PokerStars ended their association with Chris Moneymaker after 17 long years. The poker platform announced on 31 December 2020, that they will be ending their tie up with Moneymaker who was the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion. This move comes as a surprise due to the length of their association.
In 2003, Moneymaker was an amateur poker player who qualified for the WSOP main event through an $86 satellite on PokerStars. Defeating 839 players, the accountant from Tennessee reached the final table of the event and beat poker pro Sammy Farha to win a whopping $2.5 million. After his big win, Moneymaker immediately signed a sponsorship deal with PokerStars and has been a part of the PokerStars family ever since.
After 17 years as a PokerStars Ambassador, today we say farewell to @CMONEYMAKER.
Thank you for everything you’ve done for PokerStars, the game of poker & the industry. Without you, who knows where we would all be today, we can’t thank you enough.
Farewell, but not goodbye. 🤝 pic.twitter.com/1EW9FOTWrJ
— PokerStars (@PokerStars) December 31, 2020
Many hail Moneymaker as the reason for the poker boom in the early 2000s. His story served as an inspiration for numerous people to start playing poker in the hopes of achieving what he did. In 2019, Moneymaker along with David Oppenheim, a high-stakes cash game pro, were inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
In a video statement released on Twitter, Moneymaker confirmed the announcement and revealed that he will be looking to explore different endeavors and devote lesser time to poker. He stated that the time was right and thanked PokerStars for the incredible journey.
— Chris Moneymaker (@CMONEYMAKER) December 31, 2020
Chris Moneymaker is an addition to the list of pros that the company has been cutting ties with. Before this, PokerStars ended their 12-year association with Daniel Negreanu, a Poker Hall of Famer and a six-time WSOP bracelet winner. Liv Boeree and Igor Kurganov also parted ways with PokerStars just six-months after Negreanu. PokerStars has instead chosen to sponsor more popular streamers, a decision that aligns with a shift in their marketing strategy.
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