Joseph Bakun wins the first Moneymaker Tour Cincinnati Main Event

Joseph Bakun
Terrance Reid
Posted on: October 03, 2023 24:31 PDT

Two Main Event Champions weren't enough to stop Joseph Bakun from securing his own title at the first-ever Moneymaker Tour Main Event in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Hard Rock Casino.

Bakun closed out the victory at the star-studded final table of the historic, $1 million guaranteed event of the new tour. And, he did it against the Tour's namesake himself, earning $208,034 for his title.

Chris Moneymaker and Joseph Bakun Chris Moneymaker and Joseph Bakun Omar Sader

"When [Chris Moneymaker] won the World Series, I think I was 12," said Bakun. "It's really what got me into poker. He was a big influence on me. This whole experience felt super surreal."

Moneymaker Main Event final table results

Place Player Prize
1 Joseph Bakun $208,034
2 Ian Richardson $128,252
3 Frank Lagosich $94,655
4 Sean Pramuk $70,523
5 Daniel Swartz $53,256
6 William Chastain $40,670
7 Joe McKeehan $31,517
8 Gary Simpson $24,756
9 Chris Moneymaker $19,659

This was Bakun's largest tournament cash by far. From the sounds of it, it was meaningful and timely.

"I was just focused on laddering up," he said. "It's a lot of money for me. I'm trying to save up for a house right now, so any pay jump would help me a lot."

Well, he laddered until there were no more rungs to climb, and the new Moneymaker Main Event champion pocketed a hefty chunk to put towards that new home. He also has his friends to thank for the win.

Joseph Bakun Joseph Bakun Omar Sader

"My buddies recommended that I go drive down to Cincinnati for this," he explained. "Last weekend, I chopped the Mystery Bounty for $50k, and that paid for my entries to this one."

Moneymaker bets on Cincinnati and finds a winner

This was the Moneymaker Tour's first event outside of the state of Florida, the stomping ground of Executive Manager Tony Burns.

"To bring the Tour to Hard Rock Cincinnati means a lot both personally and professionally,” said Burns. “It was a job well done for the team at Hard Rock Cincinnati putting this all together,” said Burns. “It’s been quite a few years since they had a tournament series here, let alone in the state of Ohio. Absolutely gorgeous job here."

Chris Moneymaker and Tony Burns Chris Moneymaker and Tony Burns Omar Sader

Indeed, putting up a $1 million guarantee in unknown territory can be a scary prospect. Still, the bet paid off for Moneymaker, Burns, and company, as the guarantee hit and then some.

The total prize pool rose to $1,041,160, clearing the guarantee easily. It's a great sight to see, they took their show on the road, and the people turned out in droves.

Next stops for the Moneymaker Tour

On the heels of such a great turnout in Ohio, the Moneymaker Tour already sets its sights on its next stop, and it's one they've been to before. In fact, it's where the party started.

They return to the Palm Beach Kennel Club for a reprise of their inaugural series. Those dates are October 25 through November 6. They'll have 27 trophy events and over $500k in guarantees.

If you haven't had the chance to check out the new tour, now's the time to make plans to join Chris Moneymaker and company down at their Palm Beach stop.

Congratulations to Joseph Bakun, the newest Moneymaker Tour Man Event Champion!