Chris Moneymaker, who won the Main Event of World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2003, is all set to be the resident celebrity of the brand new poker room launched by Presque Isle Downs. The casino has contracted him to visit at least once in two months.

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Speaking on the deal, Moneymaker, who is also representing Blue Shark Optics, said: “It’s not a one-off deal. I will be back to do some seminars, play cash games, and maybe some one-on-one games. I’m looking forward to this. It’s relaxing for me, and I get to meet people.”

Moneymaker shot to fame when he won $2.5 million, which came with the WSOP championship. The televised event became so popular that he became a household name and contributed greatly to the poker boom. Moneymaker, now 35 years old, lives in Memphis. Speaking at a special interactive ceremony held in his honor just before the opening tournament, he said that he used to play a lot of online poker, but has plenty of time for other things too now.

Voicing his opinions about the new poker room, Moneymaker said that it feels like a poker room in Las Vegas and far surpasses Las Vegas once you start walking around it. Stating that the poker room is spacious, he pointed out that poker rooms in Las Vegas keep their tables close together.

Christine Stacy, the manager of the new poker room, and her staff organized the event in an excellent manner. Visitors were overwhelmed with the feel of the room and the excitement it generated.

Fred Buro, the general manager and president of the casino, said: “We’re seeing players from all over the tri-state area and from as far away as Mississippi, Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The crackdowns have enticed poker players to come out of their homes and back to the poker parlors.” The new poker room will be open 24 hours per day, and if required, the casino will expand it to 12 tables.

The opening $25,000 Single Table Tournament lasted nearly 6 hours with Jeffrey Galkowski of Pleasantville finishing first. Jasmin Omaovic was the one who knocked Chris Moneymake off the table, making him finish eighth.

While the player who finished first Jeff Galkowski won $10k, the player who finished second Jeff Wells won $3k and the player who finished third Jasmin Omanovic won $3k. The players who finished in the fourth to tenth places won $1k each.

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