With his first book, Moorman’s Book of Poker, set to be released on November 7th, I spoke with poker’s all-time record holder in just about every online tournament category, Chris Moorman, about how he got started in poker; why he chose tournaments; and a number of other topics.
Poker Update: How did you get started in poker and what was your learning curve like?
Chris Moorman: Whilst at University, four of my friends and I saw an advertisement for a Victor Chandler poker tournament for students online and decided to play it. I ended up coming second one week and used my $200 prize money to start playing online. I struggled initially and was very quickly down to my last $15. Luckily, I managed to win a SNG with my last $15 and with a lot of hard work have never looked back since.
PU: How did you wind up settling on tournaments, why not cash games?
CM: I initially started with cash games and was doing well, but after the UIEGA of 2006 I had to switch the site that I was playing on and didn’t have poker tracker set up for Pokerstars or Full Tilt.
I didn’t want to play against new players without using a HUD so I decided to give tournaments a go in the meantime and had very good initial results.
Tournaments were a lot more exciting for me and I felt that the standard of play was a lot lower than in the cash games I had played previously. Therefore, I made the transition to tournaments permanently and have had the vast majority of my success in them.
PU: When you look back at all of the significant hands you’ve played (the lucky breaks and/or bad beats) what’s the one that sticks out the most?
CM: After an initial bad start to live poker I felt like I had adapted and was really starting to play well but things just weren’t working out and I hadn’t had the results yet… Until 2010 whilst playing the $10k headsup event.
I was on the bubble round and flopped a set early on in my match. Most of the money ended up going in on the turn though where my opponent had made a higher set in a spot where I couldn’t possibly fold. With the way live poker had gone for me up to this point it seemed a pretty standard end to my run in the tournament. That was until I hit the miracle 1 outer on the river to make it into the money and lock up an $18k min cash.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the tournament that I went onto break my duck, as I ended up busting in the round of 16 for $38k. But it was my biggest live cash at the time and enabled me to think a lot more positively about live poker and gave me the confidence to have a big year live in 2011.
PU: Tell me three things people probably don’t know about Chris Moorman?
CM:#1: I don’t know how to drive a car!
#2: I captained my University pool team to a national championship
#3: I’ve never won a ‘big’ or a ‘hot’ tournament on Pokerstars
PU: Besides the WSOP Main Event, what’s the one tournament you want to win and why?
CM: I think EPT London would be an amazing tourney to win.
Winning a tournament in London with all of my friends would be amazing and after a couple of deep runs in it over the past few years I feel like I have some unfinished business with it. Also, winning an EPT would give me the 2nd leg of a live triple crown which is obviously a huge target for me in the future.
PU: Do you find it hard to continually put in the sheer volume year after year? Do you ever feel burnt out?
CM: I’ve never really felt burnt out as such.
Of course there are times when you need a little break and to do some other stuff away from poker, however, these periods of time are normally only a week or so before I get the bug of wanting to play poker again.
I want to achieve great things in poker and to do this I know that I need to put in the volume at the tables. Obviously, it is important to work on your game away from the table, but I think that experience is the most important thing in developing as a player.