How Doyle Brunson saved Chris Moorman’s poker carer

Jon Pill
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Posted on: August 28, 2020 6:57 pm EDT

Chris Moorman did an unusual interview recently. Instead of talking about the poker scene now, the interview focused instead on who his favorite player was. And Moorman went old school. His answer was “Doyle Brunson.”

For those who are unfamiliar with who Moorman is: he has $5 million in live cashes, a WSOP bracelet, and four other WSOP final tables, one of them this year. 

But if you know his name its probably because he was one of the stars of online poker’s heyday. Around the turn of the noughties, Moorman was crushing the burgeoning heads-up scene. He made well over $15 million in online winnings. That pile of gold dwarfed even his live cashes.

Texas Dolly and the internet kid

If the question is: “Who is your favorite player?” Then Texas Dolly is certainly a classic answer.

Admittedly, it’s hardly imaginative. Until he “retired” from poker in 2018 — playing in the 2-7 Single Draw championship the day after his announcement — he practically was poker. 

Doyle won the first-ever WSOP Main Event in 1976, and barely missed a year after that. Along the way, he collected ten bracelets and a WPT title. All the while, he kept playing in The Big Game, the ongoing high stakes Vegas game that ran year-round — first at Binion’s, then at the Bellagio.

Doyle’s book Super System is how many people got into winning at poker. It might have not have aged well since the internet elevated poker strategy to new heights, but for decades it was required reading for any pro.

Mentor, mentee

Moorman’s reason for naming him as a favorite was a little more personal. “On the site that I learned to play on he was often seen at the highest stakes limit and NLH cash games bashing it up,” said Moorman. “Plus, I’d read Super System cover to cover.”

Just a few years later he’d be playing with Doyle on TV’s High Stakes Poker, and eventually signed on as a sponsored pro at Doyle’s eponymous poker site: Doyle’s Room. ACR has long since bought up Doyle’s Room.

Doyle even provided Moorman with a reason to keep playing when times were dark. “I actually called him asking for some advice when I was going through a tough period in the game,” Moorman told the interviewer. “And he gave me some really good perspective on things and helped me to recognize that life wasn’t so bad.”

We all need a Doyle in our lives. Though perhaps one with slightly less regressive politics.