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WATCH: Chris Moneymaker Benefits From Huge Cooler In World Series Of Poker Main Event

2003 Main Event Champion And Poker Hall Of Famer Making Another Deep Run

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Chris Moneymaker was very close to skipping the 2021 World Series of Poker entirely, but a last-minute decision to make the trip to Las Vegas appears to be paying off for the 2003 champ.

The 45-year-old Poker Hall of Famer and Americas Cardroom ambassador entered the tournament on day 1F, the last starting flight, and finished with a modest 75,800.

On day 2, Moneymaker was moved to one of PokerGO’s featured tables, and quickly found his stack moving in the right direction, mostly at the expense of a player named Bryan Reyes.

First, he found a double up when his pocket deuces flopped a set and cracked Reyes’ pocket aces. Then he finished Reyes off in a battle of the big stacks to soar up the leaderboard.

Check out the hand below, courtesy of PokerGO.

Moneymaker also got a little lucky, outflopping an opponent with a dominated ace.

The Tennessee accountant-turned-poker pro started day 3 near the top of the leaderboard, and his run continued as the field marched towards the money bubble. At one point, he picked up pocket aces again and this time used them to bust Robert Kuhn and climb over the seven-figure mark.

The bubble burst shortly before 2 a.m., guaranteeing the final 1,000 players at least $15,000. Moneymaker ended day 3 with 1,432,000, more than three times the average stack.

He also made a deep run in the 2019 main event, finishing in 687th place for $20,200. It was his best cash at the series since 2004, when he finished tenth in a pot-limit Omaha event for $21,000.

This year’s main event drew a field of 6,650 entries, making it the tenth biggest in history. The winner will take home $8 million, more than three times the $2.5 million Moneymaker banked in 2003.

Despite the fact that it’s been 18 years since he helped spark the poker boom, Moneymaker has plenty of fans in his corner.

Visit the Card Player 2021 WSOP landing page for more from the annual series, including bracelet winners, tournament recaps, and player interviews.