The recent announcement that Daniel Negreanu and Jack McClelland are to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame has once again got my mind ticking.
How long is it going to be before a member of the online poker fraternity is inducted?
I don’t know the answer to that question, but what I do know is the name of the first person that should be inducted. I am, of course, talking about Chris Moorman. The winner of so many Triple Crowns, people have stopped counting, and the first player to amass $10m in online tournament earnings.
Oh I nearly forgot.
He has also written a book about poker.
A bloody good one as well by all accounts.
How are you feeling now you have finished the book?
“It feels great to have it completed. It was definitely a daunting project to begin with, when I knew I had to write upwards of 50,000 words, but once I got into the writing of the book it was a lot easier to do than I anticipated. At times, along the way, it was obviously tough, and would almost feel like doing homework – as if I was back at school – but seeing the final copy makes it all worthwhile.”
Where does this accomplishment rank in your life?
“It’s definitely up there. If someone had asked me a few years ago if I was interested in writing a book I would have said ‘no chance;’ largely due to the amount of hard work that would be involved with doing that. I’m proud to say that I was able to meet all of my deadlines with submitting pages for the book, and actually had fun along the way writing it.”
What was the most difficult part of the process?
“Probably finalizing every hand. Obviously, in poker, there are no right or wrong answers as such, so when analyzing hands your opinion can change over time. I often found myself thinking one way about a hand to begin with and then having to edit it a number of times before I was completely satisfied. Knowing that your analysis is in a book for everyone to see puts a lot of pressure on it and forces you to try and become a perfectionist.”
What came more naturally to you?
“Thinking about the hands was very natural to me because I do that all the time, but actually verbalizing it in a book was very tough. When I read the hands Byron had played most of the time I instantly knew what mistakes he had made or what he could have done better. The hard part was to convey that to the reader in the best way possible.”
There have been so many great poker books over time, how did this affect you?
“It inspired me to do the best job I could do with my own book. When I first started I gained a lot from Dan Harrington’s books on Hold’em and Doyle Brunson’s Super System. They not only helped me develop my game, but also fall in love with the game. I wanted to achieve a similar thing with my book and hopefully the readers will feel the same way about it.”
Sell the book to me – why should I buy it?
“I’ve never really put my opinions about poker strategy out there before, and turned down various opportunities to make training videos, etc. For the chance to get inside my head and see why I make some of the plays that I do I think it is worth it for that alone. A good successful poker-playing friend of mine was round my house the other night and we ended up discussing a bunch of hands from the book; anything that gets you thinking about the game, and new lines to take, will really help to develop your game so that you can reach the next level.”
Was it difficult working with a co-author – or did it simplify things for you?
“I think it simplified things for me because I didn’t have to start from scratch with every hand. If I had to write the book completely on my own it would have been much tougher. With Byron starting off the hands it gave me a sense of direction.”
Has the experience produced ideas for further works of literature, and if so what are your ideas?
“To be honest with you I think a second book is off the agenda at the moment just because of the amount of work involved with doing that. Obviously, a follow up is a possibility in the future, depending on the success of the book and I wouldn’t totally rule out the idea of an autobiography style of book either. I think it would be interesting for people to read about the huge ups and downs, both financially, and emotionally, in poker.”
You now have to market the book – how does that make you feel?
“Initially, it feels daunting doing all the work, but I think overall I’m going to enjoy it. For example, at my book launch the other day I had to make a speech, which was a bit scary, as it is something I don’t normally do. However, it actually went really well because I’m so proud and excited about the book and am very passionate about it.”
Who was the first person you gave a copy to and why?
“I had to sign a bunch of books for giveaways, etc., but the first people I know whom I gave a book to were my mum and my dad. It means a lot to be able to share something like this with them, and my mum is already trying to learn how to play poker from it even though she has never played before!”