Moneymaker blows Tunica lead

Chris Moneymaker

Despite going into the final nine with 40% of the chips in play, Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker couldn't close the deal at the World Poker Open in Tunica, Mississippi Tuesday.

Moneymaker took a very healthy lead on Day 2 of the $5k buy-in tournament at the Gold Strike Tunica that started with 126 players Sunday.

He held that lead until 40-year-old Tennessee business owner Steve Hamontree busted Monroe, Louisiana's Thomas Creel fifth to take control four-handed.

Moneymaker found himself crippled soon after, running ace-queen into 25-year-old poker pro Jeremy Gaubert's big slick.

Although fellow Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown busted first, taking fourth when he shoved a river with air, the best the 2003 WSOP Main Event champ could muster was a third-place finish and $60,110.

Gaubert, whose biggest score previously in four years as a pro was a chop in the Sunday Million on PokerStars, went on to take the title, $192,953 and a $10k seat in the WPT Southern Poker Championship at the Beau Rivage coming up in January.

Moneymaker won his seat by virtue of a first-place finish in a $500 Pot-Limit Omaha preliminary event in Tunica last week.

Despite the Main Event title and a runner-up finish at the 2004 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star, Moneymaker told reporters in Tunica the PLO win was his greatest poker accomplishment.

Clonie Gowen won the event in 2008, beating a field of 107 to take down the $183,224 first-place prize.


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