Wynnar! Talking with Chris Moore

Chris Moore
Chris Moore wins 2008 Wynn Classic

Chris Moore must be loving the Wynn. He made the final table here at the Wynn Classic one year ago, finishing third for his biggest major score up to that point, and improved upon that result this year with the win, adding nearly $700,000 to his career earnings.

Since this wasn't a televised event PL.com was at center stage coordinating the winner photos and conducting the official post-victory interview.

One year ago you made this final table and we heard you went out in third from a bad beat laid on you by the eventual winner, Zach Hyman. Tell us how you feel now that you've gone the distance and taken down your first major live win.

Well, first of all I'd like to clear something up. It wasn't a bad beat last year. I think I got the money in as like a 56% favorite, so it wasn't a real bad beat or anything. Anyhow, when we got to three-handed today I did feel a little bit of pressure. I really didn't want to get third again. I don't play a ton of $10k events and there's only so many chances you're going to get to have a really big finish.

It's so nice to win something like this that even second place would have been disappointing... I know there's a lot of money involved but it's a really significant difference between first and second. I did feel pressure but I was feeling pretty comfortable and I knew I could play against both of them so I felt good.

Ryan Young with nothing but queen-high. Ryan's a really tough player so how were you able to deal with him in general and in that specific instance?

Ryan Young, Chris Moore
Ryan and Chris.

First of all, I know that Ryan Young is a very good player. He won a bracelet last year and he's one of those extremely aggressive players. He had the chip lead when that hand started and I had about $500,000 or something. So it folds around to him in the small blind and he raised. I was in the big blind and I had Q 3. He's raising a huge range of hands there and there's enough money in the middle to go after at this point. So I called because of this and [because] I would have position on him for the rest of the hand.

The flop comes T-T-9 with two diamonds I think and he checks to me. I bet and he made the call. I figure there's a good chance he puts me on nothing here, even though I'd been playing relatively tight leading up to this hand, but there's also the chance I have the ten.

The next card is some sort of rag and he checks again. I decided to bet big because I felt like he'd think there's a better chance I'd want to build the pot early if I did have a ten. When I bet I did think there was a good chance he'd raise with any two cards. So I bet and he did raise, but not much more than the minimum. I felt like if he did have a ten he would have to raise more there because there's so many draws out there and he's really pricing me in if I'm drawing to the flush or the straight. I felt like if I moved all-in right there it was going to look a lot like a draw and he might call me down with just one pair. So I just called and I thought that looked a lot like a ten.

Chris Moore
No cards? No Problem!

The river came a jack which really wasn't the best card for me but I guess it gave me a lot to represent. He checked to me and I moved in and then he folded. I felt like if he had a ten he definitely would have bet the river. By just calling the turn I did leave myself open to him shoving the river with anything and me having to fold.

That hand was a good example of how active you and Ryan were, and Blake Cahail was certainly pretty active, but it looked like some of the players there were really just trying to fold their way up the money ladder. Do you think you got lucky in that there weren't that many tough players to go through to get down to three-handed?

Well, I never felt like I had a seat at the final three locked up, or I probably wouldn't have made that move with the Q-3 (laughs), but there were definitely three or four guys that really weren't playing any hands. I was trying to pick on their blinds but Ryan and Blake, and also Ricky Chow, were all playing a lot of hands and I felt like we were all trying to go after those other players' blinds. So it was kind of a psychological game there because we all knew that the others were going after those blinds. And they knew that I knew and so on. So you had to be selective and pick your spots well.

Ryan Young
The Young-ster.

We were all settling in for what could have been a long heads-up match but, as it turned out, it didn't take long for you to end it. There was a pretty dramatic ending to things so if you could outline the final two hands for the benefit of those watching at home that would be great.

Sure. Ryan started with a small chip lead and on one of the first hands of the match he opened from the button. This was a typical raise from him and he'd been raising the button almost every hand up to that point. I had J-5 suited, not a great hand but he's raising with everything. If it's not suited I probably don't call but I felt like I could flop something there, which may not be the best strategy.

We did both have over 100 big blinds so it's not like we were short or anything. But anyway, the flop came J-8-5 and I check my top and bottom pair figuring he's probably going to bet it. So I checked and he bet big. I was loving that. I really felt he had a hand because he's not the type to get that many chips in that early in a hand with nothing. So I thought he had a hand he wanted to protect, an overpair or a good jack. So I raised big.

The Final Hand
The final hand.

I wanted to tell him that he couldn't just call here, that he'd either have to move in or fold. So he moved in with A-J and that was just a cooler for him. I don't think there's anything he can do there. A few hands later he was on about $190,000, less than ten big blinds, and I was on the button and just looked at one of my cards and it was a king so I moved all-in. I thought it was good enough.

He looked at one of his cards and it was an ace and he called. It just so happened my other card was also a king. He did have an ace but a king hit the flop right away so I didn't have to sweat it. I do kind of look like a fool moving in with pocket kings there but I really did just look at one card.

Thanks Chris and we hope to see more of you on the tour in the future.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Unlike some final tables in recent memory, this one was truly entertaining. Ryan Young and Chris Moore both put on a brilliant demonstration, along with Blake Cahail and Ricky Chow, but in the end it would be Moore who wanted it the most. Back-to-back final tables is always a good thing. Improving on a third-place finish with your first major victory is even better.

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