Chris Moorman, the official ambassador of 888poker, has picked up his record-setting 26th Online Triple Crown. Originally created by PocketFives, the 'Online Triple Crown' is earned by any online poker player who wins three different tournaments on three different poker networks over the course of any seven day period!
Moorman has online cashes of around $14 million, which is a hugely impressive feat, and has won titles at 888poker and partypoker, among others. Despite having such success (and an inflated bank balance), Chris Moorman recently went on the record as saying that he wasn't really in it for the money:
"My motivation is always to get the accolades rather than the money."
He's still succeeding even ignoring his cash winnings, as this recent victory shows. An economics graduate, Moorman's career started taking off in 2008, where he had two cashes in the WSOP (World Series of Poker).
He made the final tables in 2010 and 2011, as well as 2013. There were plenty of accompanying cashes along the way too, which has led him to become the only online poker player so far to earn over $10 million throughout his career. On the WSOP Vegas tour, he managed an impressive 35 cashes, leading to almost a $2m pot.
Given his motivation to gather as many wins and accolades as he can, it makes sense that Moorman now wants to move into the live poker sphere – he's already smashed the online game with his most recent bracelet, the record-setting 26th.
To win the live version of the Triple Crown tournament, Moorman will need to win bracelets from the live World Poker Tour, World Series of Poker and European Poker Tour tournaments. The EPT is no longer running of course, which means that a win in the PokerStars championship counts as the third and final victory he'll need.
It's easy to assume that moving from online poker to the live game is seamless, but that might not be the case. There are some subtle differences between the two versions of the game, and these could be enough to throw even an expert like Moorman – initially, at least.
The pacing is a major factor. Online poker games are fast, and there are normally a lot of hands to play through. Conversely, live table games are much slower, and this can lead to frustration for those familiar with online tournaments.
That can cause problems of course, because frustration can lead to mistakes, and angry or emotional players can be easy to read for table veterans. This is especially true if it's an angry online player who isn't used to having to think about keeping their expressions and demeanour as neutral as possible.
There are also the additional demands of a live tour. Travelling around, making sure you look the part (especially if the event is big enough for TV coverage), and mixing with fellow players is all par for the course. These aren't negatives of course, but they are an extra element that online-only players won't be used to.
Playing in a casino every day as opposed to the comfort of your own home may not be to everyone's tastes either. When it comes to Moorman, the real challenge is likely to be the pace – he's used to fast hands, and will have to adapt his play-style and strategy accordingly when he moves into the online arena.
While it's hard to deny Moorman's achievements, there's also no denying that the best poker players around don't have too much trouble when it comes to qualifying for the Triple Crown. Take a look at the top ten Triple Crown winners:
The same players seem to have no trouble netting the wins in the big three online tournaments, and that has led some elements of the poker community, especially amateur players, to question whether these events really pose enough of a challenge to professional players of this skill level.
There were 208 Triple Crown winners in 2015, for example, which could be seen to prove this point. Compared to the online Triple Crown, the live version has only seen 7 winners since 2008. Whatever this tells us about the difference, one thing is certain: Moorman faces a different and more trying challenge in the live arena!