Chris Moneymaker is widely credited with jumpstarting the global poker boom when he won the World Series of Poker Main Event and took home $2.5M in 2003. He is also considered to be one of the nicest people in the game, both on and away from the felt.

Moneymaker is more than “just” a poker legend and nice guy, however. He is also a father, husband, philanthropist and businessman. And, as it turns out, he’s an incredible, forthright Ask Me Anything guest, too!

At 12pm ET on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, Moneymaker visited Flop Turn River’s forums for several hours to answer questions from FTR’s visitors during a two-part AMA that wrapped up just after 11pm ET. Moneymaker enthusiastically shared his views on national politics as well as his opinion of the best super hero ever (spoiler alert: Batman). Moneymaker even took the time to wish BankItDrew’s mother, Laura, a happy birthday!

If you didn’t have time to attend Moneymaker’s tell-all AMA, don’t worry! You can read all of the tips, advice, observations and jokes he shared below! Enjoy this summary of Moneymaker’s informative, entertaining Ask Me Anything event!

Find out more about Chris Moneymaker:

If you want to check out Moneymaker’s AMA forum thread, simply click here!

Hi Chris,do you treat female poker players differently than you do male poker players when playing live? Are they as skilled as men?

Chris Moneymaker
Depends on the tournament as to the baseline profile I give them. In 10k buyins I give women a ton of respect and am careful of my physical tells as they are usually more observant in men. In lower buy in events my baseline assumption is they are tight passive and I will treat them as such until proven differently.

I profile all the players at my table into categories right away and adjust on the fly to how they play

No seriously, what’s your real surname?

Chris Moneymaker
Was my grandfather and fathers last name

What are your biggest interests/hobbies outside of poker?

Chris Moneymaker
I am a Daily Fantasy Sports nut. Play almost daily especially baseball. Have 3 kids at home so do not have much time for hobbies when I am home. I do enjoy house projects. I built an arbor on the back porch, installed a series of french drains that feeds to a sump pump I installed and am currently working on changing out our flooring in the bedroom. Next project when I get home will be building an outdoor fireplace

Hello Chris, If you could fix a mistake you made in the past in your trajectory in poker, what would this mistake? and had something you had fear of doing but took courage, and did work very well?

Chris Moneymaker
I would for sure fix my complacency towards improving my game for many years. My biggest fear prior to winning the Main Event was public speaking. I was completely and utterly terrified. I have conquered that fear and turned it into an asset.

Hi Chris,

Thanks for coming onto the FTR boards to answer our members’ questions.

1. Do you have a rough idea of what your live poker schedule will be for this year’s WSOP? Which events do you plan on playing?

2. You recently made your debut stream on Twitch. What did you think about the experience and do you have plans to stream regularly in the future?

Chris Moneymaker
I will head out to Vegas on the 26th of June for the HPO Main event. After that event I will remain in Vegas throughout the Main Event, however, I have not seen the schedule yet for WSOP so not sure what I will play.

I think twitch is an amazing platform for poker education and content. I enjoyed doing it but doubt I will do it “regularly” as my current schedule is very random and makes it difficult to do anything consistently.

Do you suppose that an iphone thrown off the top of a hotel skyscraper in Dubai would kill someone on the ground if it hit them on the head?

Chris Moneymaker

Serious Question: What advice helped you improve the most as a player?

Fun Question: What is your favorite joke?

Chris Moneymaker
Dont be afraid to go broke with worst hand. Meditation helps your game.

What difference between praying on poker table and praying in church

At poker Table you mean it

If you had to play a 5 handed nlh game, who would be the 4 hardest players to play against and who would you pick for the most fun?

Chris Moneymaker

Connor Drinnan
Calvin Anderson
Ike Haxton

Hellmuth (for tilt factor)
Michael Jordan
Ben Affleck
Barrack Obama
Serio Garcia

Hi Chris, great to have you here!

One question: Did you really qualify by accident? 🙂 WSOP 2003

Chris Moneymaker
I did, the lobby was not nice and neat like today. All jumbled together and not labeled very well

Hi Chris, I don’t see you very often online. Do you think it is more easily to make profit from live poker than online?

Chris Moneymaker
Playing one game I think it easier to play live. Online is better for multiple games and playing different game variations that no limit. If I had to play one nl game only or tournament I would prefer to play live.

How many hours a week/month/year are you putting in to poker these days?

Chris Moneymaker
I average about 20 hours a week playing and 20 hours a week on business side of poker and learning

Hi, Chris! Thanks for being here!

A few years ago, you said that the biggest difference between then and your ME win in 2003 was that the game had gotten so much more aggressive than it used to be. Do you still think that’s the most significant change that’s occurred over the past decade or so?

What do you think the future of online poker in the US holds for all of us? Do you foresee a day when Americans can play at PokerStars once again? Are you involved with lobbying to legalize online poker in the US?

What sort of business interests do you have outside of poker? Do you support any charities?

Chris Moneymaker
The biggest changes now include the reduction in bet sizes (small ball) and how players are more prolific at assigning hand ranges. New poker training platforms like twitch will make the game more difficult as we move forward. Players are always trying to play GTO now and have many have Nash memorized making push/fold decisions tougher than a few years ago.

I see poker going intrastate for the next few years with Pokerstars coming back into the market. After a few more states adopt online poker things will need to change. Intrastate online poker is not the answer simply because of liquidity. States that currently have online poker recognize this issue and are not seeing the revenue they projected. If it does not go federal in a few years than I think it could completely go away.

My business interests now are pretty much exclusively inside the poker world. I will be part of the poker world for the rest of my life and have been conducting business under that assumption for the last two years. I thought at one point post black friday I may do something else but have since committed to poker.

I support Autism Awareness, Humane Society, and Nascar Foundation (Speeediatrics)

Hi Chris,
Thanks for doing this AMA!

1) Do you have a “pre-game” routine to get in the right frame of mind before playing poker? Any tips to help with poker psychology and or just funny superstitions appreciated!
2) Who has been the most supportive person with regards to your career, how have they helped to get you to where you are today?

Thanks very much!

Chris Moneymaker
I have taken up meditation in the last few months and it has helped tremendously. I usually woke up around 2 hours before the tournament and do light stretching/yoga and meditate for 20-30 min. I then shower and go eat a heavy meal. I start out the day alittle groggy from the meal but have energy for later in the day as I just snack throughout the day. As I advance past day 1 I will eat a lighter morning meal and add more snacks.

My wife has been the most supportive person in my career/life. Without her I cant focus on what I need to do. She pushes me to better myself in all aspects of life not just poker. I have learned so much from her, the most important being that I play a game and I should enjoy it, but once the game is over I need to enjoy life as well.

Hi Chris, what attracts you to play so many play money games on Pokerstars?

Chris Moneymaker
Pokerstars requested that I play on the play money site. I know players I am playing against get a kick out of it and that makes me happy as well.

Hey Chris.
Very honored to have the opportunity to ask you a few questions.

1) What was the best advice you’ve been given and that is very useful when you play live?
2) If you could be an international figure outside Poker for 24h, who would it be and why?
3) Which was the most hilarious moment lived by you at the tables?

Thank you!

Fantastic initiative FTR! Thank you for bringing this Poker “monster” to us! 🙂

Chris Moneymaker
best advice for live play is to pay attention!! Dont focus on the face as you most likely wont see much. Instead focus on the hands, bet sizing, glare frequency, posture, card checking and card apex, and finally card placement.

Dalai Lama as I would love to reach the point of spiritual bliss that is supposedly maintained.

Played a “drunk and go” many years and pretty much everyone had best night ever till we all passed out,

What’s up with your website? I can’t go beyond the landing page.

Chris Moneymaker
I am in process of taking it over from Pokerstars and will be revamping the site. We currently are housing and developing but even that project is delayed as we are working aggressively on some Brick and Mortar agendas.

What do you think of Chris Christie and “Bridgegate?”

What do you think about the foreign donations that the Clinton Foundation accepted? Do you think there’s any legitimacy as to why they’re being scrutinized? Do you this this issue or the email thing will affect Hilary Clinton’s run more?

Who do you think will win the presidential election in 2016?

Are you a republican, democrat or something else?

What do you think are the most pressing issues that presidential candidates need to be preparing to address if they were to take office?

On what issues do you think Obama has dropped the ball, if any?

Chris Moneymaker
Chris Christie should not be in office and should be ashamed to stoop to the level of Bridgegate. I am a cynic and believe he knew full well what was going on and was responsible for the petty act,

Clinton- Almost all if not all politicians make poker players look honorable (see cynic above). I think politicians start off with good intentions and get sucked into the black hole that is lobbyists and interest groups. There is legitimacy to the claims but I would say any other politician has received “dirty” money into their campaign fund. I don’t think either issue will affect Hillary unless something concrete develops pointing to actual issues (deleted Benghazi emails or other classified documents shared through her server). I do believe she has more exposure with the emails than the foundation.

If Hillary gets Democratic nomination then the republic nominee will win. I don’t think the world is ready for a woman President. Not so much out country but the other countries. She would not be recognized in many middle eastern countries as out leader. This may end up having no bearing and she may become President, however, I dont see it.

I am libertarian mostly. I see flaws in both parties and think the whole system is a joke on many fronts.

To many big issues to name, but would love to see ObamaCare repealed or reformed. Think the country strongly needs welfare reform. I have had friends not take jobs because they made more on unemployment and or welfare. Whole system is broken and needs to be fixed. I would like to see the government take that welfare money and offer it up as a bonus to low income earners to encourage people to reenter the workforce.

Obama’s NCAA bracket got better reviews from me than most of his time in office. We don’t need a “cool” or “hip” president,

Off soap box

What did you think of the Mayweather v Pacquiao bout? If that was the fight of the century, boxing is in a sad state of affairs, I think.

Who’s your pick for this year’s Stanley Cup?

Who do you think will take down the NBA championship?

Chris Moneymaker
Thought it was the biggest waste of $100 I have ever spent. If boxing wasn’t dying that fight may have killed it.

Don’t even know hockey team names. The only sport I dont folow at all

Golden State

Who do you think is the coolest super hero every? If you could have a super power that didn’t relate to poker, what would it be? What if it could relate to poker?

Chris Moneymaker
Superman is by far coolest superhero. You a moron if think otherwise.

To be able to see into the future like the movie Next with Nicolas Cage

Would like to be able to see through the cards like Ivey

Hi Chris …big big honor to have you here 🙂

– What are your favorite hobbies when you want to “get away” from poker?
– Best …vacation …EVER?
– I’m starting to improve my game (fish here) and I notice (my friends too) that my strong point is bluffing as well as calling out their bluff; in other words the psicological part of the game is my strong point…. what do you think I could add here to make me a decent player already?

Thanks 🙂

Chris Moneymaker
hobbies I listed in previous answer
best Vacation was a cruise to alaska. Such amazing scenery and wildlife

Learning basic fundamentals and the math of poker. Understand push/call ranges and how stack sizes affect your decisions.

Chris Moneymaker
I will be back later this evening to answer the remaining questions and any follow up ones but have a meeting I need to prep for that kicks in 30 min.

Thanks guys

Hey Chris,

Have been a big fan since 2003. I’m sure you’ve heard it many times, but I started playing shortly after your 2003 win. Poker has been a game that has brought me a lot of joy, so thanks for all you’ve done to start the poker boom.

– How do you feel the game has changed since your 2003 win?

– How has your game evolved since 2003? What changes have you made in that regard?

– Dan Goldman has a really entertaining blog (Braindump v1.0) where he shares a lot of stories from the early days at PokerStars. I can’t find the specific post, but in one of them he mentioned your apprehension of becoming the face of PokerStars after your win. Why were you hesitant? What else can you remember about that period of time you’d like to share? How did your life change as a result?

Thanks again for doing the AMA and good luck at the WSOP!

Chris Moneymaker
The game has gotten more technical and calculated. Raise sizes are smaller but 3 and 4 bets are common unlike 2003. The average player is so much better today than 2003 thanks to resources.

My game got a complete overhaul. Biggest change was just a understanding of math and core concepts better. Always was good at hand ranges

I had a huge fear of public speaking and was nervous about giving up my 9-5

Hi Chris … you’re the man 🙂

After that big win in 2003 was there anything special you bought with the money? Something that you wanted for a long time?

If you were to join the simpsons, poker and WSOP altogether in the same universe…what would be the first image that would pop into your mind 🙂

All the best Chris 🙂

Chris Moneymaker
Bought a Porsche that I always wanted but other than that nothing that big

Homer saying “DOH” after caught bluffing

Hey Chris,, always been a big fan!

•What’s the best hero call you’ve correctly made at the table?
•What accomplishment in poker are you most proud of, other than the main event win?
•What advice do you have for players after a big score that greatly increases their bankroll? I think I read before that you decided to keep your day job (correct me if I’m wrong), would you recommend that others do the same?


Chris Moneymaker
Called a 900 river shove in a 5/10 nl game with 8 high on a 4510 K A board. he fired all 3 streets put her on 67 with history. was right

11th at the PCA

Dont quit your job (I did not originally) and dont move up stakes


We were at the same craps table at Atlantis in the Bahamas once with your friend who reminded me of Will Ferrell. Other than poker and craps, what other casino games do you like?

What do you like best about Cinco De Mayo?

Thanks for doing this AMA!

Chris Moneymaker

Don’t really celebrate cinco de mayo anymore was the coronas

How has your passion for poker changed, if at all, since 2003? Do you still play as often and find it as enjoyable?

Chris Moneymaker
Warren Buffet
Bill Gates

Against which female pros are you the most careful against as far as your physical tells go?

Chris Moneymaker
Anyone named Vanessa and Liv

Hi Chris,do you gamble much on non-skill games or games that have a house edge?

Chris Moneymaker
I try to very rarely do so but occasionally I like to unwind with some craps or baccarat

Hey Chris, thanks so much for doing this.

What are a couple of things you feel are common mistakes made by new professionals? Not regarding in game mistakes but outside of the poker table.

Chris Moneymaker
Not having a balanced life. They get burned out quickly. Not having a plan B, if poker doesnt work dont need a year or more blank on your resume. Poor bankroll management

A few more questions:

As an avid MLB bettor, what are your thoughts on my Jays this year?

When should I 3 bet preflop?

Today is my moms birthday. Can you wish her a happy bday? Her name is Laura.

Chris Moneymaker
Offense is great but when RA Dickey is your #2 you in trouble. If make the playoffs will need to make trade for better pitching.

3 betting greatly depends on so many factors. Stack sizes, opponent, remaining players to act ect

Happy Birthday Mom