Chris Moorman is an online legend, but the transition to the live game didn’t happen overnight. In an interview with UK newspaper The Mirror in 2017, he admitted, “I didn’t make my first final table for four years, even though I was ranked number one online. I was giving away information with my face, I didn’t feel 100 per cent comfortable. But I built my confidence and have been pretty consistent since 2011.”
You could say that “consistent” is an understatement. His biggest cash came in 2011 when he finished second in the WSOPE Main Event for $1,068,690, and his live career earnings now stand at $6,768,673. He’s won a WSOP bracelet and a WPT title.
Even in the context of these achievements, today is a big day for the ACR Poker pro. He’s already beaten his career-best cash. All six remaining players in the WPT World Championship are guaranteed $1,207,000, and there’s $5,678,000 up top. A win would almost double his lifetime earnings and cement him as one of the game’s best.
We caught up with Moorman ahead of the final table, which starts today at 4 p.m. You can follow along and watch the live stream through our Instant updates.
It’s been some ride this week! How are you feeling, and how have you found the tournament so far?
I’m feeling excited. Normally, when you make a final table, you’re feeling a lot of pressure because the pay jumps are so big. These pay jumps are big, but it’s important to remember what you’ve won already. Most tournament wins aren’t even half of $1.2 million [today’s min-cash]. If the worst thing happens today and I finish sixth, I’ll be a bit gutted, but the next day I’ll be loving life.
The tournament was fairly smooth for me most of the way. There was one tricky period when there were 33 players left, I remember it vividly. There was a pay jump at 32, our table was the next to break and we were playing six-handed. I was the short stack, I had Ren Lin and LuckyChewy on my left, and the other three players, I didn’t know at the time, but they all played really tough as well.
This pay jump just wouldn’t burst, it went on for 90 minutes. I love six-handed, but there’s a lot more variance and big pots, and you can get jacks into tens and go out. Nine-handed you can avoid those situations. So I was a bit stressed there, but when that broke, even though I was a bit card-dead, I got a few light three-bets through, and I managed to get through without any big hands. After that, I was good the whole way.
How do you prepare for a big final table like this?
I’m more of a relax-and-enjoy type. I went out last night, played some darts, and had a couple of drinks. I’ve not been eating the whole tournament, so I went and got food, and I was excited to eat. Nothing crazy, I was home by midnight, but even then I couldn’t sleep for a few hours. But I never need sleep anyway, I’ll sleep when this is done.
I feel if you try and cram stuff beforehand, it’s going to mess things up. If you don’t know it before you register the tournament, you’re not going to know it now.
The final table is ridiculously stacked, with LuckyChewy, Ben Heath and Artur Martirosian—is it fair to say it looks more like a high-roller final table than a huge $10k?
Normally, in a 4,000-runner field, you’d expect a few players you haven’t played against before. I’ve got a lot of history with all of these players, I’ve played with them all multiple times. They’re all great players. Now it’s just play your game, play the situations, and trust your gut. You hope you get cards and hope you make good decisions. There are no weak spots to attack.
Does it help that you know how these players play? Or is it as crazy hard as it looks on paper?
I don’t think it makes a huge difference. It’s a bit like a football game—if you play on a bad pitch, it’s the same for everyone. Everyone’s good on this table, and everyone’s adaptable. There will be mind games and levelling, but also it’s just poker.
How big are ICM considerations with such a big chip leader?
ICM can actually kill people’s games because they become so concerned about it that they stop trying to win the tournament. For me, it’s about playing for the win, and if I blow up in fifth or sixth, then so be it. I’ve still made over a million dollars, and I can laugh about it.
You’ve got a WSOP bracelet and a WPT title; what would a win today mean?
This would top everything I’ve done in poker over the years. Anyone who is anyone was here. You have to beat everyone, and it was a really tough field, especially late on in the tournament. The days were long as well…we’re on Day 7 now, and I don’t know if I’ve ever played a Day 7 before. The WSOP Main Event hasn’t been that kind to me, so maybe this is my WSOP Main Event.
You can follow all the big moments from the WPT World Championship final table, and watch the live stream, on PokerOrg Instant.