Chris Moorman: The inside story of the most successful online poker player of all time – Book Review
Chris Moorman – When it comes to perfecting your skills in playing poker, there are many things you can do to improve. Obviously, nothing comes close to practising in many different environments that may reflect what it would be like to play a game. Perfecting the skills needed to make quick decisions under intense pressure is a key facet of the game. But there is another way to hone your poker ability – by following in the footsteps of the greats, and taking their tried and tested advice, such as Chris Moorman’s as offered in his new book. While not being a traditional go-to read for many, Moorman’s book can actually offer insight not only on poker but on life.
In August 2017, Chris Moorman became the all-time leader in career online poker tournaments with his revenue surpassing $14 million – and holds the distinguished title of being the only player in online poker history with career earnings over $10 million. Moorman has published his second book – Moorman: The Inside Story of the Most Successful Online Poker Player of All Time – that delves into his life as a poker player and offers some wisdom to potential poker fans who wish to follow in his footsteps.
While his initial book, Moorman’s Book of Poker: Improve Your Poker Game was a tome of strategy and hints and tips to achieving the same level of poker success, its spiritual sequel offers more of an autobiographical slant to Moorman’s poker playing. The book was a conversational coaching book by Moorman and Byron Jacobs that informed the reader as to which hands to play in various scenarios and why, providing analysis for strategy and ways to become an instinctive poker player. Moorman’s second book is largely different and provides a deeper look at the mentality behind some of the moves Moorman has made.
The opening of Moorman’s second book features his early poker playing days – and touches upon what happened when he entered a tournament when he had limited finances. The success he found there and the ease at which he was able to master the game spurned him on to become the record holder he is today. The early stages of the book provide a potted arc of growth for Moorman – he ends up winning the World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic, maturing as a poker player and a man, and marrying his long-time love.
The poker strategy section of the book – an addendum as such to his first book – features 44 poker hands Moorman has played online. As an added bonus, Moorman brings in some other poker greats to add their analysis, including Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, and Dominik Nitsche. Nitsche shares with Moorman the title of being an 888poker ambassador, which Moorman became in 2016. The addition of some critiques of Moorman’s poker play from someone other than the man himself give extra insight also into the life of a professional poker player, and the interactions you take with other players – especially given how important interpersonal analysis is in poker.
Where Moorman’s second book differs from the first – which used the conversational coaching method to allow Byron Jacobs to suggest hands and predicaments that mid-level Texas hold’em players may be accustomed to, is in the amount of high-stakes hands that are analysed. Some of the hands are ones that could have gained or lost Moorman millions – and for those that did, the analysis is given an added degree of emotion, which the reader can certainly resonate with.
The most beneficial aspect of Moorman’s book is the thought process that goes alongside playing his hands. Whether it is Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha Hi-Lo, or Seven Card Stud, the thought process required in poker is one that can be carefully cultivated and developed. Not only should the player be able to work well under pressure and thoroughly consider every angle, as Moorman indicates, but should also know when to take a risk and when to be more cautious. It is this ability to understand potential risks, yet know when the risk outweighs the reward, that sets Moorman apart from other poker players – and gives readers a valuable insight into the thought process of a pro.
While the book won’t immediately make you a winner’s circle poker player yourself, it will give you the initial tools and training necessary to begin the quest to follow in Moorman’s footsteps. After all, he trained himself and worked up the ranks of professional poker playing – any reader attempting the same has the added edge of having Moorman: The Inside Story of the Most Successful Online Poker Player of All Time to fall back on for advice, guidance, and inspiration.
Moorman has maintained a steady fan base throughout his career – largely from his popular blog on poker, the games he played and won, and titbits of help to the budding amateur. As such, as well as being a skilled poker player, he is also a skilled writer. More than that, the book stands Moorman in good stead for his future – with two titles now under his belt, he can categorically claim to be an author. His poker career will hopefully continue full steam ahead, but if he ever decides to give the cards a rest, there will no doubt be publishers lining up to sign him onto their books.
Becoming a master of poker is no easy feat – despite how it may appear from the outside. Learning not just strategy and advice from the pros, but the inner machinations of their minds as poker players provides a deeper portrait of what exactly it is like to be a career online poker star. The book provides the right balance of advice and strategy to give an education in poker while peppering it with anecdotal and autobiographical information that gives greater insight to the player himself. By marrying the two formats, the book ends up giving not just sound poker advice, but a deeper understand of how to approach the game mentally. By giving insight not just into Chris Moorman’s hands, but into his head, any reader will become a better poker player themselves.