Chris Moorman, a native of England, cut his poker teeth on the online sites PokerStars, Full Tilt and 888poker before competing in the World Series of Poker. With more than $15 million in online earnings, he holds the record for total number of online tournament cashes.
Moorman played his first World Series in 2008 and won his first bracelet last year, just six months after moving to Las Vegas. Since moving to the valley, Moorman said he is spending more time in live games and is enjoying more success than ever.
“I have better results with a home base here,” he said. “It’s just more feasible for me.”
Moorman chatted with the Sun about the advantages of living in Las Vegas, his passion for the game and how poker has become more competitive in recent years.
Do you have a favorite place to play here?
I really like the Wynn because I think it’s quite luxurious, and it’s good for morale. They have good music playing, and it just feels quite luxury and high-end. They treat their players very well.
Where does your passion for poker come from?
Growing up as a kid, my mom and dad both played bridge at a high level. They got me into the game, and I played for a few years. When I was 15, me and my partner were picked for the England under-21 team of bridge. I sort of fell out of love with the game because there wasn’t any money to be made from that particular card game.
I stumbled into poker as a university student. Me and my friends saw a free online tournament advertised in a student newspaper. We had to Google the rules because we didn’t really know what we were doing. One of the weeks I came in second place and won $50, and I didn’t know whether to cash it out or just play with it. I started reading some books, reading some forums and got some advice from people that played online. I just immersed myself in the game and started getting results. I built my bankroll up and just kind of went from there.
How old were you when you first started online poker?
Nineteen years old. I played for about a year and a half before I first came to Vegas and qualified for the main event. I got crushed in the first year, but it was a good learning lesson.
Do you still play online?
Not as much as I used to. When I was in my 20s, I was doing well and it was hard for me to take time off because if I did something else, I’d miss out on $2,000 or $3,000. It was hard because it was taking over.
When I got to my late 20s, I started getting more balance, working out and getting more self-confidence and going out and meeting people. I didn’t have as much time to play, and that was good, because a lot of people burn themselves out by playing too much of the time.
Now when I get to play, I’m really excited to play. Obviously you can’t play online in America because it’s banned. But when I travel back to England or in Canada and Mexico, I play online.
Why is playing online so comfortable for you?
I just like it because time seems to go a lot quicker. When you’re playing live, you’re kind of waiting for people to fold their hands, but online you have a time limit and you don’t get long to act. And you have more than one table, so you can play more than one game at once.
How has the game changed in recent years?
Loads of ways. The standard of play has increased so much, including for me. I’m 1,000 times the player I was 10 years ago. Back then, even the best poker players were not always completely sure what they were doing.
Now players are running simulations online with computer programs, there’s a lot more technology and people working on their game. In the past, people were more just guessing. Even the best in the world at that time would get eaten alive today, I really believe that. You have to constantly be working on your game today. You can’t get complacent.