Chris 'Moorman1' Moorman

March 2012 cover

01 March 2012

"I’ve never won a live tournament, so it would be nice to get that monkey off my back, and obviously extra nice it if came with a bracelet. I don’t care what the event is to be honest, I’ll take anything really."

Chris Moorman is regarded by many as the world’s greatest and most consistent online MTT player – now he’s conquered the live felt too… Adam 'Snoopy' Goulding caught up with him.

How was 2011 online?

2011 probably wasn’t one of my best years; much better than 2010 when everything went terribly, but not amazing like 2008. I won a decent amount online, and did pretty well in SCOOP events with two final tables, but didn’t play too much over the last few months as I was playing a lot of live poker and chasing Player of the Year points.

Having said that, I did make my biggest cash online just before Black Friday for $235,000. It was a multi-entry $1K, and you could play six times. I was initially only going to play it three times but I ran bad and right at the last second before the late registration finished I added another three bullets. It ended up being my sixth one that I did well in.

How do you stay motivated?

I suppose I should be bored with poker by now considering how much I play, so I’m lucky in that respect. I just love the game. It’s not about the money; every time I play, I want to win, and it makes me feel good about myself when I do. If I get into something, and put my heart into it, then I’ll keep doing it until I’m the best.

I don’t get as excited in the regular tournaments, but I still get a buzz when I go deep in something really big. When it’s a major event, and you’ve got people coming online and wishing you good luck, it’s really good. I’ll keep playing until I wake up one day and that isn’t the case.

How did Black Friday affect you?

Losing Full Tilt wasn't ideal as it was always the site where I did the best. Missing the regular schedule meant the tournaments and prize pools were smaller, which made it hard to get the incentive to grind as much. And if you were in the hole from the previous month, it was going to be tough to get out.

I don’t tend to look into the future; I don't know what I’m doing next week, let alone a few years down the line. Before Full Tilt went down, it felt like they and Stars would be around forever. You’d worry a bit about sites like Ultimate Bet, and knew they could go down any week, but Full Tilt felt invincible, so now it feels like anything can happen.

If poker disappeared tomorrow, I think I’d be all right as there’d always be live poker. I would have been in the shit if it had happened a year ago as I couldn’t beat any live game, but I’ve at least fluked a couple of tournaments now and proved I can win, so hopefully I’d be all right.

Why did your live game come together in 2011?

I guess it had to happen sooner rather than later as I've been playing every big event on the circuit for four or five years and not had much luck. I don’t believe I played overly different last year; I just played my game, like I'd been doing the previous years. I just happened to win the big races.

Perhaps I was playing tighter than I did before, and adapting to opponents better, but only small things – it’s still the same game, I'm still playing poker, and I wasn't playing bad before that. I was just losing the key pots, whereas last year I won them and it obviously made a huge difference at the end of the year with regards to the final numbers.

How pissed off were you at missing out on the bracelet again?

In Cannes I went into heads-up with a deficit against a good player, so I knew I was the underdog and had prepared myself for coming second. We did a chop, so I can’t really moan about winning a million euro, but it would be nice to win a bracelet eventually. It’s just given me more motivation to close it out next time.

As for Vegas, I just went out and got drunk. A few days later, I’d think about how close I’d come, but at the time I was just happy to give the fans a sweat. The year before, I would have been a lot more disappointed about missing out on the bracelet, but the money was huge for me this time because of Black Friday.

How did your recent change in sponsorship come about?

Well, Doyle [Brunson] leaving was kind of “good game”; you can’t have DoylesRoom without Doyle. The experience was great, though; it was just unfortunate timing. I’m sure it would have been a success otherwise.

Nicky Evans told me about his deal with LockPoker, so I started talking with them near the end of the Series. I had my concerns as they were still operating in the US, but they seemed to have all the right answers, and I was really impressed with what they had to say, so I signed for them.

You sponsor players yourself. What are the mechanics of having a stable?

There are around 20 of them at the moment, and I have a database I subscribe to which everyone can input their numbers into after every session. The percentage starts at 50-50, but if someone makes a certain amount of profit, I’ll increase their side, but that’s just for online as live is such high variance.

I get a lot of requests for staking, and pretty much every time I log in to Facebook there’s, like, five messages, four of which are bad. I normally just ignore them, but the problem with that is that I end up ignoring people I need to respond to as well.

What are you goals for 2012?

I want to win one of those live ones. I’ve never won a live tournament, so it would be nice to get that monkey off my back, and obviously extra nice it if came with a bracelet. I don’t care what the event is to be honest, I’ll take anything really.

I’ve got a guy who’s going to be my personal trainer, so hopefully I’ll be able to get into shape before Vegas. That’s the plan: be more disciplined and hopefully continue the live success, whilst doing all right online in the process. I also want to learn all the other games properly so I have a better chance of winning something, so will put an intense coaching session in with a few guys Stuart Rutter recommended to me, and you might see me on that Stud 8 final table.