The Moneymaker Decade

3 Jul

The World Series of Poker is going on in Las Vegas, and it is something that I have been keeping up with for a long time. Although I am sure that I watched it earlier, my earliest recollection is watching Scotty Nguyen winning the main event in 1998. However, it was ten years ago that an unknown player shocked the poker world.

Chris Moneymaker came from nowhere to win the 2003 main event.Chris Moneymaker

It was interesting to watch, and it was surreal that he was from Nashville and worked for a restaurant that I have been to many times. (An aside: Moneymaker was not the first Tennessean to win the main event. Puggy Pearson, one of the all-time greats, won it in 1973.) After Moneymaker’s victory, a lot of people became interested in the game. It seemed that everyone was playing No Limit Texas Hold’em.

It wasn’t long before a bunch of guys at work began a regular Sunday night game. Some played every week, and others drifted in and out. I don’t know how long we did this, but a lot of changes took place during that time. Some got married. Some had kids. Some got divorces. We got lucky and took bad beats. We talked about work and about less serious stuff. One night, my girlfriend called to tell me that she was stuck in an elevator.

As I think back on all of that, it is hard to believe that it has been ten years. It seems like yesterday that I was watching the final table on television. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were meeting on Sunday nights. As I look back, it brings to mind all of the changes that have taken place in the Moneymaker Decade. Obviously, his life has changed during that time, but everyone else’s has changed, too.

In 2003, I was in my second year of teaching. I was also the youngest member of the History faculty. Now, I am the oldest member of the History faculty.

In 2003, I was dating a kindergarten teacher and was not being very faithful. She was followed by a string of girlfriends. Now, I am getting married in a few days.

In 2003, I had never played a hand of poker. The first night I went to the Sunday game was the first time I had ever played. There is no telling how many hands I have played since. Now, I haven’t played poker in a year, and that game wasn’t very serious.

I 2003, I had yet to teach the field trip class to New Mexico. Now, I have been on the trip countless times and am supposed to take it over. Two of the teachers have retired and one is not far from it.

In 2003, I had considerable more hair. Now, it has gone somewhere.

Like any other ten-year period, the Moneymaker Decade has brought a lot of experiences and changes. Some good. Some bad. Some remembered. Some forgotten. Through it all, I remember watching a guy from my town win the biggest poker tournament in the world. I just can’t believe ten years has passed that quickly.

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6 Responses to “The Moneymaker Decade”

  1. sj July 3, 2013 at 06:04 #

    I love this post. Love it.

    Congratulations and everything, but all I can think about is the book I’m currently reading (which is primarily ABOUT poker) and how awesomely coincidental that is.

    • Rick July 3, 2013 at 16:44 #

      Thanks. What book are you reading? I may need to check it out.

      • sj July 3, 2013 at 16:46 #

        Last Call by Tim Powers.

  2. Alex H July 3, 2013 at 06:45 #

    Awesome……..Just Awesome Share.I love it.Looking forward for more.Alex,Thanks.

  3. DyingNote July 7, 2013 at 02:29 #

    Moneymaker? Real name or assumed moniker?

    • Rick July 7, 2013 at 20:12 #

      It is his real name. Ten years ago, no one could believe it, either.

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