Online Poker

Moneymaker Gaming Reneges on Tournament Bounty

by Poker Team

Former World Series of Poker Main Event winner Chris Moneymaker’s enterprise has been outed on’s message board as not living up to its promise to award a $10,000 travel package for the winners and three friends to stay overnight at the Playboy mansion, to the player who knocked him out of a November 2007 tournament in Biloxi, Mississippi. The poster, identifying himself only as Nathan has come forward with an account that will likely tarnish the Moneymaker brand should a resolution not be reached.

Allegedly, the $500+$50 event in Mississippi featured two poker pros, Moneymaker and Antonio Esfandiari, as well as a playboy bunny competing in the event and having a $10,000 bounty placed on them to be awarded to the players who successfully knocked each out of the tournament. In the 1st round, Nathan was fortunate enough to knock out Moneymaker as his pocket Aces held up against Moneymaker’s Kings during the first round of the tournament. After getting knocked out of the tournament shy of the money, Nathan shifted his focus on how to collect his prize.

Upon getting knocked out, Nathan experienced great difficulty in finding someone to help him fill out paperwork or go through any steps to collect his prize as he was told the Moneymaker official had left for the day. Also, when he approached a member of the tournament staff, they seemed surprised about his query and they could not locate anyone to take his information. Ultimately, after leaving a photocopy of his ID, he was directed to return to the casino the next morning. After getting the run-around for a couple hours, he departed Biloxi with no written proof of his prize package, just a verbal assurance that he would be compensated. The explanation given to him was that Moneymaker gaming was just starting out and they needed to work out the details internally before he could claim his prize package. At the time he was also told that the prize was transferable should he choose to sell the package to someone else.

Unfortunately for Nathan, this was only the beginning of his quest to claim what is rightfully his. After patiently waiting for a couple of months, he reached out to the Moneymaker gaming representative to check on the status and it began to become apparent that this would not be easy. The rep seemed surprised that someone from the Biloxi casino had not contacted him. After waiting another month, Nathan was told that the prize package details were still pending. Fast forward six months later to June 2008 and Nathan received a .pdf document for his prize which was filled with erroneous information. There was no mention of airfare nor mention of bringing three guests. Furthermore, the document was too vague for Nathan to even try to sell as his name did not appear on the document.

Exacerbated by the event, Nathan was prepared to accept a settlement for less than half of what he was owed. He grudgingly agreed to settle for $4,500 but as of Monday, Nathan has yet to receive a check that was to have been sent in September.

Now that all other avenues have been exhausted, he turns to the online poker community for help. It remains to be seen if Chris Moneymaker is even aware of what has transpired. Nathan has pledged to provide updates as they become available.

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