The Moneymaker Effect
is the name of the sudden
growth in interest in poker
after the 2003 World Series of Poker
effect is considered to have begun in 2003, after Chris Moneymaker, a 27-year-old accountant
from Tennessee, United States, outlasted 838 other players to win
the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event along with the US$2.5
million prize and the title of World Champion.
suddenly became the new poster boy
poker, inspiring potential players to believe that "staying at home
in front of a computer screen could be more profitable than going
to work." His improbable win also started a new era in poker in
which "a nobody could topple the feared pros".
Prior to the 2003 World Series of Poker, Moneymaker won a $39
on the online poker
, which entered him
into a larger satellite with a grand prize of a World Series of
Poker package for that year's Main Event, a poker tournament
with a $10,000 buy-in.
won the package, and played his first live tournament in Las Vegas,
Nevada at the 2003 World Series of Poker.
member of Team PokerStars, his biography on their website notes,
"His story sparked a tidal wave of interest in poker, a phenomenon
that’s been nicknamed the 'Moneymaker Effect' [...] he’ll always be
remembered for that epic victory in 2003. It’s a legacy he is
clearly proud of and one that’s given him the kind of life all
poker players dream of." Moneymaker's story of how an amateur beat
some of the best poker players in the world and win a multi-million
dollar cash prize is believed to have inspired millions of people
to begin playing poker, both online and in card rooms around the
At the 2004 World Series of
the following year, a semi-professional player, Greg Raymer
, also qualified online and went on
to win that year's Main Event, along with its $5 million grand
prize, in a larger field of 2,576 players.