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5. Moneymaker Effect

Chris Moneymaker’s Rocky Balboa-style run through the 2003 World Series of Poker is widely regarded as the birth of the online poker boom.

The Tennessee native entered the WSOP through a $39 satellite tournament and went on to grab the $2.5 million first prize. It was his very first off-line tournament.

Moneymaker’s incredible story inspired thousands of young poker players to take their chances in the online arena in hopes of striking it rich. This wave of popularity was quickly dubbed, “The Moneymaker Effect,” and poker affiliates profited quite handsomely from it.

After that first WSOP, Moneymaker quit his job as a comptroller and went to work as a professional card player/celebrity spokesman.

Nicely played, Chris.

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