Chris Moneymaker has launched his own independent live tournament. Kicking off in July, the Moneymaker Poker Series will have stops in both the US and Australia. While the complete details of the tour are yet to be announced, Moneymaker has announced that he is looking at a $500 buy-in Main Event at each stop.

The Moneymaker Effect

Moneymaker is among the most popular poker pros in the world. He shot to poker prominence after winning the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. He entered the event after qualifying via an $86 satellite tournament at PokerStars. His victory is considered by many as one that revolutionized the game, as he was the first player to capture a world championship event by qualifying at an online poker site. After his win, people started storming online sites and card rooms to play poker, a phenomenon dubbed as the “Moneymaker Effect“.

Moneymaker’s influence in the world of poker was further acknowledged when PokerStars signed him up to be on its roster of ambassadors. Last year, the 43-year old was promoted as head of the Moneymaker PokerStars Players’ No-Limit Hold’em (PSC) Tour, with stops across America. The tournament featured 11 events, including an $86 buy-in Main Event. It also awarded each of the winners a $30,000 Platinum Pass to the 2019 PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship in the Bahamas.

PokerStars Not Involved In Moneymaker’s New Live Tour

Following on from the hugely successful Moneymaker PSC Tour, Moneymaker is again taking a shot at managing a live tournament, but this time he is running it all by himself, without the help of PokerStars. The leading poker site’s lack of involvement in the tour is understandable – the Moneymaker Poker Series will have two stops in Australia and two in Texas, locations where laws and regulations regarding poker are restrictive.

PokerStars left the Australian online poker market in 2017 after the passage of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill of 2016, prohibiting online poker sites from offering their services to Australians. Meanwhile, poker rules in the Lone Star State continue to be in limbo.

Texas Poker Hangs in the Air

The legal loopholes in Texas make it unwise for PokerStars to associate itself with a live tour that is set to enter the state. Texan authorities have been raiding local poker rooms, and earlier this month two clubs operating in Houston became the latest casualties in the crackdown. The Post Oak Club and Prime Social have both been shut down after authorities claimed the clubs’ owners operated illegally. They were charged with gambling promotion, money laundering and engaging in organized criminal activity.

Poker rooms have been operating in a gray area in Texas, running without a rake and instead generating revenue via memberships and hourly fees. While the sale of alcohol is banned in clubs, players are being told they can bring their own if they want to.  But operators argue they are operating within the law.

While Moneymaker has admitted that the ongoing crackdown on local card rooms is a cause for concern among the poker community in Texas, he is still excited to bring the tour to the Lone Star State. In fact, Moneymaker recently took to Twitter to promote the $250,000 Texas Poker Championship Series, encouraging players to support their local poker rooms.

Moneymaker Poker Series 2019 Schedule

The Moneymaker Poker Series will have its first stop at the Acacia Ridge in Brisbane Australia on July 22-28, followed by a second stop at the Royal Poker Club in Adelaide, Australia on July 30-August 3. The tour then heads to The House Club Poker Room and Lounge in Edinburg, Texas on August 14-18, and then to the Poker Kings Card House in Corpus Christi, Texas on August 20-25.

Moneymaker hasn’t yet released the full schedules and buy-ins for each stop, but he said the entry fees will be set according to the market.

Moneymaker joins a handful of players running live tournaments on their own. Jason Sommerville and Lex Veldhuis, both of whom have a huge following on streaming platform Twitch, respectively started their own series, Run It Up and Lex Live. Recently, Finnish pro Patrik Antonius held the Patrick Antonius Poker Challenge in Estonia during which his new app First Land of Poker (FLOP) was launched.

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