During the course of a poker tournament, there are many poker hands that are pivotal in the victor eventually claiming the title and the first place prize money that goes along with it. But one hand in particular was seemingly responsible for much more than that, as it led to Chris Moneymaker‘s WSOP Main Event championship and the resulting poker boom that attracted a huge amount of new players to the felt.
The hand in question occurred during Moneymaker’s 2003 title run with 10 players remaining in the tournament. Moneymaker was dealt #ah#qd and his pre-flop bet of 60,000 was called by both Phil Ivey and Jason Lester. Ivey had #9s#9h under the hood, while Lester was in better shape with #10d#10s.
A flop of #qh#6s#qs gave Moneymaker trips and an 82% chance of holding on through fifth street. After a check from Lester, the young amateur from Tennessee made a small bet, only 70,000, which prompted Ivey to call. Lester played it safe and folded his pocket 10s, leaving Ivey and Moneymaker in a heads-up battle.
A #9c on the turn full-boated Ivey, putting him in the driver’s seat with an 83% probability of winning the hand provided that he could dodge the seven outs available to the rookie with a family name custom-made for poker. A 200,000 bet by Moneymaker was met with an all-in shove by the Tiger Woods of Poker. Moneymaker snap-called and showed his frustration when Ivey revealed his hole cards and a full house.
But lo and behold, the poker Gods found favor with Moneymaker and bestowed on him the #as on the river, sending Ivey to the rail with 10th place prize money of $82,700. The rest, of course, is history, as Moneymaker went on to win the Main Event and prompted newbies to flock to the virtual and live poker tables in hopes of becoming the next amateur-turned-pro sensation in the world of poker.
Check out a video recap of the hand that forever changed poker history, as well as Moneymaker’s take on the action.