CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Related Links
Recent Articles
Best of Mark Pilarski

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Moneymaker makes good on his name

29 September 2003

Dear Mark,
I have seen and heard about people getting into online poker tournaments by entering with a buy-in of $40.00, and winning some big-time money. My question is how, or where, do they go to get in? M.J.

A few months back, I penned a column stating that an amateur could not possibly compete against the best poker players in the world. Poker sovereignty requires massive deception, lying, stealing and a whole host of other necessary plunger virtues, which in combination can drive other (amateur) players off the pot. I now shudder to recall that I wrote something like: Against the teeth of the pros, your hide is still a red meat moment.

Well, MJ, I have to soften my position. No, check that. I humbly chow and choke on my words above. Not only can it be done; it HAS been done, by a rookie of just three years playing experience, a man named, aptly if incredibly, CHRIS MONEYMAKER.

The poker world was forever changed on May 24th, 2003, when Chris Moneymaker, who had never played in a "live" tournament, won the main event in the 34th annual World Series of Poker Championship at Binion's casino in Las Vegas. And yet, this Cinderella story is not exclusive to Binion's on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. Online players playing on the World Poker Tour (Travel Channel) are not only making the final table, but also winning some WPT events. Moneymaker's win launches a new era in poker, where not only can you become a skilled poker chiefly by playing online; you can become the World Poker Champion. I'm still eatin' here, a little nibble of delicious roast crow.

Today, humans weaned on a computer, playing in $40 online buy-in tournaments, are eclipsing the seasoned expertise borne by playing countless hands in a smoke-filled casino.
The final World Championship Event Texas Hold'em (No Limit) has a buy-in of $10,000, but of 839 players, only 63 paid the full $10,000. The others qualified by winning satellite tournaments at Binion's or online poker tournaments. Chris Moneymaker qualified at a tournament held at pokerstars.com, for which he paid an entrance fee of only $40. Besides pokerstars.com, other online poker sites are paradisepoker.com, partypoker.com and ultimatebet.com.

But a caveat, MJ, when it comes to playing poker online: Nevada gaming regulators, getting their cue from the federal government, have issued the bureaucratic mumble that Internet poker sites are illegally allowing American citizens to play. Nevada law now expressly prohibits players betting on the Internet. As you might expect, regulators and the law enforcement jockies have not prosecuted individual players, yet.

Being modestly alert to real world happenings, I do not and can not condone even a mild fracture of pertinent statutes, but do understand that the adventurous among us may calculate a risk/reward ratio that reflects the Moneymaker formula of $40 to make 2.7 million through an online route, despite the possible decline in cordiality between them and the feds.

Dear Mark,
Concerning Texas Hold'em, what does the term "nut" mean? Mayo L.

Mayo, old pal, you've hit a 3-bagger. The "nuts" is an unbeatable hand, given the cards that have been dealt and played. Then there is the "nut player," one who plays only premium hands. And finally, there's the "nut," the minimum stake (money or overhead) needed to continue playing this nutty lifestyle.

Gambling quote of the week: "I got lucky along the way. I also bluffed a lot during this tournament, but somehow I got away with it." Chris Moneymaker, 2003 WSOP Winner

Related Links
Recent Articles
Best of Mark Pilarski
Mark Pilarski

As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.
Mark Pilarski
As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.