Poker Boom Builder Chris Moneymaker on the Prowl as WSOP Main Event Bubble Bursts on Day 3

If Tiger Woods, who won his first golf major in April since 2008, maybe Chris Moneymaker can also repeat his 2003 WSOP Main Event title? The man largely responsible for the early 2000s poker boom has an above-average stack heading into Day Four on Tuesday and the bubble has already burst.

Chris Moneymaker WSOP Main Event

Can Chris Moneymaker repeat his 2003 WSOP Main Event championship? (Image: Wikipedia)

“Only” 1,286 out of 8,569 players remain in poker’s most prestigious annual tournament. Preben Stokan bagged the largest stack with 2,184,000 chips. Moneymaker left with 681,000, good for 222nd place. But he’s in great shape heading into the tournament’s most stressful and important days.

Ryan Pochedly made a name for himself on Day Three but in an unfortunate way. He was the 1,287th place finisher, making him the proverbial Bubble Boy. Pochedly didn’t receive any money but won a free entry into the 2020 Main Event. Everyone left in the field is guaranteed at least a $15,000 payday.

Here at CardsChat, we’d also like to give a shout out to one of our long-time forum members, Jacki Burkhart. Jacki bagged an impressively large stack of 819,000 chips and will be right in the thick of things on Day Four.

Can the Champ Do it Again?

Chris Moneymaker is one of the most important figures in poker history. In 2003, the amateur who won an $86 satellite into the Main Event, shocked the world and became world champion. His victory helped spark a massive poker boom which attracted millions of new players to the game. Many fans watching his Main Event run on ESPN were enamored by his “Average Joe” character they could relate to.

Fast forward 16 years later and the champ advanced to Day Four with a healthy stack. The long-time PokerStars ambassador secured his first cash in the Main Event since he won it all in 2003.

Moneymaker began Day Three with just 56,000 in chips, which is less than the 60,000-chip starting stack. But he was able to run it up throughout the day and finished with 681,000.

The former world champion has many of fans in the community pulling for him, sending good luck his way on social media. He’s one of the top ambassadors in poker and you’d be hard pressed to find many poker players – except the ones at his table in the Main Event, of course – rooting against him.

Defending Champ Out But Other Stars Remain

John Cynn, the defending world champion, was eliminated on Day Three. But he handled himself with class prior to the start of the tournament and all the way up to his final hand.

Other former champs Scotty Nguyen, Jim Bechtel, and Joe Hachem were also felted on Monday. Hachem’s son, Daniel, however, not only made it to Day Four but bagged a large stack (1,036,000).

Notable Day Four WSOP Main Event Big Stacks

  • Galen Hall 1,658,000
  • Jean-Robert Bellande 1,126,000
  • Joseph Cheong 1,068,000
  • Matt Glantz 817,000
  • Kathy Liebert 750,000
  • Olivier Busquet 746,000

The 2019 WSOP Main Event, with 8,569 players, is the second largest in history behind 2006 (8,773). A champion will be crowned on July 16 and that individual – perhaps, it will be Moneymaker – will take home $10 million.

Jon Sofen
Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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