Times are changing.
Before the WPT and the growth of on-line poker, experienced players could sit down at a tournament table and be fairly safe in assuming that any unknown player would be easy to beat. That’s no longer true because of the expansion of poker and the huge amount of experience on-line players can get in such a short amount of time. There are on-line players who only started playing poker just in the last year who have more tournament experience than myself and most pros. The pros who continue to lump all new faces together are making a big mistake. While I still prefer to be at a table full of unknown internet players than at a table with Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel, John Juanda and others with lots of live experience, I won’t jump to conclusions about how they play.
Moneymaker was not a beginner by any stretch of the imagination except in live poker tournaments. Many of the other players didn’t adjust quick enough to his style of play — and Moneymaker benefited greatly because of that. Moneymaker made some bad plays but he also made some great plays, especially near the end. He, as well as many of the WPT winners and finalists, made some pros take notice and the smart ones are changing their games accordingly.