Anyone who knows anything about poker and the online version of the game in particular, will need no introduction to Chris Moorman. But, in case you’ve been living in a cave for the last few years without access to the internet, here’s a brief introduction.
Moorman is widely recognized as being the most successful online poker player of all time with career earnings to date of over $14 million – and he’s still only 32. His career stats are equally incredible, according to his own website, he’s achieved top 3 finishes in a total of 718 tournaments and won $5.1 million in live tournaments. He’s also received some of the highest accolades in the game having been named the World Series of Poker’s Player of the Year in 2011 and achieving honor of receiving a WSOP bracelet at the 2017 WSOP event in Las Vegas – the poker equivalent of a gold medal at the Olympic Games.
Another accolade that he received came in 2016 when he became an official 888poker Ambassador, a role which involves representing one of the biggest online poker sites at tournaments and other events. Another part of the role includes streaming of his games on Twitch for poker fans round the world to see a true expert in action. He was also clearly delighted with the move and was quoted as saying, “888 is doing big things and really is working hard to expand their reach in poker. Things like sponsoring the WSOP and the Super High Roller Bowl have shown they are committed to their growth of the brand and I can’t wait to see what they have coming up in the future”.
Moving into print
As you’d expect, ever since he started showing such a flair for the game publishers started beating a path to his door imploring him to share his knowledge and expertise with a world of poker players eager to get an insight into his winning strategies.
So, in 2014, he published his first book which was called Moorman’s Book of Poker. It took the unusual route of not simply being a book of theory but one in which Moorman applied his knowledge and skill in analysing 80 online tournament hands that were played by his collaborator on the book, a middling-ability online poker player called Byron Jacobs. The idea behind this was to produce a book that would be of real practical use to the average player, far more so than focusing on games played by Moorman itself.
Despite initial reticence by some critics to wholeheartedly praise the book it has gone on to become a classic and an invaluable part of any ambitious online poker player’s library.
So when it was announced early in 2017 that the next book from Moorman was on its way, anticipation began to mount as to what form it would take. Many were hoping for more strategy from the master while others were looking for more insights into what the man is really like and how he has reached his world-beating position today.
The second edition
When the book, Moorman : The Inside Story of the Most Successful Online Poker Player of All Time, was eventually published in August 2017 everyone was delighted by what they found. For strategy-seekers they were more than satisfied with the second, larger, section of the book in which Chris analyses some of his winning hands from tournaments and, for bio-fans, the first third of the book which tells them all they need to know about this undisputed giant of the online game is the section that fascinates the most. And what a life story this is! Especially for someone who has managed to fit so much in to a mere three decades of life.
The fast lane to success
Moorman was born in 1985 in Essex and early on in life he started to show a great ability at cards, in his case bridge. In fact, he even went on to represent England in the game and achieved Master status at the age of just 14. His other great early passion was pool at which he also excelled, leading his team from Essex University to become winners of the national championships in 2004.
It was while at uni where he was taking an economics degree that Moorman first became entranced by the world of online poker – a game which meant that he could exploit both his card playing skills and mathematical acumen to the full. Very soon he began winning significant amounts of money which, to prevent his parents from discovering its true source, he told them that he earned by working in a supermarket. Unsurprisingly, as his wins began to mount up Moorman decided that his time would be better spent playing online than studying for his degree and he dropped out before completing the course.
All this is excitingly chronicled in the book along with a host of other anecdotes that make it a real page turner. For example, there was the time in 2011 when he had just won a 1 million euro prize in a Cannes casino receiving his winnings in cash. In a hurry to make it to another tournament in Italy and with no time to bank it, he stuffed all the notes into a rucksack and spent a day travelling around with a fortune in his hand luggage.
A masterclass in theory
But for the true students of poker it’s the second section of the book that provides the real nuggets of information to digest and enjoy. One by one, Moorman goes through 68 hands that he has played in the past giving a detailed commentary about how and why he played the in the way that he did. To provide an even deeper perspective, other leading players including Daniel Negreanu, Liv Boeree and Dominik Nitsche (incidentally, another 888poker Ambassador) also comment on the hands providing a true insight into a great poker mind by other equally talented professionals.
It all adds up to over 400 pages of captivating reading for anyone who wants to improve their poker game – and even as a motivational book which underlines the importance of commitment and self-belief for anyone who wants to succeed in any field at all.
The autobiographical section is especially strong in this respect and it would hardly be surprising if it also manged to encourage some readers with no experience of online poker to have a dabble themselves. The tactical section, while for more advanced players, will surely motivate many to approach their play in a new and more confident way.
So while it may be unlikely that we’ll be seeing a serious challenger to Moorman in the online arena any time soon, readers of this book could well find themselves rising a little higher towards the incredible peaks that he has achieved – undoubtedly, a big reward for quite a modest outlay.