May 26, 2003

An Extremely Brand-New Champion. In what may be both the most incredible upset and stunning development in the history of the World Series of Poker, the aptly named Chris Moneymaker of Springhill, Tennessee outlasted 838 other players to win $2.5 million and the most-coveted title in the game, the $10,000 Buy-In No-Limit Hold `Em Championship. The incredible part of the story is that it was the first time Moneymaker had ever played in a "live" tournament; he has played online for three years, and won a Pokerstars tournament that turned his $40 entry into the $10,000 needed for the WSOP buy-in. Lacking the ability to see and gain reads on opponents, online poker has long been considered a much-lesser version of the real thing, but Moneymaker's title might have changed a few minds about that. The final hand came when Moneymaker called runner-up Sam Farha's ($1.3 million) small raise with 5-4 against Farha's Jack-Ten. A flop of J-5-4 doomed Farha, and another 5 on the river just made it that much prettier for Moneymaker.
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