|Author||Chris Moneymaker with Daniel Paisner|
|Pros||Very detailed first-person account of Chris Moneymaker's run to the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event title, including his thoughts during numerous important hands.|
|Cons||More than you ever wanted to know about his sports gambling losses.|
|1||Day One: Morning|
|9||1. Easy Money|
|25||Day One: Early Afternoon|
|33||2. Not-So-Easy Money|
|49||Day One: Late Afternoon|
|55||3. Poker Star|
|77||Day One: Evening|
|83||4. Do Tell|
|97||Day One: Late Night|
|105||Chip Leaders: Close of Play, Day One|
|107||5. Day Two|
|123||Chip Leaders: Close of Play, Day Two|
|125||6. Day Three|
|145||Chip Leaders: Close of Play, Day Three|
|147||7. Day Four|
|163||Chip Leaders: Dinner Break, Day Four -- 8:15 P.M.|
|179||Chip Leaders: Close of Play, Day Four -- Final Table|
|181||8. Day Five|
|201||Chip Leaders: Tournament Results|
|205||9. The Morning Friggin' After|
|227||Appendix A: Crib Sheet 1: The Relative Values of Poker Hands|
|229||Appendix B: Crib Sheet 2: A Short Course on Texas Hold 'Em|
|233||Appendix C: Crib Sheet 3: The Relative Values of Texas Hold 'Em Hands|
|235||Appendix D: Crib Sheet 4: The Probability of Key Opening Hands|
|237||Appendix E: Crib Sheet 5: A Glossary of Poker Terms|
Moneymaker was a degenerate sports gambler who had amassed $50,000 in debt. He didn't really have any disposable income. Although he played cards most of life and played some poker, he only learned Texas Hold 'Em after he had started working full-time and gotten married after college. The guy who taught him, the friend of a cousin of a friend of his, regularly cleaned up at their poker games for a while, but Moneymaker wasn't discouraged.His family and friends all played a big part in his story, but Moneymaker made his mark at the card table (both virtual and real), where the most exciting parts take place. More details and some corrections1
For starters, the cover of the book says "How an amateur poker player turned $40 into $2.5 million at the World Series of Poker". Even when the book was published, the correct buyin amount was thought to be $39. Moneymaker himself somehow misremembered though, and PokerStars later discovered and admitted that the buyin was actually $86 in 2014.
Moneymaker shared this fact in When We Were Kings, posted by Grantland a decade later. Since he thought the buyin was $39, he claimed he had $60 in the account, but the basic idea still holds.
Also from the Grantland article. Moneymaker claims that the PokerStars user interface wasn't very clear about the fact.
The book incorrectly gives the buyin of the second satellite as $600 instead of $650 ($615+$35).
Key people in the story are named Moneymaker, Gamble, and Goldman (PokerStars marketing guy Dan Goldman). It would be corny if it were fiction.
Also from the Grantland article. Farha countered that they should play winner-take-all, and no deal was struck.
On page 154, Moneymaker admits that he got lucky but insists the way ESPN edited the footage made him look luckier than he was.
Paisner has written fourteen New York Times best-sellers, so, while Moneymaker is not one of them, it is a well-written account of one of the most amazing chapters in poker history that led to a boom that saw the WSOP Main Event jump from 839 to 8,773 players in three years.