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From the WSOP rail: Moneymaker gets some love; cricket star chirping

5 July 2008

To a certain degree, the modern poker industry is the house that Chris Moneymaker built.

Moneymaker's victory in the 2003 Main Event helped launch the poker boom that ran from 2003-2006. An amateur player at the time, Moneymaker earned his buy-in through by winning a $39 satellite on PokerStars. Then he bluffed well-known poker pro Sam Farha out of some big pots during heads-up play to earn a dramatic victory and $2.5 million. As a result of Moneymaker's big win, play at both online poker sites and the WSOP soared for the next few years.

Moneymaker

Chris Moneymaker signs a T-shirt for one of his fans. (photo by Vin Narayanan, Casino City)

Everybody believed they could either play, or learn to play online and win the big one. So everyone tried. Five years later, the poker industry is still reaping the benefits of Moneymaker's victory. Entering the Main Event, registration was up for the World Series of Poker. And more substantially more people play poker online now than did five years.

And on Thursday, poker fans showed Moneymaker their appreciation by lining up in droves at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino to get autographed T-shirts.

Moneymaker patiently signed every shirt and posed for autographs. And poker fans had a chance to say thank you to the guy who started it all.

Bowling for chips
In the cricket world (sports, not insects), Australia's Shane Warne was an international superstar -- the Michael Jordan of his sport. He was a brilliant leg spin bowler who dominated the game -- just ask the Brits. Now Warne has turned his attention to poker, and he made his debut at the World Series of Poker Main Event Friday. Warne cuts a striking figure at the poker table, combining rugged good looks with steely determination. And he likes to watch other play as well. When there was an all-in call at an adjacent table, he popped up out of his seat to go watch the action. He also proved he can play the game. He's lasted well into the night here on Day 1B.

From the WSOP rail: Moneymaker gets some love; cricket star chirping is republished from CasinoVendors.com.
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Best of Vin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan

Vin Narayanan is the managing editor at Casino City. When he's not writing or editing stories, he likes to play Chinese Poker, Badugi, Razz and any other "non-traditional" poker game. He also thinks blackjack is his best game and loves game theory.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vin can be found on most nights and weekends trying to find a way to watch the Spartans play football or basketball.

Vin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan is the managing editor at Casino City. When he's not writing or editing stories, he likes to play Chinese Poker, Badugi, Razz and any other "non-traditional" poker game. He also thinks blackjack is his best game and loves game theory.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vin can be found on most nights and weekends trying to find a way to watch the Spartans play football or basketball.