Chris Moneymaker Wins Player of the Year Award

Published on September 23, 2003, 1:24 am EST

Chris Moneymaker, Texas Hold'em player of the year? I would imagine that some people would disagree with this title, considering that Moneymaker is new to the game.

We give Chris this title this year not because he is the best poker player in the world, but because of what his victory means to the game of poker. As you have probably heard, Chris qualified for the 2003 World Series of Poker at an Internet poker room, and had never had real game experience until he actually arrived in Las Vegas for the tournament. He started by paying $40 to register for an online tournament; a few tournaments later, his entry to the WSOP was paid for, and he was on his way.

The 2003 World Series of Poker was already the most successful WSOP ever numbers wise; almost 900 players entered the tournament. Chris Moneymaker's win is simply going to bring poker to the masses, and ensure a 1000+ person pool of competitors in 2004. Well known names like Phil Hellmuth, Amarillo Slim and others are going to face their stiffest competition ever. The main thing preventing most people from playing texas hold'em is that they didn't have a place to play; online poker rooms just make the game accessible to the masses. The level of competition is going to sky-rocket, as people eye the 2.5 million dollar first place prize given out this year.

For this reason, Chris Moneymaker is our Texas Hold'em Player of the Year for 2003, not because of his accomplishments, but because of what his accomplishments are going to do to the game of poker as we know it.