What is Chris Moneymaker’s net worth? Who is Chris Moneymaker’s wife?
Chris Moneymaker is a US-born poker player who seemingly came out of nowhere to win the main event at the 2003 WSOP.
His win was an inspiration to amateur poker fans everywhere, and also a great way to publicize the PokerStars online WSOP qualifier event.
Moneymaker’s win inspired the phrase, the Moneymaker Effect—often used in the press to describe the surge of interest in poker after the amateur poker player won the WSOP.
The Origin Story
Christopher Bryan Moneymaker—who legally changed his last name from Nurmacher following his win—was born on November 21, 1975, in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Southern boy attended Farragut High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, before moving on to study accounting at the University of Tennessee.
He earned his master’s degree.
After graduation, Moneymaker worked as a high-level accounting executive in Tennessee.
He also took on a part-time gig at a Spring Hill restaurant.
Taking a Gamble on Love
Chris Moneymaker and his first wife married were married in the 90s.
In his own words, his wife was married to a stay-at-home accountant.
Moneymaker went from being home every night, working a 9-to-5, and being responsible with money, to something totally different—a traveling gambler who was gone all the time.
The couple divorced, despite having their first child together—a baby girl named Ashley—just 12 weeks before his big poker win.
In hindsight, Moneymaker admits that he liked the lifestyle too much to go home.
The divorce cost the newly minted millionaire a lot, but Chris claims it didn’t take long to get himself situated again.
At the time, the skilled poker player had a PokerStars sponsorship, a tonne of endorsement deals, and a healthy wallet.
He never went back to an office job again.
A couple of years after his WSOP win—and with his divorce finalized—Moneymaker met a new lady.
Her name was Christina Wren.
According to Chris, Christina knew what she was getting herself into by marrying a poker player.
With his high profile and hectic lifestyle, Moneymaker was still struggling to balance his newfound fame with a family life, so the relationship still had its struggles.
Eventually, the life of a pro poker player needed to change.
Moneymaker didn’t give up the poker—but he did say goodbye to the nightclubs and constant partying.
In 2018, Moneymaker admitted that rather than hit the party circuit or a high-end bar after a tournament, he looks forward to heading to his room to watch Netflix or hang out with his kid.
The newly settled-down version of Moneymaker obviously appealed to Christina—the couple got married in April 2005, and live together in Nashville, Tennessee with their three children.
A Strange Side Hustle
After his WSOP success, Moneymaker was looking for avenues in which to build his bankroll.
One of the ideas floated to him was a children’s book.
So he wrote one.
The book, titled Bet Big to Win Big, was meant to be about math for kids—and sharing some kid-friendly life lessons.
Instead, the book—published in 2005—was slammed as promoting reckless behavior, gambling, and addiction by the National Council on Problem Gambling.
The Main Event
Most poker fans know the story of Moneymaker’s meteoric rise to WSOP royalty—and that it came from an $86 satellite win on PokerStars.
But what is less commonly known is that Moneymaker hadn’t ever wanted to win a seat at the main table.
After his first win in the $86 event, he scored a seat in a $650 tournament.
A win at that table would get him a seat at the Main Event—worth $10,000.
However, if he placed fourth, he’d take home $8,000 in cash.
That’s what Moneymaker wanted to get his hands on.
Instead, one of his buddies promised him $5,000 in exchange for half of whatever Moneymaker won in the WSOP tournament.
Moneymaker took the deal and went on to secure a victory at the 2003 WSOP Main Event.
That win would trigger the biggest boom poker has seen in its history.
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The Moneymaker Effect
Chris Moneymaker’s win over the iconic Sam Farha gave millions of amateur poker enthusiasts the encouragement they needed.
It convinced them to try their hand (excuse the pun) in the competitive arena.
Moneymaker’s iconic win saw a flood of amateur poker players taking to online sites to follow their dreams of WSOP victory.
Dreams of poker tournaments and world travel, sponsorships, and world fame filled their hearts.
In short: if an amateur poker-playing accountant from Tennessee could pocket $2.5 million, why can’t I do it?
And they did do it.
In 2006, talent agent Jamie Gold took home the biggest payout in WSOP history (up to that point, anyway): $12 million.
The following year, another amateur named Jerry Yang took out the WSOP win.
While neither of the men won their ticket to the main event in an online event—with Jamie Gold getting his seat from some movie industry contacts, and Jerry getting in the traditional way—it’s easy to credit Moneymaker with the new wave of amateur WSOP winners.
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Chris Moneymaker – Net Worth
Christopher earned most of his wealth from winning the Main Event at the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP). Moneymaker collected $2,584,979 for the win.
Chris is also the author of ”Bet Big to Win Big” and ”How an Amateur Poker Player Turned $40 into $2.5 Million.”
In July 2021, Moneymaker announced the launch of a social poker room in Kentucky.
Therefore, American poker player Chris Moneymaker has an estimated net worth of $3 million.
Want to learn more about Chris Moneymaker? Here’s an interview with the WSOP winner.
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