By: Lance Bradley of PocketFives.com
Published: Jun 19th, 2017
In the early hours of Saturday morning in Las Vegas, Chris Moorman found himself in a spot he’d been in before: heads-up for a World Series of Poker bracelet. Twice in his career he’s gotten far enough in a tournament to be sitting across from just one player and in both cases, Moorman settled for second place.
This time was different though, it just took a little while. Moorman and Bernardo Da Silveira Dias played heads-up for over 3.5 hours before Moorman emerged with the bracelet and $498,682 first place prize money. It almost didn’t happen though, the later the two played the more likely it was they would have to come back the next day to finish – and Moorman wanted no part of that.
“It had been such a long battle heads up and they’d actually come to us in the last level and said ‘Do you want to play one more level?’, because it wasn’t scheduled or we’d have to come back in the morning,” said Moorman. “I had to do that in the $10K Six Max that I ended up losing heads up. I had to come back the next morning and play and I ended up losing. So I had the association with that, so I really didn’t want to come back and have to do that.”
When the final river card hit, and Moorman had eliminated Dias, he finally got the opportunity to enjoy a moment he’s been chasing since he first started playing the WSOP in 2006. It exceeded all expectations.
“I had that moment in my mind for so long, I’d wondered what it’d feel like, and then when it did happen it felt even better than if it had come to me a lot easier,” said Moorman.
The 31-year-old Brit has crushed online poker for years and won a World Poker Tour, but the WSOP bracelet victory is still so fresh and surreal that he can’t help but rank it as the biggest moment of his career.
“In the long term maybe it’s between that and the WPT, just because that was my first marquee win. But just to have all my friends there from the UK, and to not disappoint them this time,” said Moorman. “I’ve been to the final table before and just come up short, so to actually make it all the way. At the time I wanted the heads up to be over, but now looking back at it, it’s kind of good that it was a long drawn out battle and it was just more of a show for everyone and it made me feel like a real bracelet.”
Throughout the duration of the final table, Moorman’s rail grew both in size and in decibels. The Brits are famous for their amazing support and some unique, often loud, chants and cheers. They also have another unique custom following a win; the winner downs a Jaeger-bomb from his shoe. Moorman tried to live up to the tradition but the late hour worked against him.
“It wasn’t actually a Jaeger bomb. It was a vodka soda or something. But it had definitely been around for a few hours, because I went over there and nobody had a beer, they’d stopped serving, so I said ‘What are we going to do?’,” said Moorman. “Somebody handed me this vodka soda, which was flat and not even cold anymore. I tasted it and I said ‘this is not good’, but I had to go with it now, I couldn’t just stop. So I just downed the whole thing and I didn’t even care, to be honest.”
Now that he’s forever wiped his name off of the Best Player Without a Bracelet list, Moorman has his sights set on even more success at the WSOP – even if it’s not for him.
“Everybody comes in (to the WSOP) feeling really positive and ‘I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna get there on time,” and then it gets a few weeks in and people start to sort of get a bit down. Morale maybe slightly drops a little bit, you lose a little bit of confidence in what you’re doing, and bang, one score turns it around,” said Moorman. “There’s still so many tournaments left, and also just for my friends as well, I feel like them being there watching it, I’ve definitely felt it in the past when I’ve seen friends win a bracelet it’s kind of inspired me to go out there and do it as well.”