We continue our in-depth interview with the undisputed king of online MTTs, Chris Moorman… Missed part one? Read it now
Do you think it’s inevitable that good online players eventually start to play big live tournaments?
It’s more exciting if you can go deep in a live tournament. Once you get to a certain level in online tournaments it’s almost like you have completed the game. Of course it’s fun to continue winning but by that point it’s usually 4am in the morning in the UK and what do you do to celebrate?
In a live tournament you’re going into Day Five and you can’t sleep. All your friends are there and you have a lot of time to think while you are playing. You can’t beat the feeling of going deep in a live tournament. It’s a bug. It’s addictive and when you do get that success it’s totally amazing.
Do you ever think you would exclusively play live?
I don’t think so – I actually find it quite hard to grind live. Even if it’s a big side event I don’t often grind them because of the time it takes to get deep. It takes a couple of days [of playing] and then if you come 30th it’s pretty disheartening. You just don’t get that many opportunities in live poker.
I just came 38th in the EPT London main event. I can’t go back the next day and play a £2k. I view it as taking two or three days to get deep and in reality you’re not going to win it. I don’t think I’ll ever be that guy travelling to every live tournament. It burns me out.
What are your thoughts on Super High Roller tournaments?
I have avoided them. To me it seems that everyone is passing the money around and it’s just a way to get on TV. It would be pretty cool if Daniel Colman just kept on his rush though, won every one and took all the Germans’ money!
However, I love watching Super High Rollers on live streams, especially when they show the hole cards. I watched Colman heads-up recently and it definitely helped my game a lot. It was free information. Tournament players, even if you’re successful, don’t play heads-up that often! Watching someone like Colman, who knows what to do in every situation, can be really valuable.
How did winning the WPT LA Poker Classic compare to winning a really big online MTT?
It felt completely different to be honest. It definitely added to the feeling that I had been so close to winning a major live tournament before. The difference between coming first and second is huge. I have won more money in a tournament before – when I came second in the 2011 WSOPE – but it felt ten times better to win it.
At the final table I had half the chips in play with four players left and I felt like I had already won it at that point. I was actually thinking what I was going to say in my speech and suddenly I was the short stack after a few bad hands! I thought I’d blown it, so to get a second chance and win the tournament was a dream come true.
Why do you think there is so much interest surrounding the release of your book?
I’ve never done any coaching or training videos before and I think that people want to see what I am thinking when I play. A lot of people know that I was one of the first people to start playing super-aggressively online.
If you play on TV a lot then people think they know how you play. If you know of a good player and you haven’t seen how they play their cards before then you’ll be interested in what they’re doing.
Is there one key concept throughout the book that you wanted to get across to people?
I think the key concept is that if you make the correct decisions earlier in the hand it makes it much easier for you later in the hand. Basically, you need to line up a plan early and get your bet sizing right.
The book’s strategy comes from you reviewing your co-author’s hand histories. Do you think this is the best way to get better at poker?
I think so. I try to do that now with my poker friends. We revived it a lot during the recent WCOOP and were all asking ‘Middy’ [Tom Middleton] what we’ve been doing wrong as he’s been winning a lot of stuff! It’s good for confidence. Even if you’re having a good year, if you lose for a couple of weeks it’s easy to think, ‘what am I doing wrong?’
Did you read a lot of poker books when you first got into the game? And were there any that you took inspiration from?
I loved the Harrington on Hold’em series. I read them when I was very new to the game. They introduced lots of new concepts to me like squeezing and the Gap Concept. I always wanted to meet Dan Harrington and I still haven’t!
Doyle Brunson’s Super/System is very good as well and I thought Gus Hansen’s Aussie Millions book [Every Hand Revealed] was really cool.
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