Chris "moorman1" Morrman: Legend of the Modern Game

Chris “moorman1” Moorman is a veritable legend of the modern game that first came to prominence on the virtual felt.

After earning over $8 million from the sanctity of his own bedroom, Moorman first stepped into the light of live tournament play back in 2007.

But it wasn’t until last year that he really started to get to grips with the differences between the two worlds, earning over $2 million in 2011 alone.

We caught up with Moorman as he settled down to play in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Merit Cyprus Classic and this is what he had to say.

The news has just broken that PokerStars are going to buy Full Tilt Poker. What are your early thoughts on the deal?

Chris Moorman: I think it’s great for the overall grind. At the moment, with PokerStars being the main site, it has been pretty hard to find the motivation to play.

With Full Tilt making a return, I can foresee a mini poker boom because the returning funds will give people more money to play with. There are going to be people who are going to cash out and never play again, but most people are degenerates at heart and will get back into the game.

When this happens the overall standard may drop a bit, there will be more money and we will have bigger prize pools. But the main reason I am happy to see Full Tilt return is the fact that I ran so good on there!

So back in the day when you were printing money, Full Tilt had a special place in your heart?

CM: Pretty much everything about Full Tilt was good for me. I had not lost for fourteen months, the software was good and the field sizes were smaller -- so less variance -- and you made more final tables, which was good for morale.

Exactly how much money did you have tied up in the black hole that was Full Tilt Poker?

CM: I don’t actually know the true amount, but it is definitely a sum of money in the six-figure region.

It could have been a lot worse as well! I had a lot of horses at the time - hence the reason I had so much money tied up online - but they were all losing!

Did you ever think you were going to get that money back?

CM: I always hoped it would come back, but I didn’t plan for it. I guess having the money returned is a little like winning a live tournament for me really.

You're one of the biggest backers in the game. How many players are you backing at this precise moment?

CM: I have around 20 players.

Doesn’t that fry your skull?

CM: Yes.

What lessons have you learned through your time as a backer?

CM: Don’t do it! There are a lot of highs and lows, meaning a lot of stress. The good times are really good, but the bad times are really bad.

I would advise anyone to avoid it and concentrate on your own game. It seems like easy money, but it’s a very hard way to make easy money.

I have really enjoyed it though and wouldn’t change a thing, but I am going to scale down as I get older. I am a lot more sensible now.

If I could only let you keep two players who would they be?

CM: There are four or five who have been really great for me, but if you were putting pressure on me to choose two I would have to say Taylor Paur and Jason Koon.

Jason Koon is the man responsible for the new Moorman look. You are fitter and leaner than ever, so how did that relationship come about?

CM: I hit him up on Facebook chat at the beginning of the year. It was one of those days when you are lying on the couch suffering from a hangover, thinking, ‘you really need to change your life’.

I asked him if he was interested in traveling around Europe - playing in some European Poker Tours (EPT) - and in return I would get him a house in Cyprus so he could train me and cook for me.

Within a week we were in Cyprus and he then traveled around with me for six months. For three-to-four months we had an intense work out. Literally, six days per week.

Was he a hard taskmaster?

CM: Well he’s a big guy so you don’t really say no to him! Yeah, he was tough.

I would wake up and couldn’t see myself moving for the next 3 hrs and yet within 15 mins I was in the gym. He was always watching me and wouldn’t even let me eat anything after 7 pm -- including fruit!

Why did you choose to live in Cyprus?

CM: In 2008, I bubbled the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) Main Event in London. I was the chip leader right up to the bubble, and so I bought everyone dinner at the break as I was guaranteed to cash.

Then I ran kings into aces versus Johnny Lodden - for a huge pot - before losing a race and going on to bubble. I was devastated because I didn’t have any live results to date.

After that I went to Ayia Napa for three to four weeks to get my mind off the game. I didn’t play poker and just got drunk and had a great time.

I have a lot of great memories from that time and so after Black Friday I came back out here with a few horses, to get them back playing again, and I have been here ever since.

What next?

CM: I'm actually moving to Vancouver. My girlfriend lives in Los Angeles and so it's the only place where I can live that’s close enough to see each other more frequently.

I can’t live in America because there's no online poke and she doesn’t want to move here, so Vancouver it is.

It’s a nice city and I am looking forward to it.

Lee Davy is a writer from Ogmore Vale in South Wales. You can follow his views and opinions through his blog at www.needyhelper.com or on Twitter @Chingster23.

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