since the “sport” had previously been controlled by professionals. Chris appeared to TV watchers to be an ordinary man… just like them. By winning the world’s largest poker tournament, Chris sparked a flood of amateurs who asked, “If Moneymaker can do it, why can’t I?”

His victory was one of the primary reasons that young poker players gravitated to the game (particularly online games) and fantasised about poker fame and massive pay-outs.

We’ve witnessed the rise of internet poker in our society and the WSOP’s transformation into an absolute spectacle with large fields and prize pools.

Chris Moneymaker, like most of us, came from humble beginnings and he earned around $40,000 per year as an accountant while playing online as a new poker player and then winning his seat to the WSOP.

His grandmother’s bridge sessions, his father’s passion for blackjack, and the film Rounders all played a role in his interest in the game.

As a new poker player, he turned to an online poker site because a casino cardroom was hours distant from his home. Everything else is history.

The path to victory at the 2003 World Series of Poker

Chris deserves a lot of credit for his achievements. He describes his first World Series of Poker experience as one of exhilaration and self-consciousness rather than nervousness. This was, after all, his first live tournament. During the first several days of the big event, he remained calm. Johnny Chan was perhaps one of Chris’ poker heroes, beginning with the Rounders film.

Chris had made it to an ESPN-featured table by Day 3 of the Main Event and was horrified when Chan had to tell him that it was his time in a hand because he was taking too long. Of course, he goes on to win the event, capped with a stunning bluff against seasoned veteran Sam Farha at the final table.

Despite the fact that everyone thought he was just another lucky amateur, he had a great week of poker and is a strong and talented player.

Since his victory, he’s continued to perform admirably on the big poker tournament circuit, reaching the final two tables in three major events in 2004.

Then in 2011, he finished second in the NBC National Heads Up Championship, losing in the final round against Eric Seidel.

The truth is that if given a chance, Chris Moneymaker would have more than likely been a successful tournament player in his own right.

The 2003 World Series of Poker provided him with that opportunity. According to TV coverage and interviews, he appears to be a soft-spoken regular guy who was enjoying his newfound fame.

A lot has changed in poker since 2003, and Chris Moneymaker is fully aware of this fact.

Winning tournaments nowadays is far more difficult than it was in the 1990s and early 2000s because ordinary players have improved significantly, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep pace with these, even for seasoned poker circuit pros.

Staying ahead of the curve takes a lot of time and energy, and Chris claims that he is doing his best these days to correct his leaks and learn new things. He may not have all the time in the world to devote solely to poker, but he is not giving up just yet.