The 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event is burned into the minds of poker fans around the world. An accountant from Tennessee found his way into the tournament in an online satellite, beat the best players in the world on his way to $2.5 million and cause the poker industry to explode.
BLUFF followed Chris Moneymaker throughout Day 1B of the 2013 WSOP Main Event as he tries to repeat his unlikely feat 10 years later. The first four levels didn’t go according to plan for Moneymaker, but he fought his way through to Day 2 after a rough start.
“If this was any other tournament, I wouldn’t be here,” remarked Moneymaker as he bagged his chips. “The old Chris would’ve bust four or five times.”
Below is a full account of Moneymaker’s battle through Day 1
12:07 – After Doyle Brunson is honored during the ‘Shuffle Up and Deal’, cards go into the air for Day 1B of the 2013 WSOP Main Event. The field is significantly bigger than it was on Saturday, with significant spillover into the Pavilion Room.
12:27 – 2003 WSOP Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker takes his seat at Table 115 in the White section of the Pavilion Room. It’s been 10 years since his Main Event victory completely altered the course of poker history.
12:30 – As he did during his 2003 Main Event run, Moneymaker has a PokerStars logo on his chest. His mirrored sunglasses are a little bit nicer than the one he wore 10 years ago.
12:32 – Moneymaker’s starting table is fairly early in the breaking order, but he should be with this group for at least two full levels. Here’s who he’s up against:
Seat 1: Moneymaker
Seat 2: Michael Foley
Seat 3: Gregor Adrekowitsch
Seat 4: Nicholas Guagenti
Seat 5: Empty
Seat 6: Bart Hanson
Seat 7: Amit Agrawal
Seat 8: Scott Carragher
Seat 9: Julian Herold
12:38 – Moneymaker has sunglasses and headphones on, but he has them off of one ear as he chats up the table. The conversation turns to pit games. “I play baccarat like I play PLO,” jokes Moneymaker. “Put the money in and hope it comes back.”
12:40 – Hanson opens to 250 in the hijack and Moneymaker calls in the big blind, the first time he’s voluntarily played a pot. They both check the K J J flop and the 9 turn, but the Q river brings a bet of 325 from Moneymaker. Hanson calls and Moneymaker shows A T for an ace-high straight.
12:42 – Moneymaker eats the last remnants of a banana he brought to the table.
1:02 – Carragher opens to 250 in middle position, Moneymaker three-bets to 525, Guagenti calls in the big blind and Carragher calls as well. The flop is A 7 2 and it’s checked to Moneymaker, who bets 1,025. Guagenti calls and Carragher gets out of the way, bringing the 7 on the turn. Guagenti check-calls a bet of 1,750 from Moneymaker and the river is the J. This time Guagenti takes the lead, betting 2,850, and Moneymaker snap-calls. Guagenti tables A J for top two-pair and Moneymaker shakes his head.
1:12 – John Frampton sits down in Seat 5.
1:25 – Carragher opens to 200, Moneymaker three-bets to 600 and Carragher four-bets to 1,550. Moneymaker folds.
1:26 – After a bit of a rough start, Moneymaker walks out of the Pavilion Room into the Rotunda and beyond.
1:41 – 15 minutes later, Moneymaker returns.
2:07 – On the last hand of Level 1, Moneymaker takes down the blinds and antes with a raise. He has 19,025 after two hours of play.
2:27 – Play resumes with new blinds of 100/200.
2:35 – Moneymaker calls over a massage girl. When asked where to start, Moneymaker replies, “It all hurts.”
2:39 – Moneymaker opens to 525 on the button, Foley three-bets to 1,500 in the small blind and Moneymaker calls. They both check the 5 4 2 flop, but Foley leads out for 1,700 on the K turn. Moneymaker calls and the river is the 7, which is quickly checked by both players. Moneymaker shows K J and takes the pot.
2:59 – Herold raises to 450 in the cutoff, Moneymaker three-bets to 1,050, Herold four-bets to 2,550 and Moneymaker calls. The flop is T T 4, Herold bets 2,600 and Moneymaker calls. Herold cheks the 7 on the turn, Moneymaker bets 3,200 and Herold lets it go.
3:07 – Moneymaker raises to 525 in middle position and Guagenti calls. The flop is A 3 2, Moneymaker leads out for 600 and Guagenti calls. The turn is the K, Moneymaker bets 1,300 and Guagenti calls again. The river is the Q and Guagenti leads out for 2,950, which Moneymaker calls. Guagenti shows A J for the runner-runner nut flush.
“He’s crushing me with ace-jack,” comments Moneymaker. “That’s twice now. Good hand.”
3:23 – Moneymaker plays a three-bet pot with Herold but they chop it on the river.
3:27 – Agrawal opens to 500 in early position, Moneymaker calls in the hijack and Guagenti calls in the small blind. The flop is J J 7 and it’s checked to Moneymaker, who bets 1,000. Guagenti folds, Agrawal calls and the turn is the 7. Agrawal check-calls for 1,500 and the river is the 2. Agrawal checks one more time and Moneymaker bets 3,000.
“I’m definitely beat,” says Agrawal. “Here,” he continues, dropping 3,000 into the pot. “Yup,” replies Moneymaker, tabling A 7 for a full house.
3:36 – The headphones and sunglasses are off and the conversation is lively. There’s a lot of talk about different mix game variants, interesting hands and a little bit about tournaments. “I busted noon tournaments twice this summer and jumped into the 3 pm tournament,” recalls Moneymaker.
3:45 – Dennis Phillips is seated at an adjacent table and he comes over to check in on Moneymaker. “Been around 11K all day,” remarks Moneymaker. “Mr. Ace-Jack crushing my ace-king like it’s his job. How about you?”
“Got down to 18,000, but now I’m up to 40,” replies Phillips. “If I get into the mid-30’s I’ll be ecstatic,” replies Moneymaker.
4:00 – Moneymaker is on to the fact that BLUFF is covering him all day. “This guy’s been vulturing me all day, waiting for me to bust,” jokes Moneymaker. “We didn’t get off to a good start, I hope I see you at the end of the night. You didn’t get that nines hand right? Worst bluff, trying to represent the king-queen and he’s sitting there with it,” he continues, recalling a pot with Carragher on a board that was king-queen high that he led at through the river.
4:10 – This is the first time getting a massage at the table,” comments Moneymaker to ESPN’s Andrew Feldman, who stops by for a brief chat.
4:26 – With the break approaching Moneymaker wraps up the massage. “I’m not gonna be like Ivey and get a whole-day massage.”
4:27 – After getting knocked down early in Level 2, Moneymaker goes into the second break with 20,575.
4:47 – The break comes to and Moneymaker is not in his seat. He shows up just as the dealer pitches the first card.
On the first hand after break he signs an autograph for the player in the five seat, on his seat card. The player then gets EVERY player at the table to sign the card. The player then proceeds to bust on that hand, having his aces cracked.
A waiter walks by, “Can I get a Red Bull? No, no a water. No, a water and a Red Bull.”
4:53 – The UTG player raises to 650. Moneymaker call from UTG+1. The BB also calls. Flop is T 8 8. The big blind checks, UTG bets 1050, Moneymaker calls and the BB folds. The turn is the 9 and both players check. They check again after the K river. Moneymaker shows down J 9 to take the pot. He’s back up over 20,000 with 22,250.
4:57 – The table breaks. “Good luck guys” and more than one player shakes Moneymaker’s hand.
It takes over five minutes to break Moneymaker’s table as they are also breaking the adjacent table and need to escort all 18 players into the Brasilia Room. Not knowing he’s headed to Brasilia Moneymaker has a conversation with Bach about how important it is to draw a table deep in the Amazon Room so you don’t have to change tables again.
Moneymaker is moved to Table 46-8 where the only recognizable face is Erica Lindgren. Making small talk with his new table mates, one of them points out that Moneymaker is now playing in the shadow of his championship banner which stands tall on the stage in the Brasilia Room.
“I feel like I’m rich. I was down to 12K over in the other room.”
Moneymaker comments that the table feels higher than the other table. He then struggles to get comfortable, changing the position of chair from backwards to forwards twice.
5:00 – Here’s the lineup at Table 46:
Seat 1: Colin Moshman
Seat 2: Erica Lindgren
Seat 3: David Feldman
Seat 4: Kyle White
Seat 5: Gerasimos Deres
Seat 6: Manuel Corteda
Seat 7: Unknown
Seat 8: Moneymaker
Seat 9: Benjamin Grise
5:43 – Facing a bet of 650, Moneymaker three-bets to 2,250 from the cutoff. Lindgren flat calls in the big blind, Gerasimos Deres four-bets all in and it folds back to Moneymaker. He asks for a count, with the all in totaling 11,450. After thinking it over, Moneymaker folds and Lindgren calls, tabling 9 9 against Deres’ 7 7 and holding.
“Folded the best hand,” says Moneymaker. “Couldn’t call with her behind.”
5:50 – Robert Kokoska sits down in Seat 5
6:29 – After a particularly dry spell, Moneymaker opens to 650 in early position and Corteda calls in the big blind. Both players check the 8 5 2 flop and Corteda leads out for 1,175 on the 4 turn. Moneymaker calls and the river is the T. Corteda bets 1,850 and Moneymaker folds
6:37 – Kokoska opens to 600 in the cutoff and Moneymaker calls in the big blind. The flop is K T 6, Kokoska bets 800 and Moneymaker calls. The turn is the A and both players check, and they check once more on the J river. “King” says Moneymaker, but Kokoska tables A 5 to take the pot.
6:42 – White opens to 700 in middle position and Moneymaker three-bets to 2,100 on the button. White asks for an approximate chip count. “17,100 total,” responds Moneymaker. White calls and the flop is J 9 4. Both players check and the turn is the A. White checks, Moneymaker bets 1,625 and White calls. The river is the K, White checks, Moneymaker bets 3,300 and White calls.
“You got it,” says Moneymaker, “Pair of nines.” White shows A T and scoops the pot.
6:47 – Moneymaker goes into the dinner break with 11,400, just over one-third of what he started the day with.
8:17 – Play resumes with the same blinds, 150/300, plus an ante of 25.
8:28 – The action’s opened to 700 on the button, Moneymaker three-bets to 2,100 in the small blind and the Grise three-bets to 4,100. Both players fold. “My timing is impeccable,” says Moneymaker.
“You’re the only one I show,” replies Grise, flashing A Q.
8:32 – Moneymaker takes two small pots in a row. “Easy game,” he says as he takes down the blinds and antes.
8:37 – Moneymaker takes his third pot of the orbit.
8:59 – “I haven’t gotten a single three-bet through,” Moneymaker says to Feldman as he returns to check on Moneymaker’s progress. A few minutes later Corteda opens to 800, Moneymaker three-bets to 2,200 and he takes the pot.
9:06 – Kokoska raises to 600 in the cutoff and Moneymaker calls in the big blind. They both check the A Q T flop. The turn is the T, Moneymaker checks, Kokoska bets 1,000, Moneymaker check-raises to 2,900 and Kokoska calls. The river is the 9 and Moneymaker checks. Kokoska bets 3,625 and Moneymaker shakes his head, eventually calling. Kokoska shows T 9 for a rivered full house and Moneymaker tables K J in disgust. His stack now hovers around 6,000.
9:21 – Moneymaker raises to 600 under the gun and he takes the blinds and antes.
9:23 – Moneymaker calls a minraise in the big blind in a four-way pot but folds to a bet on the A Q 6 flop.
9:41 – Moneymaker open-shoves for 6,500 and takes the blinds and antes.
9:50 – Corteda opens to 600, Moneymaker three-bets all in for 6,800 and Corteda calls. It’s Moneymaker’s A K against Corteda’s A K and it runs out Q 5 3 J K. “I have a straight,” says Moneymaker as the pot is chopped.
10:02 – Moneymaker open-shoves for 6,600 and no one calls. “Somebody’s going to get some TV time soon.
10:18 – With one level left on Day 1B, Moneymaker has 6,150.
10:37 – Level 5 begins with 200/400 blinds and a 50 chip ante.
10:40 – Moneymaker open-shoves for 6,000 and it folds around to Kokoska. “No cameras this time,” says Moneymaker. “No cameras?” replies Kokoska jokingly. “I cannot call this time.”
10:51 – Corteda opens to 900 on the button and Moneymaker three-bets all in for 6,850. Corteda calls and Moneymaker is at risk for the first time in this tournament. He’s in good shape, though, with 6 6 to Corteda’s 5 5. It runs out K 9 3 7 T and Moneymaker gets a much-needed double to 14,100.
11:00 – Moneymaker opens to 1,025 from the cutoff and Feldman calls in the big blind. Moneymaker bets 1,050 on the A T 7 flop and takes it down.
11:20 – It wasn’t easy, but Moneymaker finally increased his stack to more than what he started with. Facing a raise to 800 from the button, Moneymaker three-bets to 2,800 from the small blind and is called. The flop is T 9 6, Moneymaker bets 3,500, the button raises to 9,000 with 3,000 behind and Moneymaker reluctantly goes all in, having his opponent slightly covered.
“You’re ahead, probably,” he says, turning over A K, but he’s mistaken as he’s up against A J. The turn and river brick out and Moneymaker suddenly has over 32,000.
11:30 – White raises to 900 from under the gun, Moneymaker three-bets to 2,800 from the hijack and White calls. The flop is J J 5 and both players check. The turn is the 2, White checks, Moneymaker bets 2,400 and White calls. The river is the J, White checks again, Moneymaker bets 6,500 and White quickly folds.
11:54 – Erick Lindgren, who has also been followed by BLUFF throughout Day 1B, comes over to the table and informs his wife that he’s been eliminated.
12:01 – Moneymaker raises to 800 in middle position and Moshman three-bets all in for 7,425. Moneymaker calls, but he’s way behind with A T against Moshman’s A A. It runs out 6 4 2 7 A and Moneymaker’s momentum takes a serious hit.
12:20 – Moneymaker opens to 1,050 in the hijack and Grise three-bets to 2,500 in the cutoff. Moneymaker calls and they see a Q 8 2 flop. They both check. The turn is the 4, Moneymaker bets 1,700 and Grise calls. The river is the 9, Moneymaker checks, Grise bets 3,500 and Moneymaker calls. Grise tables Q T and takes the pot.
12:27 – The floor announces that there will be four more hands and then the bags will come out.
12:33 – Moneymaker calls a raise to 900 in the big blind in a three-way pot but folds on the flop.
12:36 – Moneymaker wins the final pot of the night with a bet on the turn and increases his stack to 24,950. It wasn’t the easiest day for the 2003 Main Event champion, but he’ll fight on to play again on Tuesday.