He is the man widely credited with sparking the original online poker boom when he won the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2003, and his name is synonymous with the game cross the world.
He is, of course, Chris Moneymaker, and recently we got to quiz the legendary poker pro on his new signing as an ambassador for Americas CardRoom, what we can expect from him in the coming months, and who his own poker hero is.
Q: Did you expect to bounce back into an ambassador role so quickly?
Yes, I had negotiated the deal back in October when I knew my PokerStars contract was up for renewal.
Q: How did the ACR partnership arise?
During quarantine, I started playing on the site and was enjoying playing online again. I met Phil Nagy during this time, and we developed a good relationship. After a period of time, I really wanted to come and work with him and ACR after seeing what they were doing for the players.
Q: You have been described as ‘the poker hero for the masses’ – and some of your new ACR colleagues have described the positive effect you’ve had on their careers. Who is your own poker hero and why?
I guess I would have to go with Doyle (Brunson). He is the godfather of the game.
Q: COVID-19 lockdown aside, what are the big pluses and minuses of live versus online poker for you?
Live is the social aspect of the game and the physical tells that you can add into your game. Online it is the flexibility to play multiple tournaments at one time and be comfortable in your house.
Q: Which aspects of working with ACR are you most looking forward to?
So many things, like the streaming and connecting with my fans in a way I have not been able to. The new promotions that ACR is offering to change people’s lives. Being able to work from home more.
Q: How has your family responded to the recent changes in your career?
They love it and are super supportive. They are happy I get to be at home more and say I seem happier, which I am since I get to spend time watching my kids grow up.
Q: If you were a playing card, which card would you be and why?
King, I think it’s obvious.
Q: If you could live the last 17 years again, what would you change and why?
I would just buy tons of Bitcoin! In all honesty, I am pretty happy with the majority of my decisions looking back. 17 years of no scandals or negative happenings is tough in the gambling world. I’ve also kept a strong supportive fan base which I love. I wish I would of studied poker more however.
Q: ACR is known for being unfiltered. Does this suit you and your personality more?
I like the small environment and the transparency. I am not into corporate politics or sucking up so this is a perfect fit for me. I can be open and honest with the ACR team without hurting feelings and they can do the same with me.
Q: What do you expect the next year will have in store for you?
Really depends on COVID-19. If it still raging, then I will be playing and streaming a lot from my house. If we get to go back into the public then I would like to start up the Moneymaker Tour and continue to change lives in person with ACR.
Q: PokerStars faced a lot of controversy over the years, mostly in regards to player value and rewards. Was it hard seeing this happen? Were you allowed to give an opinion on this?
PokerStars is a great company and has an incredible track record. The Supernova Elite issue and the player awards in recent years has been one of the few things that could of been handled differently. We were always welcome to give our opinions but, at the end of the day, none of us had much say in how the site operated.
Q: What advice would you give to someone just starting out on their poker journey today?
Play for entertainment and have a day job. Poker is always evolving and you never know what the landscape will be in a few years, so it’s hard to plan a future around that. If you are dead set on being a pro, learn all the games and study as often as you play.
Q: BTC or USD?
So, sage advice for wannabe pros and interesting days ahead for the man who continues to make his mark in poker. You can keep up with Chris Moneymaker’s new life as an ACR ambassador via Twitter, and you’ll find him in the ACR lobby too! As the US-facing site asks, ‘Do you have what it takes to become the next Moneymaker?’