May 27, 2019


Chris Moneymaker’s surname actually made more sense when he turned $39 into $2.5 Million at the 2003 WSOP event and sparked the poker boom. He gave hope to many young players and millions of people began playing poker online and live across the world. Born on Nov 21, 2015, Chris Moneymaker has a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee.

He was working as an accountant when he won a seat into the main event of the 2003 World Series of Poker through a $39 satellite. He decided to enter a $39 satellite qualifier event to win an entry into the WSOP, basically a $10,300 buy-in. Soon, he was flying to Vegas and outlasted whopping 839 players to claim the series, giving the birth to “Moneymaker Effect”.

He made a few interesting moves in the tournament and Lou Diamond, one of the pros described him as a ‘dark horse’. He indeed got lucky during the final table, he was dealt pocket eights while Humberdo Brene had pocket aces, and he got another 8 later on in the hand to attain three of a kind.

Known as Money800 in the poker world, he became one of the most notable personalities in the world of professional poker. After this unexpected win, he quit his accountant job to work as a spokesperson for PokerStars. He even donated $25,000 toward medical research in the fight against cancer.

Married with one daughter, Chris had another WSOP cash the next year in the $5000 Pot-Limit Omaha poker event before getting busted in 10th place. In 2004, he finished second by winning $200,000 at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Start Tournament. Chris won $139,635 in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) in Sep, 2008.

Rankings & Key Statistics

  •    United States All Time Money List- 154th
  •    Tennessee, USA All Time Money List- 1st
  •    All Time Money List Current Rank- 246th
  •    All Time Money List Best Rank- 17th
  •    Global Poker Index Ranking- 4,105th
  •    Popularity Ranking- 58th
  •    Best Live Cash- $2,500,000
  •    Total Live Earnings- $3,609,863

Career Highlights

  •    Won $2,500,000 at the 2003 WSOP $10,000 Main Event, May 2003    
  •    Won $21,000 at the 2004 WSOP $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha, May 2004
  •    Won $24,480 at the EPT London £5,200 No Limit Hold’em, September 2007
  •    Won $130,000 at the PCA Main Event, January 2011
  •    Won $300,000 at the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, March 2011

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) dates back to 1970, when Benny Binion, an American gambling icon invited seven best-known poker players to the Horseshoe Casino for a single tournament, provided with a set start and stop time, where a winner was determined by secret ballot.

World Series of Poker (WSOP) is a series of poker tournaments held annually in Las Vegas and the winner receives a World Series of Poker bracelet (introduced in 1976), the most coveted award among poker players and a cash based on the number of entrants. The winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event is considered to be the World Champion of Poker. Stu Ungar and Johnny Moss are the only players to have won the Main Event three times.

The tournament flourished with the introduction of satellite tournaments in 1980 which allowed players to win their way into the various events. There were whopping 2100 entrants by 1987 in the entire series, giving WSOP a massive amount of growth. Player with the most points accumulated throughout the WSOP gets a Player of the Year (POY) award. Nine different players have been awarded till now with Daniel Negreanu as a two-time winner.

WSOP also crowned player with the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame and has honored 42 individuals since 1979. The criteria involve players playing consistently well, playing high stakes and those who competes against accredited top competition. The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has paid more than $1.6 billion in total prize money till date which makes it the leading, richest and most respected gaming event in the world.

The first online player to win WSOP was Chris Moneymaker in 2003 and his journey was broadcast throughout the world on ESPN. This was the time which kindled the poker boom and encouraged millions of people to start playing online poker. This poker boom resulted in the growth of poker industry which also known as the “the Moneymaker effect”.

WSOP Expansions

  • World Series of Poker- Europe

The WSOP event took place outside of Las Vegas for the first time in 2007 with the inauguration of WSOP Europe. It consisted of three events held in London from Sep 6 to 7, 2007. The main event was won by 19-year-old Annette Obrestad which made her the youngest person ever to win a WSOP bracelet. The record is yet to be broken as the minimum legal age to play in Nevada is 21.

  • World Series of Poker – Africa

The WSOP expanded for the second time and this time to South Africa in 2010 as WSOPA. The WSOPA was considered a circuit event with the winners getting Championship Rings instead of bracelets. The WSOPA did not take place in 2011 but resumed in 2012.

  • World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific

The WSOP and Australian casino Crown Melbourne equally declared the creation of the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific (WSOP APAC) on April 30, 2012. The first event featured five bracelets.

BPT Main Event winner Punnet Dua speaks exclusively to PokerBaazi about winning Rs 8.5 Lacs, his preparation for BPT and poker experiences.

    • The BPT 25K Main Event is by far your biggest cash – what did it feel like to win such a massive tournament?

It was a great feeling to have every chip in the field with me after two days of play. All I want is to do the same, but "more" of it. More events more action.

    • What were your preparations like for BPT?

I played the online satties, cracked it for 3 events but the high roller. Watched videos, read blogs, carried a book and a pen to study my stats for my live tournament.

    • There were more than 200 entries for the tournament. What was the trail? Were you out to win it, or to try or just ladder up?

My objective was very clear from the beginning, to win a lot of money. Post the final table the objective was clear.

    • There were Pros like Paawan Bansal, Abhishek Panda, Maria Kirloskar and Nikita Luther etc. Come on, admit it, you were terrified, weren’t you?

Well, absolutely, amid a din, I believe I had the best of the field on my table adapting to the moves did take a lot of time and patience. It was a great learning experience for me. I learned a lot from DK's, Panda's and Kanishka's style of play, debated with them about various important hands. Archit Khandelwal also helped me striding the final table.

    • What are your plans in Poker for your future?

Play more. Tournament is indeed my preference over cash game. Looking forward to the next series at Goa to share my action with people who believes in me.

    • How did you make your first bankroll in poker?

Well, to be honest, that was a part of my salary and that’s been the case typically until this year before quitting my job last November to focus wholeheartedly on poker.

    • What was your biggest poker loss in one day?

I bubbled for WSOP main event satellite, I will consider that as my biggest loss. After going step by step it was the last step for two seats. The biggest cash game loss for me was 2 Lacs in a day.

    • Who is your favorite poker player and why?

Daniel Negreanu- His reads are spot on, and has that outgoing personality while playing poker.

    • What are your thoughts on BPT Tournament?

Crushed guarantees and great online backing. Winning the satties online indeed increased my ROI (return on investment). Jasveen, Navi, Ankit, Sanket were great hosts. They were personally involved in all goings-on and undeniably created a fabulous spectacle for the poker community.

    • How is your experience playing at PokerBaazi?

It’s been a steady journey so far for me, Omaha action is super loaded and crazy good for high stakes players.

    • How different live poker tournament is from online poker? Which is easier?

Well, this is an endless argument, I see online poker as a tool to play more hands per hour and play the same hands differently to know the best of the spots and positions. The practice and experience in online games can add skills to your live game and vice versa, but eventually to win a tournament you need to read souls sometime or the other.

If you want to play online poker in India, try here and win cash online.


Started synchronously with 50K High Roller Event, the event brought 20 Lacs in guaranteed prize pool. Players began with a stack of 20,000 chips at a blind of 25/50 and a blind interval of 35 minutes. Late registrations were allowed up to the 4th level of the game. The tournament brought 94 entries in the beginning and notable players like Abhishek Panda, Vikram Kumar, Rajat Sharma, and Maria Kirloskar participated in it.

The numbers increased to whooping 175 in the next half hour, bunting it into a majestic feel. The thrill began when PokerBaazi pro took down the pot with a higher full house. Pro Maria Kirloskar and Jagsy Chahal got eliminated on level 6 and 7 respectively. The buzz escalated when Sanjay Taneja busted Amit and Siddharth Sighvi got eliminated. Sumanth was leading the chip count with 110,000 at level 9. Jasven Saigal got eliminated by Vineet Kumar, Sonu Singh got eliminated by Ratul, Kavish Kukreja got eliminated by Anup Palod and Krishna G eliminated by Eka.

The exhilaration reinforced with the proclamation of the prize pool which was whopping 43.5 Lacs, with the minimum cash prize of Rs 50,000. Kanishka Samant got eliminated by Arvind and Sanket doubled up to survive. 80 players were left to combat till level 13 with Niranjan leading the chips to 180,000. Vikram Kumar got eliminated by Nikita Luther and S P Behra got busted by Rajat Sharma. Nikita Luther was leading the top 50 players with 2,50,000.

Level 18 boosted up with the elimination of Tarun Goyal as popular TV actor Ujjawal Rana had him covered in stacks. Nikita Luther was still leading the remaining 28 players with a stack of 414000. The tournament was candied with top 24 players who were entitled to the cash prizes. Ujjwal Rana and Guruprasad Rana had a quick elimination at level 19. Ujjwal Rana placed 24th bagging Rs 50,000 and Guruprasad Gupta finished 23rd for the same prize money.

The next convolute had eliminations of Harjas Wadhwa, with an amount of Rs 50,000 and Pradeep Singh, by winning an amount of Rs 60,000. Simon Mint was leading the remaining players with a stack of 4,80,000. Farukh Shaikh and Manish Goenka had eliminations in the next level winning an amount of 60K and 70K respectively. Archit Khandelwal finished 17th for Rs 70,000 followed by the speedy eliminations of Varun Gulati, Jimmy Arora and Mukunda D. PokerBaazi Pro Abhishek Panda placed 13th for Rs 85,000; Girish Sahane placed 12th for Rs 1,00,000, Raj Talwar placed 11th for Rs 1 Lacs and Rashidullah placed 10th for Rs 3,20,000.

The final table was formed with 9 players, Sumanth Kumar was leading the table with a stack of 8,36,000. Rajat Sharma finished 9th for Rs 1.25 Lacs, Nikita Luther finished 8th for Rs 1.5 Lacs, Abhishek Jalan finished 8th for Rs 2 Lacs, Sumanth Finished 6th for Rs 2.6 Lacs and Revanth Finished 5th for Rs 3.4 Lacs. The final four players restructured the total prize money left for them encompassing Rs 10 Lacs for first prize, Rs 8.5 Lacs for the second prize, Rs 7.5 Lacs for the third prize and Rs 6.5 Lacs for the fourth player. Ankush was placed in the fourth place for Rs 6.5 Lacs. Simon Mint got the third spot by winning an amount of Rs 7.5 Lacs. Puneet Dua won the main event by winning an amount of Rs 8.5 Lacs adorned with the tourney trophy.

To know more events of PokerBaazi find here

The third day recommenced with the elimination of Arjun Dhingra, Kunal Kabba, Rakesh Reddy and PokerBaazi pro Paawan Bansal. 15 players got on-board in top 15 to compete for the final prize. The chip count of top 10 players was; Sridhar – 670,000, Vinod Megalmani- 570,000, Pranjal – 480,000, Kartik Ved – 410,000, Jasven Saigal – 380,000, Zeeshan – 350,000, Prateek Jain – 250,000, Kishore DP – 250,000, Shashank Desai – 220,000, Deepak Kempegowda – 182,000 and Prabhakaran Che – 159,000.

The first elimination in the top 15 was of Md. Rasidullah, who took home Rs 1,10,000. Kartik knocked off Clawin D’Souza in the level 21. He won Rs 1,10,000. Pratik Jain finished 13th for Rs 1,45,000 and Prabhakar Che finished 12th for Rs 1,45,000. Kanishka finished 11th for Rs 1,45,000. The thrill heightened with Jasven stacking up to 1.2 million. Deepak Kempegowda finished 10th for Rs 1.8 Lacs and Vinod Megalmani finished 9th for Rs 2,20,000.

Meanwhile, the main event of the third day for 25K began at 7 PM. Pranjal raised to 55,000 to which Kishore moved all-in and Pranjal called. Kishore finished 8th for Rs 2.2 Lacs and Zeeshan Finished 7th for Rs 2.9 Lacs. The excitement turned aesthetic with Jasven leading the table of 6 with 14,05,000. Sridhar finished 6th for Rs 3,65,000 and CV K Sam finished 5th for Rs 5,05,000. Jasven placed 4th in the tournament by winning Rs 6.5 Lacs and Kartik Ved finished 3rd with an amount of Rs 9,05,000.

The event stimulated to the winner moment with Heads up deal made between Shashank Desai and Pranjal Batra. Shashank Desai won the tournament by winning a whopping amount of Rs 14.5 Lacs and a high roller trophy. Pranjal Batra decided to go for 18.1 Lacs cash prize. The thrill is to be prolonged to capping today with a start of the final event of Baazi Poker Tour. Stay tuned for all the awesome updates of Baazi Poker Tour.

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