Join 3,415 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Well I walk into the room, passing out hundred dollar bills
May 25, 2013 3:09 PM   Subscribe

When We Held Kings: The oral history of the 2003 World Series of Poker, in which an amateur named Moneymaker turned $39 into $2.5 million and the poker boom was born.
posted by Horace Rumpole (18 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Note the messages on the bottom of Moneymaker's page. "Anyone in Monaco have dollars for Euros?"
posted by Ironmouth at 3:22 PM on May 25, 2013


I bet 007 does
posted by thelonius at 3:40 PM on May 25, 2013


Moving money around is probably the biggest pain in the butt about the poker tour. Chris had just won 12,000 euros and knew that he could get a better rate if he could find a European to give him a straight trade than if he brought it home. You also have to declare the large amounts of cash you typically carry, you always have to worry about getting robbed (I can think of at least a dozen friends who have been mugged coming or going from a poker room) and the various security apparatuses that you encounter sometimes give you a very hard time about it. I know people who have had their cash confiscated at checkpoints and had to sue to get it back. Cops can pretty much just say that having a lot of cash is inherently suspicious and you have to prove how you got it in court.
posted by Lame_username at 3:43 PM on May 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


RIP the boom.
RIP easy money and 18year olds dropping out of high school to grind turning stone STTs while 8 tabling UB LHE.
RIP that promise of endless net gained with the edge consisting of reading one book once.
RIP the dry dominance of such complex math skills as Rough Estimation and Quick Addition
RIP the moist dominance of instinct
RIP the war for personal freedom, the individual against the unthinking mass, the binge that destroys the fear outside the cardroom, where anyone can win, but even if its not you thank god someone always does
RIP the neverending rabbit hole of obsessive learning, endless circular discussions of strategy where opposite stances are both correct and the details of context take on more acronyms than military language
RIP the dream of a 10 thousand entry Main Event, 100 thousand, an entire city of gamblers living day after day for months until all are dead but one, the ultimate fantasy LARP
RIP the camaraderie of an intellectual minority of sharks seeking each other out amid a sea of macho, deluded bait-guts
RIP the circuit and the gossip and the ethics councils and the fans and the gear and the money
RIP the easy money
RIP the Moneymaker Era
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:58 PM on May 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


the moist dominance of instinct

Why hello there, new sockpuppet name.
posted by MattMangels at 4:01 PM on May 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


Moneymaker didn't start the poker boom.

Cheap pinhole cameras that could display ESPN-quality shots of hole cards started the poker boom.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:26 PM on May 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Grantland's doing some really interesting things. This story had just the right amount of gossip that the 'oral history' format lets you pull off. Paired with the clips...man. Fascinating.
posted by tooloudinhere at 4:29 PM on May 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cheap pinhole cameras that could display ESPN-quality shots of hole cards started the poker boom.

That's argued if you read the article.
posted by neuromodulator at 4:46 PM on May 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


> RIP the easy money

All of that, but especially this. And beautifully put, PA.
posted by mosk at 4:48 PM on May 25, 2013


I don't have a non-paywall link, but there was an amazing Harper's article a while back where the author was assigned to cover the World Series of Poker and ended up competing admirably in it. Well worth a read if you can get to it.
posted by A dead Quaker at 5:50 PM on May 25, 2013


That article was turned into an incredible memoir, Positively 5th Street, which I went out and bought the day after Thanksgiving 2003 after staying up all night watching a marathon of ESPN's WSOP coverage.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:56 PM on May 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hole cameras caused the poker boom, and the SAFE Port Act killed it. (also here).
posted by scunning at 6:06 PM on May 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


...Is the title of the post a line from Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy?
posted by maryr at 8:35 PM on May 25, 2013


...Is the title of the post a line from Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy?

Yes, and "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" was the ubiquitous theme song of ESPN's WSoP coverage.
posted by themanwho at 12:11 AM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Moneymaker offered to chop the grand prize and play for the bracelet, and Farha refused even though he was down 2-1 in chips?

Now that's interesting.

That and winning the WSOP cost him his marriage. Wow.

I love poker.
posted by bardic at 3:00 AM on May 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Today I learned Moneymaker ain't a stage name. Now I gotta check and make sure that isn't Randy Savage's real last name.
posted by bukvich at 6:14 AM on May 26, 2013


Randy Savage = Randy Poffo
posted by ShutterBun at 12:03 PM on May 27, 2013


The WSOP Media Director for the 2003 series, Nolan Dalla, has been making a series of blog posts looking back 10 years. The first entry is here.

caveat: I know Nolan as an aquaintance, so this is technically a 'link to the blog of a guy I know', but it's solidly related to the subject matter..
posted by rmd1023 at 11:10 AM on May 28, 2013


« Older Advice for college grads from two sociologists...  |  Hezbollah Secretary-General Ha... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments