Christopher Bryan Moneymaker (yes, it is his real name indeed) is not only the person most credited for the online poker explosion of 2004, he also gave the phrase "to live up to one’s name” a whole new meaning.
His name is said to originate from the modification of German name "Nurmacher” – hence so unusual.
Born in 1975, in Atlanta, - unlike other professional poker players, Chris Moneymaker was not what you’d call a born talent. Nobody ever figured back then, that this kid would grow up to be a person who would one day reach stardom, international recognition, and who would ignite nothing short of a global phenomenon.
Back when he was "wee”, he used to play bridge with his grandmother, and later blackjack with his father. There was no childhood over-exposure to gambling in any shape or form (like in the legendary Stu Ungar’s case), he grew up having as normal a childhood as possible.
The impulse that ignited the fire within him, was called "Rounders” and it was a movie Chris and his friends saw, and which introduced Texas Holdem to them. After that, things were never the same again. Chris played with his friends for a while, but soon felt he needed much more than what local friendly home games could offer him. Because he needed to travel about 4 hours to the nearest legal poker room to play, that was pretty much out of the question. Online poker looked like the only reasonable call, and Moneymaker took the opportunity.
After having wandered around different online poker rooms for a while, he settled down at PokerStars where he felt the tournament structure was indeed very attractive.
When he bought into a $30+$9 qualifier for a direct WSOP satellite, Chris Moneymaker was an accountant, making about $40k/year. He earned a master’s degree at the University of Tennessee, having graduated from Farragut high school.
The life of this average everyday individual would forever be changed by that $39 qualifier.
To his own amazement he won the sub-satellite (beating 18 players in the process), and moved on to the satellite that featured a WSOP package as first prize. This one had him up against 60 other players, but by his time, fate had singled him out. He won, and he got the WSOP package.
Can you get rakeback from a site where you already have a regular poker account? You probably can’t. Most poker sites won’t turn regular accounts into rakeback ones and they won’t allow players to create more than one account. This goes for the 27% Full Tilt rakeback too. If you already have a regular Full Tilt account, you won’t get any rake back from this room.
It might not have been the first time a person seen as an "average Joe” by everyone, won a WSOP seat online, but this "average Joe” would be different.
When he arrived to Binion’s Horseshoe in Vegas (the scene of the 2003 WSOP main event) Moneymaker wasn’t nervous at all. He says he knew so little about what lay ahead of him that he saw no reasons to worry. After all, only some of the world’s best and most successful poker players would try to stop him.
He knew that his lack of live poker experience would weigh in heavily, so he did everything possible to cover up as much of his facial features as he could.
After the first day of the main event, his skills had already drawn attention to him though. One sports handicapper had already appointed him the "Dark Horse” to win it all, and win it all he did.
The 2003 WSOP main event victory brought him a champion’s bracelet and $2.5 million.
He would be the player to go down in history as the guy who turned $39 into $2.5 million
Even though he committed his fair share of (some rather embarrassing) missteps through the tournament, he prevailed and reached the heads-up stages where he faced Sam Farha.
The final hand of the 2003 WSOP main event was Chris’ 5d, 4s against Sam’s Jh, 10d. The board came Js, 5s, 4c, 8d, 5h and Moneymaker stood triumphant.
How is rakeback paid to you? The poker room which gives you your rakeback deal will usually transfer you your rakeback automatically. This may happen once a month, once every week or you may get your rake back in real time. As soon as you finish your session, your rake rebate shows up in your real money account.
A month later, Farha took revenge on Chris on PokerStars, but the eyes of the world would be blind to that. Chris Moneymaker was the living-breathing proof that a "nobody” could take down the big prize, on almost no investment at all and that set the online poker industry on fire.
Chris Moneymaker finished ITM in the WSOP 4 times, He made a WPT final table and he finished in the money twice in the WPT.
He also registered one money finish in the EPT.