A Word with Chris Moneymaker During Day 1D of The Main Event

Chris Moneymaker
Moneymaker playing in Day 1D of the Main Event

Chris Moneymaker has certainly had his share of attention over the last few years, winning the World Championship tends to do that. Since his victory in 2003 though, we've seen a lot more of Moneymaker in his promotional campaigns for PokerStars.com than we have at the final tables of any major events. At this year's WSOP Chris hopes to give a repeat performance of the skill it took to become World Champion just a few short years ago. During a break in today's play he let us in on his plans and how a former champion approaches the Main Event.

Why don't we start by talking a bit about what's happening for you in there today.

Sure, my day's been good. It did start out rough. I missed every draw early, and I got down to about $7,000 and yo-yoed back and forth between seven and ten, stealing some pots and playing pretty well. I actually got down to $4,000, and I had a big hand. I flopped quads, and it payed off for about $6,000. I made some good reads. I called with Ace high several times and bottom pair twice and won both of those. So my reads are pretty good, and now I've got about $30,000, and I feel good.

Coming into this event are you really trying to get a hold of chips early or are you just trying to survive and make it through the first day intact?

Chris Moneymaker

I really don't have a game plan when I play in an event like this. I know there's a lot of amateurs in the event, and I know they're going to give chips away, so I'm just going to try to get my hands on them. I'm trying to play pots cheaply, I'm trying to flop big hands. Of course I want to get as many chips as possible, but people don't lay down hands, so you have to make big hands and make them hold up. So I'm relying on my reads and just playing my table, you know? If the table's letting me push I'm going to push, if not I won't.

One quick question about being a former World Champion, you've been dealing with this for a few years now, but how is your reputation affecting the way people are playing with you at the table?

Half the table usually doesn't want to get involved with me. They stay away from me, but the other half is playing with me. They're trying to put me off hands. One guy I flopped kings against and he tried to get me off of them. I flopped four kings, so I wasn't going to let him get away but he was trying to make plays at me. He bet almost his whole stack and he only had like $500 left, and when I came over the top he folded. (Laughs)

So is it working to your advantage?

Chris Moneymaker

It always does. the only times it doesn't is what's been happening the last two years and that's bad beats. That's my mantra for this year: no bad beats.

Are you happy with your play so far today?

I'm extremely happy, I've only made one real mistake, and it didn't cost me that much. I made a mistake playing too soft when I should have been pushing. I could have actually pushed two hands. I folded a nut flush draw when I would have ended up busting a guy for about $7,000, but I played it a little weak. The board was paired, and I didn't want to get involved, but I got off it cheap. Overall I'm very happy with the way I'm playing though.

What are you involved in besides playing poker these days?

Chris Moneymaker

I hang out with my family mostly. I do a lot of endorsements. I've got two companies - I'm working on Moneymaker Gaming and Slots. I play a lot on PokerStars.com when I'm at home. Everyday life is pretty much get up, play a few hours on PokerStars.com, go swim in the pool, and hang out with my family.

Great, thanks a lot Chris and good luck in there.

Unfortunately this won't be the year that Chris can once again make it deep in the Main Event, he was busted out shortly after the break. He told me he will be doing some traveling with his family and taking a break from tournament poker. We should see Chris back on the circuit in a few months when he will be rested and ready to add some more wins to his resume.

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