Over the course of the 2020 World Series of Poker, PocketFives will be checking in with Chris Moorman and Katie Lindsay as they chase down WSOP glory. This is Episode 4 of The House of Moorman and the first after the couple traveled to Mexico to play the GGPoker bracelet events.
Chris Moorman arrived in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico with his computer, his golf clubs, and some of the necessities of life in early August set to grind some of the last flights of the World Series of Poker Online Millionaire Maker flights.
He and Connor Drinan actually left Las Vegas before the WSOP.com schedule wrapped with the intention of using the Millionaire Maker as the jumping-off point of what was going to be a very successful Series. Moorman bricked the Millionaire Maker flights, but a big score was just around the corner.
On Tuesday night, nearly two weeks after he arrived in Mexico, Moorman began working his way through the field in Event #58 ($5,000 Six NLHE Championship). One of the bigger buy-in events on the schedule, it drew 672 entries. As Moorman got deeper and deeper into the tournament, he noticed something change.
“It was a weird one because felt like I was playing two different tournaments. The whole tournament being Six Max, and then the final table went to full ring and the final table bubble had gone on so long, that all the stacks were kind of messed up. (There were) so many sub-10 big blind stacks, so it kind of became a turbo rather than like a standard tournament,” Chris said.
Starting the nine-handed final table with the third shortest stack at just seven big blinds, Moorman needed to get hot at the right time. That’s exactly what happened.
“I doubled up and thought, ‘Okay, here we go’. There was a few, five big blind stacks and then actually the eventual winner shoved three big blinds on the button I remember and he somehow got a fold from the both of the blinds and managed to shove three hands in a row and come back to over 10 bigs,” Moorman said. “I remember that because I was like, ‘Oh my God, not even a sweat to get a ladder.’ We were nine-handed for so long with ridiculous stacks, I was just thinking, ‘Oh, please don’t come ninth for eighth’ kind of thing. Like at least cash for something good here.”
Nearly two hours later, Moorman was heads-up against Ravid Garbi and even though he knew Garbi had chops, the former #1-ranked PocketFiver felt like he was about to grab the second bracelet of his career. The cards had other ideas and Moorman finished second and had to settle for a $393,393 score.
“I really felt like I was going to win. But if I look back at the hands, there wasn’t really any hand that I’d change how I played. So it just kind of wasn’t meant to be,” Moorman said. “I knew my opponent was professional as well. So it wasn’t like I have a huge edge or anything, so I just did the best I could and it just wasn’t meant to be this time.”
The tournament wrapped up around midnight and Moorman wasn’t going to be going to sleep anytime soon. The adrenaline was pumping and the in-house cheering section consisting of Drinan, Joseph Cheong, and Chris’ wife, Katie Lindsay. The crew had a few drinks to celebrate and Moorman used the time to reach out to everybody who was railing from home and had to wait to call his biggest fan.
“I was waiting to call my dad because he’s in the UK, so he’s like six hours ahead. So I had to wait for him to wake up. So I was just had a couple of beers and just sort of replied to everyone who wrote me,” Moorman said. “I had loads of support from friends and obviously at the time I just couldn’t reply to them all, I was playing. So I was just was chatting to friends and stuff, waiting for my parents to wake up and then waiting until I basically was so tired I had to go to sleep.”
Lindsay actually waited a week before heading down to Mexico. She finished up the WSOP.com schedule and spent some time with friends in Las Vegas before flying down with Cheong. The house the group has rented in Nuevo Vallarta is in a nicer part of town and has amenities that will make it easy to focus on nothing but poker, including a chef.
“He’s been amazing. The first day, I think he got a little over-excited. He made so much food. It was on a Sunday. Nobody really eats on Sunday because they’re just grinding so hard,” Katie said. “We had all this food. They made this great presentation and then I had to come out and be like, ‘No one is coming to lunch.’ They didn’t totally understand, but they got it.”
The next night the group enjoyed a surf and turf feast complete with steak, shrimp, and grilled lobsters and somehow made room for a flambe banana foster for dessert. The house sits right on a golf course that might just be a little too much for the housemates, who have only recently picked up the game. Oh, and there’s also just a lot of poker going on.
“There’s a par 3 course we found as well because we’re not that experienced yet. We’ve been playing quite a bit the last few months, but yeah. None of us is good yet,” Chris said. “It’d be nice to get out and about, but it’s just hard because every day there’s a really sick event on. You have to be in there and play.”
Lindsay echoes the sentiment and can’t help but fire up a full schedule nearly every day.
“I don’t want to overwhelm or play too many tables. It’s not that, you’re just like, ‘Oh my God, how do you not play this? It’s $100K for first, $50K for first.’ There are just so many good tournaments,” Katie said.
Before those tournaments start each day or after a the end a little earlier than either Katie or Chris want, they’ve got a bunch of great local amenities that they’re able to take advantage of either in preparation for their day, or to blow off a bit of steam after a long day.
“Lots of restaurants. The market, the grocery store right down the street from our house is so nice. I couldn’t even believe it,” Katie said. “I just found a juice bar right down the street from our house. Sometimes when you’re in Mexico, that can be hard to find, fresh-pressed, green juices and kombuchas and healthy products and stuff. It was so cool that this is just right down the street from our house.”
With a $393,000 score already in the bank, you’d think that Katie and Chris wouldn’t mind turning the work trip into a bit more of a vacation with some more time on the golf course and some trips into Puerto Vallarta to take advantage of some of the local dining options. That runner-up finish only added fuel to the fire though.
“Now I’m actually determined. I’m getting closer, a fourth, a second … so now I’m actually determined to get the victory,” Chris said.