He was widely credited with sparking the poker boom of the early noughties. Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker Main Event after winning his seat for a few a few bucks on PokerStars. Now, after 17 years with the online poker giant, he has announced he is leaving the company.
In a passionate video posted on his social media accounts, Moneymaker, who was an accountant and poker unknown when he won $2.5 million in Vegas back in 2003, told the poker community of his news.
He said: “2020 has been a weird year for everybody, myself included. I haven’t travelled all year, which has actually been really nice; nice to be reconnected with my family and not be on the road as much.
“It’s led me to a very interesting decision that I will be leaving PokerStars effective immediately. I am going to be at home more and play a little less poker potentially, we’ll see how things go.
“I want to thank everybody at PokerStars; it’s been an amazing 17 years. To be able to travel the world, play poker and meet a tonne of wonderful people. I want to wish everybody well at PokerStars. It’s been a great company to work for; it’s really sad to leave the company but the time is right.
“I’m going to try and explore some different endeavours. I’ll miss you guys and thanks for everything.”
Moneymaker, 45, has been used as an ambassador by PokerStars since his famous WSOP win, when he beat Sam Farha heads-up to win the world title.
His victory catapulted him to stardom, with the media lapping up the story of a satellite winner bagging the biggest prize of all, on the biggest stage. Moneymaker’s name only added to the appeal.
After his win, online poker exploded in the United States and beyond, as everyone signed up to online poker sites believing they, too, could win fame and fortune.
Try your luck at the poker tables – will you be the next Chris Moneymaker? Sign up for PokerStars below to find out.