"People are more aware of rake than they used to be" - Chris Moorman

We chat to the 888poker Pro about satellites, PKOs, GTO and the RakeLESS promotion.

Chris Moorman
Chris Moorman

888poker have recently launched PKO tournaments, are you a fan of the format?

Chris Moorman: My ideal tournament wouldn’t be a PKO because say you are chipleader with a good table, in PKOs there is a ton more variance you just have to get it in in a lot more spots. It takes a bit of the control out of the game.

I don’t like that but there a lot of spots where you are not sure what to do so PKOs keep it interesting and there is an ever-changing dynamic. Also the fact the weaker players get a lot more return for their money so it keeps more money recycling longer in the community.

What are the biggest leaks you see in PKOs?

Chris Moorman: You will just see people call off way too wide for a bounty, especially when it will effect their stack. If they call too wide and lose they become short stacked which is a big disadvantage if everyone covers you as you have no fold equity. It can go both ways, you see players play it like a regular tournament. That’s the great thing about PKOs there’s a lot that hasn’t been solved and I don’t think anyone is playing close to perfectly.

Is that one of the appeals about these newer formats, that they are so far from being solved?

Chris Moorman: To take a concept from a few years ago like shoving ranges. Everyone knows what to shove from every position when they are short stacked because there are apps for that, whereas things like PKOs you have to do a lot of work on your own and every situation is different. The average player is not going to take the time to do that whereas the professional might. It's good that there is stuff that isn’t solved, it keeps it fresh and that’s why I got into poker.

Where are you on the big GTO debate? Do you use solvers in your own study?

Chris Moorman: Everyone says they use solvers, I think they like to claim they use them more than they do. It’s fine using them but I often see people implement them wrong in-game. I use them but not religiously, in tournaments you want to deviate from them so you can exploit your opponents. If you play a Super High Roller you need to know them because everyone in the field uses them, but even in a $10,000 tournament there are people who play completely differently. There is a more optimal way to play against them. You have to be aware of solvers but be able to deviate and use a different strategy.

"We killed our guarantees with RakeLESS"

Chris Moorman
Chris wins a WSOP bracelet

Twice this month 888poker had a RakeLESS Sunday, which was a pretty clever and simple promotion. 

Chris Moorman: I think people are way more aware of the rake than they used to be. Even for the best players winning edges have come down. In the early days of online poker I remember in rebuy tournaments everyone shoving with any two cards in the last few minutes of the rebuy period. Now nobody does that. I think people game select better, the first RakeLESS event was a success, we killed all the guarantees and are looking to do it again in the future.

I have a belief that only regulars care about rake and that it is moot for recreational players, do you agree?

Chris Moorman: It’s dangerous making those assumptions, just because someone is a recreational player it doesn’t mean they are dumb. They still see there is rake and know that money is not going to the prizepool, I think recreational players are more aware of the rake than you think.

888poker is the home of WSOP satellites this year. Do you think we are not running enough live event satellites as an industry right now?

Chris Moorman: When I first started playing online even though I was doing well I would only play a live tournament if I satellited in, even though I could afford to play it. If I get in for cheap I covered the cost of travel and if I cashed it was amazing. That was my strategy and there were satellites galore. In recent years you only see one or two satellites to the target event and the fields are much tougher.

If you look at this year’s Aussie Millions, over 500 people of the 822 runners were from live satellites play throughout the year. Everyone is having fun, there is less pressure and it’s a great atmosphere, there should be more events like that.

The only place to qualify online this year for the Main Event is 888poker.

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Comments (2)

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  • MyFloXyBabY


    Thinking rake affects recreationals way less than regulars doesn't mean taking them for total idiots.
    I do agree with Barry that communicating about the rake is something that won't really touch recreationals. That's probably one of the reasons rakeback nearly disappeared.
  • wobbletones


    Great article i also believe there should be more satelite tournaments