Poker News Daily: How did you get started in poker?
Moorman: A few friends of mine in the university found a student freeroll on the internet. We started playing competitively between ourselves, but it didn’t really become fierce for a few weeks. One week, I managed to fluke a second place. I’m not sure how, but I just must have gotten a run of cards or something. I got about $100 from that and started playing low-stakes sit and gos and multi-table tournaments. I built that up to about $300 and thought that the game was easy and a money-winner.
Then, I discovered cash tables and that was my downfall at the time. I was only playing $0.05/$0.10 with a $20 buy-in, but I didn’t really understand the concept. I was just pushing all-in for $20 each hand. I’d win the blinds a few times and run it up to $21 and thought it was easy. Then, I’d run into a big hand like queens, kings, or aces and break my luck. So I was quickly down to about $25, was never going to play the game again because the sport was rigged, stuck it all on one sit and go, and won $120. Then, I learned how to play the game properly.
PND: Your parents are very supportive of your online poker game now, but it wasn’t always that way. Can you share with us the story of how your parents came to appreciate your poker skills?
Moorman: When I started telling them about poker, they didn’t have a clue. I sat my down my mom down because I knew it was going to be a big shock to her. I showed her how much money I had won – nothing amazing, but pretty good – but she thought it was all a big joke. Every week for a few months, she would send me jobs from the paper and say that I should stop messing around. Then, I did better and better and she started to take notice.
PND: Tournament structures of major online poker sites have improved and a lot of the bigger tournaments now have deeper-stacked play. How much of an advantage does that give a thinking poker player?
Moorman: A lot. If you’re not deep-stacked, then a lot of your play is down to pushing, folding, or is just mathematics-based. When you have a deep stack, you can play more hands, use position a lot more, and play your opponents a lot better. There’s more room to play post-flop. It allows a skilled player to have more of an edge, whereas on the Euro sites, where the structures are a lot worse, if a player is competent, then there isn’t a lot of difference between a really good player and them.
PND: What advice do you give players who begin with the standard $50 or $100 deposits?
Moorman: Don’t try to move up too fast. Obviously, there are going to be other people, like some of your friends, playing higher games and they’re going to have bigger wins and you’ll be jealous, but you need to move up gradually. When you’re a big winner at the level you’re at, you can move up. Try to stick to the 100 buy-in bankroll rule like in other tournaments. Just keep working on your game and improving it. It doesn’t have to happen overnight. There’s plenty of time. You just have to keep moving up slowly.
PND: How does the tournament scene in the United Kingdom compare to those around the world?
Moorman: It’s definitely nowhere near as big as it is in the United States. It’s probably the equivalent of the U.S. three years ago. We have the U.K. Poker Tour, which has about 10 events per year with a ₤1,000 buy-in and 200-300 players. I would say about two-thirds of the field would be playing a $50 freezeout online, so the standard isn’t that high. There are some good up-and-coming U.K. players, so hopefully the standard will continue to improve.
PND: You’ve played in a number of high-stakes live tournaments. Are there any players who have stuck out in your mind as world-class live poker players?
Moorman: In the 2008 World Series of Poker Europe, I played against a lot of good players, but the one who stuck out was the Main Event winner, John Juanda. On Day 3, I found out that he was at my table. Everyone I spoke to said that he is really tight and if you freeze him in position, he gives up. I basically came in and tried to bully him. Let’s just say that it didn’t work out. When I busted out, I said to everyone that he was going to win the tournament because he was playing really well. I think among live pros, he has the same reputation because everyone kept folding to him.
PND: If you could name a couple of players from the United Kingdom that we may see a lot more of in the future, who would they be?
Moorman: Paolo69 on PokerStars. He’s my mentor. When I first came up through the game, he taught me how to play properly. He taught me the re-steal back before anyone knew what the re-steal was. He switched to cash games and was doing well in those, but got bored with them, so he’s now turned back to tournaments. I’m expecting big things from him. Riverman1 has come out of nowhere also. He’s definitely one to look out for.