Wednesday, May 03, 2006


As part of my ongoing effort to learn a bit more about poker this week I read Moneymaker by Chris Moneymaker and Daniel Paisner. Its a first hand account of how Moneymaker went from being an unknown amateur no one would have considered even a minor threat to winning the 2003 World Series of Poker. Its a pleasant and quick read. What's interesting is that Moneymaker had been gambling in one form or another since he was a little kid, and that his college and after college gambling had left him in debt. Whether one could call Moneymaker an addict is debateable, but his gambling debts were such that only the promise of money from a friend lead him to win a free seat to the World Series via an online poker tournament instead of in effect throwing the tournament so he would win the second prize of $8000. A free seat at the pinnacle of US poker events was far less valuable than actual money that could go a long way to paying off debts a young accountant with a wife and baby couldn't afford. Equally ironic was that winning the 2.5 millon dollar grand prize ended Moneymaker's financial problems, yet introduced a whole new set of tensions that proved equally as hard on his personal life as being in debt had been. Definitely an interesting case to consider when you see the jubilation of the winner of such an event.

No comments: