Poker news | Feb 02, 2021
Chris Moneymaker and PokerStars Amicably Split – Ends 17 Year Sponsorship Deal
By RTR Dennis
Chris Moneymaker cemented his name into poker lore after winning the 2003 WSOP Main Event along with $2.5 million. He also earned himself a longstanding sponsorship deal with PokerStars.
Since then, Moneymaker has become synonymous with the world’s largest poker site. However, his PokerStars sponsorship has finally ended after 17 years.
The 45-year-old poker player released a video explaining his decision to amicably part with Stars. He explained that not traveling to live tournaments in 2020 (due to COVID-19) gave him time to reflect on his future.
“2020 has been a weird year for everybody, myself included,” said Moneymaker. “I haven’t travelled all year, which has actually been really nice.
“It’s been nice to be reconnected with my family and not be on the road as much. And it’s led me to a very interesting decision that I’ll be leaving PokerStars effective immediately.”
What Are Moneymaker’s Plans for the Future?
Moneymaker didn’t make this choice on a whim. Instead, he weight the pros and cons and came to the decision that there are more benefits to ending his long relationship with PokerStars.
“I’m going to be at home more and play a little bit less poker potentially,” he explained. “[…] I’m going to try and explore some different endeavors. It’s been a phenomenal experience with a great company, and I’ll miss you guys and thanks for everything.”
Outside of this video, Moneymaker recently spoke about an excellent opportunity that has arisen since leaving PokerStars. He declined to offer any further details on the opportunity. One can only assume, though, that it has to do with another poker-related endeavor.
2020 has been a year. Sad news. Thanks for everything @PokerStars pic.twitter.com/tT1rZ12QGr— Chris Moneymaker (@CMONEYMAKER) December 31, 2020
Moneymaker Grateful for His Many Years with Stars
The Main Event champ seems sure on his decision to leave PokerStars. Nevertheless, he had many kind words to say about his former employer.
“I want to thank everybody at PokerStars. It’s been an amazing 17 years. Be able to travel the world, play poker, meet a ton of wonderful people,” said Moneymaker.
“I can’t even tell you how many people I want to thank for this. I want to wish everybody well at PokerStars.
It’s been a great company to work for. Really, sad to leave the company. But the time is right.”
End of an Era
Chris Moneymaker may no longer represent PokerStars. However, he’ll always be remembered for his previous sponsorship deal along with his accomplishments in the game.
Moneymaker is sometimes credited with kick-starting the poker boom. The former accountant from Tennessee won a seat in the 2003 WSOP Main Event through a PokerStars satellite.
From here, the amateur made an improbable run through a field of 839 players to win the world’s most-prestigious poker tournament. He beat long-time pro Sammy Farha heads-up to complete his victory.
Afterward, PokerStars used Moneymaker’s amateur-to-poker-champ story to draw countless new players to the game. They signed him to a sponsorship deal and prominently featured him in many commercials.
Moneymaker has gone on to become a household name among poker players. He’s accumulated more than $3.9 million in live tournament winnings over a 17-year professional career.
His play has slowed considerably in recent times, though. Moneymaker only cashed once in 2020 due to COVID-19 and less-frequent travel. He’s now set to embark on a new journey that’ll be revealed in the near future.