Chris Moneymakers No Longer a PokerStars Pro
The poker world saw a lot of change in 2020. We saw the WSOP move online and the Main Event became a hybrid event. The poker world lost poker legend Mike Sexton and WSOP everyman Darvin Moon. GGPoker has become a major player in the online poker world.
One thing we never thought we’d see is the termination of the longest online poker sponsorship in history. On Thursday, 2003 WSOP Main Event Champion Chris Moneymaker announced that he is leaving PokerStars effective immediately. This ends a 17 year relationship between the two. Moneymaker states he is leaving the company to pursue other endeavors.
Chris Moneymaker Leaves PokerStars
I don’t think anyone saw the news that broke on Thursday. Chris Moneymaker took to Twitter and other social media to announce he is no longer a sponsored pro at PokerStars:
— Chris Moneymaker (@CMONEYMAKER) December 31, 2020
This clearly was not a sudden announcement as PokerStars followed up Moneymaker’s announcement with a video saying goodbye to the man that Lon McEachern calls the “Greatest Poker Ambassador of This Century.”
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
Moneymaker replied, “Damn hit me in the feels” after watching the video.
According to the video that Moneymaker posted, he will be playing less poker and focusing on other endeavors. What that means right now remains to be seen. When saying he will be playing less poker, he said, “We will see how that goes.” Moneymaker clearly knows that few poker players ever truly retire from the game.
Clearly The Decision Was Moneymaker’s
Moneymaker didn’t talk about why he chose to leave PokerStars, but he is making it clear that he is the one calling the shots here and not the World’s Largest Poker Site. One poker fans called the announcement “unreal” and even asked what PokerStars was even about as a company. Moneymaker quickly responded stating “Wasn’t their decision.”
This move by Moneymaker is not the first time a high profile member of the team has left. We all know about Daniel Negreanu’s decision to leave PokerStars. He went on to join GGPoker and is very involved with that company. Other players to leave PokerStars include Liv Boeree, Greg Raymer, and Igor Kurganov.
Considering Moneymaker’s influence on the poker world and his popularity in the poker community, it is not surprising that it was him that chose to leave over PokerStars. The question now is, what’s next?
Will Moneymaker Land Elsewhere?
The big question now is whether we will see Moneymaker with another poker company or if he will truly pursue other endeavors. Things are dicey right now as the world is still bogged down in a global pandemic. Most any poker-related endeavors would have to be online-based at least for now.
Two companies that would be good fits are partypoker and GGPoker. Many high profile poker pros have signed with partypoker in recent years, so Moneymaker would be a welcome addition to that stable of players.
However, the best overall fit may be GGPoker. GGPoker has a partnership with the World Series of Poker and Moneymaker would be a perfect fit for that company. He could be the face for all online WSOP events and could a draw on par or even greater than most of the pros on the roster outside of Daniel Negreanu.
Whatever happens, Moneymaker is a free agent for the first time since winning the WSOP Main Event. We will definitely see him at the poker tables in the future, but the frequency will likely depend on whether he signs with another company. Regardless of where the Poker Hall of Famer lands, we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.