For the last 17 years since his iconic World Series of Poker Main Event win, Chris Moneymaker has been the biggest face of poker and of the main faces of PokerStars.
That reign came to end on Thursday when Moneymaker announced that he was leaving the online poker site to spend more time with his family and less time traveling.
Moneymaker announces PokerStars departure
In a video announcement, Moneymaker said he hasn’t traveled much this year and that it has been really nice to connect with his family.
“I’m really sad to leave the company but the time is right, being 2020. I am going to try to explore some different endeavors.”
— Chris Moneymaker (@CMONEYMAKER) December 31, 2020
Moneymaker leaves PokerStars after a time when many of its top ambassadors have departed the online poker site over the last couple of years. Although it’s unknown whether Moneymaker would consider signing with another online poker site, former ambassadors such as Daniel Negreanu, Jaime Staples and Isaac Haxton have found roles on other online poker rooms.
With Moneymaker’s departure from PokerStars, he hinted that he may be less visible in the poker world in the future. “I am going to be at home more and play a little less poker potentially. We will see how things go.”
After Chris Moneymaker released his statement, PokerStars also thanked Moneymaker for everything he has done for the game of poker by releasing a video honoring his time since his legendary win. As Negreanu said in the tribute: “Chris Moneymaker is an absolute legend. There is actually an era named after this man.”
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
Although the departure for Moneymaker marks an incredible run for MoneyMaker, many believe this isn’t the end of the poker road for the man, as James Hartigan said succinctly:
The guy has been at the heart of the game for the last two decades. And I have every reason to suspect that he will continue to be at the heart of the game for many decades to come.
Let’s hope so.
Reaction from the poker community
As one of the most beloved poker players of the last 20 years and a 2019 Poker Hall of Fame inductee, Moneymaker received well wishes from many in the poker community after the announcement.
Thank you 🙏 for everything you've done for poker Chris ! It was an honor to meet Money800 after playing him heads-up, and take part in this adventure with you all over the world. Best of Luck my friend.
— ElkY (@elkypoker) December 31, 2020
Thank you Chris a lot of memories over the last 17 years. Hope you and the family are well and you thrive with your new endeavors!
Happy New Year!
— Matt Savage (@SavagePoker) December 31, 2020
It was a great run
— Joey Ingram #PASSION (@Joeingram1) December 31, 2020