There’s Moneymaker Main Event magic in the Lone Star State

Jeff McMillan
Published by:
Posted on: January 17, 2024 10:36 pm EST

What screams poker more than cowboy boots, cowboy hats, card clubs, and Texas? Well, Chris Moneymaker is near the top of that list. Why not combine the two?

The Moneymaker Tour has kicked off its 2024 season in Texan style at the Texas Card House in Houston, Texas. Branching out into yet another new state for the growing tour, all eyes are on what stories come out of a Texas-Moneymaker mashup, and we are here for it.

Despite a little wintry weather somehow causing some problems in Texas this week, the Texans and visitors are ready to get this show started.

Let’s talk starting flights and structures

The crown jewel of the series is the Main Event which boasts a $250,000 guarantee and has five starting flights spread out over three days. Check out the Main Event schedule below:

  • Day 1A: Thursday, January 18, 12 noon, registration close: 7:30 p.m
  • Day 1B: Friday, January 19, 11 a.m. reg close: 6:30 p.m.
  • Day 1C: Friday, January 19, 4 p.m. reg close: 10:45 p.m.
  • Day 1D: Saturday, January 20, 11 a.m. reg close: 6:30 p.m.
  • Day 1E: Saturday, January 20, 4 p.m. reg close: 10:45 p.m.

Players will have 40-minute levels to work with, and registration is open for the first nine levels. Find a bag, and Day 2 begins at 2 pm on Sunday, January 21. The thir and final day is Monday, January 22 at 4 pm.

Some winners of that sweet, sweet hardware

The Main Event is the culmination of a full series of events on the schedule here at Texas Card House. Five events have already wrapped up, so let’s take a look at some of the winners so far.

Moneymaker Tour Trophies
Moneymaker Tour Trophies

Event #1: $150 Older than Moneymaker (48+)

Seniors events are a dime a dozen. Why not highlight Chris Moneymaker’s age while you build one?

The first event of the series was unique as players had to be older than Chris Moneymaker to enter. (Chris was born on November 21, 1975). A total of 68 entries built a prize pool of $8,160.

Jim Branham won the event after a six-handed deal for $1,665. He’ll forever have the distinction of being the winner of the very first Moneymaker Tour trophy given out in the state of Texas.

Jim Branham claimed the first Moneymaker Tour trophy in Texas
Jim Branham claimed the first Moneymaker Tour trophy in Texas

Event #2: #360 Moneymaker Kickoff NLH

The first open event crushed the $75,000 guarantee attached to it with a prize pool that surpassed six figures. A total of 362 entrants built a prize pool of $108,600

Salman Lakhani and Randall Tanner made a heads-up deal to each get $19,905 in winnings. Lakhani took the trophy in the deal. Both players found their biggest scores in this event thanks to the Moneymaker Tour.

Salman Lakhani won his biggest score in Event #2
Salman Lakhani won his biggest score in Event #2

Event #3 $300 Moneymaker NLH

The third event was massive one, especially for a $300 buy-in. Nine flights later and suddenly the prize was worth a whopping $206,500 to soar past the $150,000 guarantee and put a healthy chunk up top

With all that money up for grabs, there was a six-way deal made at the end, with Nicholas Gennaro officially the winner. He claimed the largest piece of $18,990 and the trophy.

Nicholas Gennaro

Event #4 $240 Moneymaker Ladies NLH

The Ladies event featured many recognizable names in the poker community. They were featured on the live stream for the world to watch as Ebony Kenney took the chip lead into the final table.

Ebony Kenney
Ebony Kenney

Kenney couldn’t quite close the deal as Lauren Hoppe claimed the title and $3,800. Ebony Kenney finished third for $1,580.

Lauren Hoppe

Now that the Main Event is getting underway, we’ll be here to provide additional coverage each day. Who will win the first Moneymaker Tour Main Event in Texas? Will Chris Moneymaker make a deep run? Will you be in the mix? Follow along on all of our socials to get inside the tournament area.

All photos by Moneymaker Tour/Omar Sader