Chris Moneymaker will no longer be sporting the red spade logo in his future poker endeavors.
The 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event winner, widely credited for the poker boom of the 2000s, has officially terminated his sponsorship deal with PokerStars after 17 long years.
Moneymaker’s stint as ambassador for PokerStars for almost two decades helped it become what it is today – the world’s largest online poker site.
Likewise, the site became Moneymaker’s very foundation that had catapulted him to poker superstar status. Back in 2003, Moneymaker won an $86 satellite on PokerStars that granted him a seat into the WSOP Main Event which he ultimately won after defeating poker veteran Sam Farha. The world of poker has changed since then, and Moneymaker would go on to become one of PokerStars’ long-time ambassadors and have a poker tour named after him.
As the game of poker evolves, and with PokerStars’ changing sponsorship strategy, the site has, through the years, cut ties with a number of its former ambassadors including WSOP champs Joe Hachem and Greg Raymer who also represented the brand for many years. A lot more have dropped out, such as Jason Mercier and Daniel Negreanu, the latter announcing his departure in May 2019, after 12 years as PokerStars ambassador.
In a video on Twitter, Moneymaker expressed his gratitude to PokerStars for what he described was a “phenomenal” experience that the “great” company had provided him.
— Chris Moneymaker (@CMONEYMAKER) December 31, 2020
After being off the road and spending the most parts of 2020 at home with his family due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Moneymaker got the chance to realign his priorities. It was then that he came up with the decision to part ways with PokerStars, play less poker, spend more time with his family, and try and explore new opportunities.
PokerStars Honor Moneymaker
PokerStars also thanked Moneymaker for representing the brand for the past two decades, and for transforming the game of poker and the industry in general. The operator posted a tribute video emphasizing Moneymaker’s great contribution in making the game accessible to the masses, and in helping the online poker site to continue to grow over the years.
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
The video contains messages and thoughts from multiple prominent names in the world of poker, including Daniel Negreanu, Bryn Kenney, Sam Trickett, Cary Katz, Lex Veldhuis, Ben Spragg, Norman Chad and Lou McEachern, describing Moneymaker as an absolute legend, poker’s greatest ambassador, and a fun guy to be with.