Moneymaker Cleans Up at WSOP First Fifty Honors Gala

Moneymaker wins three honors

Team PokerStars Pro and 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker cleaned up at the WSOP First Fifty Honors, scooping three awards across seven categories, despite not making it onto the WSOP’s list of the 50 greatest players.

The awards were part of the WSOP’s 50th anniversary celebrations and saw some of poker’s key players, VIPs, and WSOP bracelet winners gather at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for a ceremony hosted by Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, who have commentated on the WSOP for more than a decade.

Votes for the seven categories were cast by members of the public between May 15th and June 15th and it was Moneymaker and Daniel Negreanu who collected three awards each; Negreanu was Moneymaker’s teammate until he left PokerStars in May.

The Bluff of the Century Against Sammy Farha

Moneymaker’s first award came in the Most Memorable TV Hand category. The poker loving public decided Moneymaker’s bluff against Sammy Farha in the 2003 WSOP Main Event, described at the time as “the bluff of the century” by the commentary team, was a worthy winner.

Award number two came for the Most Impressive WSOP Main Event Win. As we eluded to in a previous article, Moneymaker winning the 2003 WSOP Main Event on the back of an $86 online satellite is one of the defining moments of the WSOP and online poker as a whole.

Poker fans were asked to vote for their Four Most Important Players in WSOP History and Moneymaker scooped another gong. The Tennessee native shared this category with some legends of the game, namely Doyle Brunson, 15-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth and Negreanu.

Negreanu Is a Firm Favorite With The Fans

Negreanu’s trio of awards came in the most important players category, the Canadian was voted the Fan Favorite of the WSOP and his two bracelet wins and four final table appearances at the 2013 WSOP is now officially the Best Overall WSOP Performance.

Hellmuth, known as “The Poker Brat” for his frequent tantrums at the table, was the recipient of the WSOP’s Favorite Bad Boy, while the biggest winner in poker tournament history, Justin Bonomo, was voted as the player Most Likely to Succeed based on who the public thought would win the most WSOP bracelets between 2020 and 2070.

WSOP First Fifty Honors

Category Winners
Most Memorable TV Hand Sammy Farha vs. Chris Moneymaker 2003 WSOP
Best Overall WSOP Performance Daniel Negreanu – 2013: 2 bracelets and 4 final tables
Most Likely to Succeed (Most bracelets 2020-2070) Justin Bonomo
Fan Favorite Daniel Negreanu
WSOP’s Favorite Bad Boy Phil Hellmuth
Most Impressive WSOP Main Event Win Chris Moneymaker (2003 WSOP Main Event)
Four Most Important Players in WSOP History Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Chris Moneymaker and Daniel Negreanu

The honors came less than a week after WSOP officials revealed a list of who they consider to be the top 50 greatest poker players in poker history. A panel of 26 people from the poker industry experts and poker media were given a list of 200 players and asked to choose which 50 deserved recognition as being on of the greatest poker players in history.

No ranking was involved, so the panel could nominate whoever they saw fit, although the player had to have played in at least one WSOP during their career.

As you would expect, the list reads like a who’s who of poker with the likes of Patrick Antonius, Johnny Chan, Fedor Holz and Scotty Nguyen all present and correct, but there were some notable absentees that raised a few eyebrows.

The late David “Devilfish” Ulliott, who was posthumously inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2017, was a huge name not considered to be one of the top players of all time. Others not considered included David Peters, Daniel Colman, Jason Koon and Dan Smith despite that quartet occupying fifth-place and seventh-through-ninth place respectively in the all-time money listings.

You can check out all 50 names below, sorted into alphabetical order based on their surnames.

WSOP’s Top 50 Greatest Poker Players

Patrik Antonius Bobby Baldwin Billy Baxter Chris Bjorin Justin Bonomo
Doyle Brunson Joe Cada Johnny Chan Stephen Chidwick TJ Cloutier
Allen Cunningham Shaun Deeb Tom Dwan Eli Elezra Antonio Esfandiari
Chris Ferguson Ted Forrest Phil Galfond Barry Greenstein Gus Hansen
Jennifer Harman Dan Harrington Isaac Haxton Phil Hellmuth John Hennigan
Fedor Holz Phil Ivey Berry Johnston John Juanda Bryn Kenney
Jeff Lisandro Adrian Mateos Jason Mercier Michael Mizrachi Chris Moorman
Carlos Mortensen Johnny Moss Daniel Negreanu Scott Nguyen Dominik Nitsche
Steve O’Dwyer Puggy Pearson Amarillo Slim Preston Brian Rast Chip Reese
Huck Seed Erik Seidel Vanessa Selbst Dewey Tomko Stu Ungar
Matthew Pitt

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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