Chris Moneymaker & Norman Chad Do "Ask Me Anything" On Reddit
On Thursday, Chris Moneymaker and Norman Chad took some time off on their busy schedules to do an "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit. The latest podcast from ESPN’s 30 for 30 Podcast (All In) is all about 2003, the year Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP Main Event.
If you have missed the AMA, you can check out some of the highlights below:
Chris, obviously you have read the article on Grantland "When we Held Kings". Great read I suggest everyone should read it. In this article it says you were a losing gambler but positive poker player. How do you separate your gambling "degenerate" side from your poker side? Do you still play side games at the casino?
Chris: It’s not easy honestly but once you start working hard on your poker game it makes it easy to stay away from the dark side. Putting in all that effort to play better poker can be undone quickly in the pit. I still dabble in the pit but limit it to a few hundred bucks per trip. Have not lost more than 500 in the pit in over ten years.
Hey Norm! You seem to have great chemistry on set with Lon. How close are the two of you in real life? Can you share a funny store about Lon or the two of you?
We are not close in real life, though we have slept together two or three times (the power of pepper schnapps). I have never looked at him in the eye because he is so tall. I don't have any funny stories about Lon, but it takes 15 or 20 minutes before each broadcast to sober him up.
Thoughts on the Atlantic City 'revival' following the two new casinos that opened up this past summer (Hard Rock; Ocean Resort)? Do you think AC is on a resurgence and can sustain the number of casinos/hotels currently operating? More particularly, do you think there's an 'oversaturation' of poker rooms in AC (Borgata, Trop, Harrah's, Bally's, and now OC, and Hard Rock will be opening up soon)?
Chris: AC was a thing when people only had Vegas, tunica and AC to choose from. Unfortunately, now there is a casino and poker room in almost every city. It is much easier for a traveler to come into the philly, Baltimore etc areas and find great casino action. Getting to AC is a challenge with the small airport and hour drive down the turnpike so not sold on the “revival”. The one big positive they have done is managed to keep casinos out of northern NJ which would really kill AC.
Norman: Atlantic City is a tough town to visit (particularly after getting lots of Las Vegas exposure). Relatively speaking, nobody — those working or those playing — is in a good mood. The weather stinks. The food is not good. Most of the casinos treat customers like s---. But if I were a taffy fan, I guess I would go back every month.
Favourite thing that has changed about the main event? Least favourite?
Chris: Shorter days for sure. We played from noon till sometimes 4 am. It was brutal. Most days now you are out the door by 10 pm. Least was the November nine concept which has since been undone thank goodness.
We all love good degenerate stories here on /r/poker. Chris, have any good ones?
Chris: Have plenty but most take forever to type out but the one night playing against nick binion, Benny binion and Sam grizzle was legendary. Played 20k heads up matches and walked out with all the cheddar. Unfortunately 6 dealers were fired that night. Nick fired a dealer every time I won a match. Was a crazy time and night.
Chris - Have you talked to Ivey since busting him out of the main event? I always saw it as him snubbing you on his exit. Obviously it was a brutal way to go out and its likely most players would have reacted the same way, but deep down I like to think he later apologized and/or congratulated you.
Chris: Yes we reconnected on a cruise ship of all places. He was awesome and basically said he was devastated and didn’t notice my hand. It was 4am at that point when he busted. Think he said he just jumped in his car and drove straight across the country home. But yes we have talked and all is good.
Chris - After winning the 2003 Main and your life changing quite a bit. Have you ever got to sit down at a home game (perhaps with friends) and enjoy such a low stakes game?
Chris: Yea still play a $10 and $20 buy-in with friends on occasion. Thankfully most of my friends have played with me and had the “experience” and realize I don’t want to play poker on a Friday night. Honestly, mostly now if I am not on the road I am slammed busy with three kids and their multitude of sports games and practices.
Norman - How many wives have you been through?
Norman: On my third (as of 8:55 am PT this morning).
30for30ESPN then asked for a real-time update and Norman answered: Wife No. 3 left mid-morning to get cigarettes and has not returned. P.S. She doesn't even smoke.
What do you have to say about the theory that the 2003 WSOP Main Event was staged?
Norman: We actually had a week's worth of rehearsals before it began, and it had been scripted for Men The Master to win.
To check out the full AMA, you can visit the r/poker subreddit.
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