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by: James C..
Chris Moneymaker became the most famous poker player in the world last May when he won $2.5 million at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) championship at Binnions Casino. But winning the WSOP is not Chris’ most recognized claim to fame… the fact that Chris’ entry into the WSOP was won playing online for a $40 buy-in is.

What events transpired to bring you to the WSOP?

“I started playing poker online roughly two years ago. I was sat around one afternoon just wasting some time, not really thinking about the tournament, and I joined a $40 satellite tournament - then I found out that they were giving three seats away to World Series and a fourth place prize of $8,000, so my plan was to, if possible, get fourth place and get $8,000 and pay off some credit card bills.”

As it turns out I won the seat. A buddy offered to buy half the seat so I said ‘what the heck I’ll take the seat’. He backed out and I got other investors and went out there and played the tournament.”

What did you need the investors for?

I needed to have money to go out to Las Vegas.

Have you been a pretty decent poker player all your life?
 
Not really.
 

How would you rank yourself? Are you one of the best on the Net? Do you win consistently?

 

No, I break even. I probably lose more than I win most of the time on the net. When I play live I usually do pretty well but on the net I’m average.

 

Where do you usually play?

 

At PokerStars. I like the tournaments that they have and the games are the best. They have full action there all the time.

 

Is action the most important thing?

 

That and the tournaments. The tournaments are a very important thing. The customer service at PokerStars is real nice too, I mean if you have a problem they will take care of you right away.

 

Was playing at WSOP much different than playing online?

 

Extremely different, you’re live for one thing. It’s a totally different game when you’re sitting there staring at somebody. There is a lot more pressure, better players. When they are better players I think they are easier to read.

Online – somebody could be holding anything when your playing that tournament, offline - you’ve narrowed it down a lot better to what they’re holding.

 

Have you played land-based tournaments before?

 

No. This was my first one.

 

Really! And you went all the way!

 
Yup.
 

How has the money changed your life?

 

Hopefully it hasn’t changed it too much. I don’t have a house payment anymore, that’s about it. Still working and still doing everything I was doing before.

 

Do you have any advice for other online poker players?

 

Don’t play over your head is the best advice I can give. You’ve got to develop your own style of play and find something that works for you. Start out small - if you can’t afford to lose it, don’t bet it.

 

If you’re going to starting playing, just make sure you have a bankroll. You can’t play right if you don’t have the bankroll to play. I mean the only way to play is to have a sufficient bankroll otherwise you’re going to play scared.

 

You definitely have the bank roll now.

 

Yeah, I don’t play for it anymore.

 

© Copyright 2004 Gambling Online Magazine This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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