The upstart 28-year-old accountant from Spring Hill, Tenn., who last year won the $2.5 million World Series of Poker, will defend his title next month in Las Vegas.
SI: You've been called the Rocky of poker. Do you like that analogy?
Moneymaker: I've also heard that I'm the John Daly of poker. I like Rocky a little better.
SI: What went through your mind when you saw yourself on TV?
Moneymaker: I thought, Lord, I'm fat! TV adds about 50 pounds to you. But it was amazing to see myself. I now wish I hadn't shown so much emotion when I hit some big hands because it looked like I was rubbing it in people's faces. ESPN set it up a little bit to make me look like an underdog, more so than I probably was, but that was fine.
SI: Why is poker so addictive for so many people?
Moneymaker: It's an easy game to learn but a hard game to master.
SI: What do you need to be a great poker player?
Moneymaker: Lots of guts. No fear. The ability to read people. And a very good memory.
SI: How do you tell when someone is bluffing?