On Friday night, the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada was rocking as 888poker Ambassador Chris Moorman, the most decorated tournament player in online poker history, won his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet.
It couldn’t have come at a better time as 888poker is sponsoring the WSOP for the third year in a row! The 31-year-old Moorman, who had previously finished runner-up in to different WSOP events back in 2011, topped a field of 959 players in Event #27: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed for $498,682.
The win brought Moorman’s lifetime live earnings up to more than $5.1 million, which moved him into eighth on England’s all-time money list. Of course, that doesn’t take into account the more than $14 million he’s won playing online.
“It's kind of surreal.” Moorman told WSOP officials. “Any time you win live, it's like it's a lot more 'real'. Particularly since a lot of my online success was when I was living in the UK., and I would be playing all through the night, and maybe win a tournament about five or six in the morning. I would just be there on my own, maybe talking with friends on Skype online, but the money goes into your account. You don't see the money in front of you; you don't have anyone celebrating. I don't know – it's just a great feeling when you win [live].”
Cheering Moorman on at one of the most boisterous rails in WSOP history were friends and fellow poker pros Niall Farrell, Maria Ho, and Marvin Rettenmaier, just to name a few.
Moorman Overcomes Tough Final Table
Winning the bracelet was no easy feat as Moorman had to contend with a tough final table lineup including Steve Sung and Michael “Gags” Gagliano, both WSOP bracelet winners. They ended up finishing fourth and third respectively, which set up a heads-up match between Moorman and Brazilian Bernardo Da Silveira Dias, who was making his first-ever WSOP final table. However, when asked, Moorman stated the game-changing moment for him came well before that.
“The ace-king against Steve Sung's jacks,” Moorman told WSOP officials when asked about the pivotal moment. “I hit on the river. If I lose that I'm out. I was fortunate enough to win that there.”
The hand he’s referring to happened on just the second hand of the final table with the blinds at 25,000/50,000/5,000. Sung opened for 115,000 from the cutoff holding the J♥J♠ and Moorman three-bet the button to 325,000 with the A♥K♠. Both blinds folded and Sung four-bet to 1 million even.
Moorman responded by five-betting all in and it was a big flip. Moorman missed on both the 5♣2♠3♠ flop and 5♠ turn, but he hit one of his outs when the A♦ spiked on the river. Moorman would finish Sung off 26 hands later with pocket queens holding against ace-seven suited.
Moorman ended up taking a big chip lead into heads-up play, but it took him nearly 100 hands to finish off Dias. In what would be the final hand of the tournament – Hand #132 of the final table – Dias moved all in holding the K♣10♠ and Moorman snap-called with the A♦K♥. The board ran out 5♦8♣8♠Q♠9♣ and Moorman’s rail went wild.
Moorman Continues to Build Live Résumé
The win marked the 21st WSOP cash of Moorman’s career and fifth final table appearance. His previous best finish was second in the 2011 WSOP Europe Main Event for €800,000. His other runner-up finish was in the 2011 WSOP $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Championship for $716,282, so clearly, he’s got some six-handed chops.
Moorman’s other big score, and what was his breakout in the live realm, came back in 2014 when he bested a field of 534 runners to win the World Poker Tour LA Poker Classic for $1,015,460.
"The series is still young, there are plenty of more events out there,” Moorman told PokerNews. “I've already had three cashes, including this one, and I feel great and confident. Hopefully, I can make a final table and if not, hopefully, some more Brits do and I can be on the rail and support them and I would be just as happy, to be honest."
To follow Moorman’s quest for a second bracelet at the 2017 WSOP, follow him on Twitter @Moorman1. You can also pick up his new book, Moorman: The Story of the Most Successful Online Poker Player of All Time, next month both online and at the WSOP.
Final Table Results
1 Chris Moorman (Benfleet, UK) $498,682
2 Bernardo Da Silveira Dias (Brazil) $308,166
3 Michael Gagliano (Rockaway, NJ) $210,139
4 Steve Sung (Torrance, CA) $145,634
5 John Gorsuch (Woodbridge, VA) $102,605
6 Max Silver (London, UK) $73,510
7 Morten Mortensen (Copenhagen, Denmark) $53,569