Chris Moneymaker Speaks in Praise of HPO
The Hollywood Poker Open (HPO) Championship, a $2,500 tournament with a guaranteed prize of $500k, will be played on Friday at the M Resort Spa Casino, marking a fitting end to Season 3 of the HPO.
The event attracted a 692-strong field in 2014, generating a prize pool as large as $1,560,450. Simon Deadman ultimately emerged as the winner and scooped up a first-place prize of $351,097. The organizers of the HPO feel that a prize pool as large as $2 million will be generated this year.
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Chris Moneymaker, the ambassador of the HPO, has been associated with the tour for its last two seasons. Moneymaker, who won the main event of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) of 2003, will take part in the event. He is sure that poker players from all over the world will also participate.
When Card Player asked him to list the unique features of the HPO, Moneymaker said that the HPO gives players exactly what they want. He said: “The first year that we ran the Hollywood Poker Open, we had a price point that we realized was probably a little too high, so we listened to the players and lowered the buy-ins.” He said that the HPO’s structures are the best and tourney fees are much lower than other tours. This gives players more value for their money, which Moneymaker feels will be greatly appreciated.
When asked why he enjoys the tour, he said that the tour is associated with “a lot more relaxed vibe.” Unlike other tours, where players are tense and serious and hardly have fun, the HPO attracts players who only want to have fun. HPO participants are not grinders, but recreational players who play the game because they love it and want to take part in a great event.
Stating that the absence of legalized poker in most US states is attracting players to regional tours, he said that many players consider the HPO as a good place to start building a bankroll. He said: “The best part about our events is that because our structures are so good, I think newer players can come in and experiment and learn without having to take a shot at some of the bigger buy-in stuff out there.”
The M Resort Spa Casino will hold four major satellites for a buy-in of $235, along with a couple of NL Hold’em events and a $555 buy-in Senior Championship.