Katie Lindsay Interviewed by Somuchpoker’s Gaelle Jaudon
Somuchpoker: Most people first met you as Chris Moorman’s wife, but you yourself are an accomplished player with more than $500k in tournament cash and most importantly, around $2 million in total online earnings! Can you explain how you worked on your game and evolved in the past few years? Can you explain a bit how you evolved those last years?
Katie Lindsay: I grew up playing all sorts of card games with my family and then I graduated college right when Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP. Although I had never played No-Limit Holdem, only 5 or 7 card Stud and Draw games, I became fascinated. I then began playing online in 2003 and 2004 and loved it. I moved to Los Angeles at the time because I was working in production casting for reality TV shows but it wasn’t really fulfilling. I saw a magazine ad that was looking for poker writers and realized that was the perfect opportunity for me to do something more professionally in poker. It took off from there and I started to work for different sites and travel to poker events. I met a lot of players and people from the industry. I’ve always been very social so I started to quickly have an important network. It was before Black Friday, in the golden days of the sponsorship deals, when the poker sites were just throwing around a lot of money for patch deals. Some people approached me to help them get in contact with sites and get them patch deals and at some point I ended up starting my own agency. It was kind of scary and daunting but it ended up being a crazy adventure. At the end, before Black Friday, I had 20 poker players and 10 celebrities, dealing with their sponsorships and appearances. We had some merchandising, some brands getting involved and I had to hire a bunch of people. I was still playing on the side but I didn’t have much time. It was pretty intense but when Black Friday happened, everything changed overnight, I had to restart what I was doing.
I met Chris Moorman in Las Vegas when I was working for a new company. We knew of each other at that time but we had never spoken. We immediately clicked and both of our lives completely changed. He was living in Cyprus at the time but we decided to move together to Vancouver for a couple of months after the WSOP to be online. I was feeling very unfulfilled and so I left the previous company I was working with. I’m a 100 miles/hour person, I always need to do something and he really encouraged me to get back in and start playing more. But I quickly realized I like live poker way more. I love sitting at the table, talking to people, meeting everyone and hearing their stories.
SMP: There are not many strong couples at the top of the poker world, and you are the first couple to have a sponsorship together, what does it represent for you? Not only having a sponsorship with ACR but also with your husband?
KL: It’s so amazing and also so unexpected. I’ve always been the person pushing other people forward to get sponsorship, but never for myself. I’m really shy to do interviews, it makes me uncomfortable but I realize I really have to get better at this! It wasn’t a goal for me to have that role at all. I was actually negotiating with Americas Card Room for Chris’s sponsorship and they came back to me saying they wanted to talk about sponsoring me as well. It was a total surprise. It’s so special because Chris and I are really best friends, our life revolves around poker, we eat, sleep and breathe poker so it kind of makes sense to do this together. It’s funny because we are also very competitive every time we play a game together. I know he’s better than me, he’s one of the best players in the world, and I don’t feel any negativity about that. He has his strengths and I have mine and that’s also why we are so great for each other. We cheer for each other so much so it’s really cool to be part of this adventure together.
SMP: What are your projects with the ACR room? Are you working on specific ideas with them?
KL: We have some fun ideas which we’re excited about. Potentially doing some smaller stakes tours, going around and meeting the people, which is something I love. We talked about doing some in Europe and maybe in the US too. We’re thinking about what it could look like but we definitely want to start some small events, meet-ups, maybe in different small poker rooms and casinos.
SMP: You have a lot of results, live and online as well in tournaments, but do you also play cash games?
KL: Yeah I mainly play tournaments. Cash games are… when I’m drinking mostly! It’s a fun thing for me to just hang out and have some drinks! I jumped in in the past in some 5/10 tables and bigger games but I wasn’t really comfortable playing that. I’m much more of a tournament player. Cash games for me are more about having fun at the table and talking to people with a cocktail in my hand.
SMP: In January, you both ended up heads up for a WSOP ring event online, in a 612-entry field. How cool was that? Too bad he won! 🙂
KL: Yeah that was really funny. Usually you can play the WSOP online from your phone or Ipad, and most of the time I’m playing when I’m on the go or at dinner or a bar. I grind the WSOP on my phone at crazy places! For that event I was out having dinner and cocktails with a friend but then decided to head home and focus. When you’re playing from your phone it’s harder to see who’s still in, so I didn’t even know that Chris was still playing too. So he was playing in his office and I kept playing in the living room and at one point I had queens when he had ace-king and I doubled up through him. I heard him screen on the other side of the house. It was really funny because as I said we are very competitive. When we got heads up I moved to the office and sat across from him. We just battled it out, it was great, I had him on the ropes twice but he had a lucky river. I was so frustrated!
SMP: What would you say are the difficulties and also the advantages of being both poker players as a couple? What would you say is the biggest difficulty you had to overcome?
KL: I would say the negative is how hard it is when you’re both losing. It can just feel so frustrating. You need to make sure that whether you’re winning or losing, it doesn’t dictate how your life is going. You can’t think today is a good day because you won some money. You need to keep the focus on looking at the bigger picture. My life is good, his life is good, we have so many things to be happy for. Ok we got a bad beat or played a bad hand but it means so little compared to the grand scheme of things. It’s something really important because when you’re two people losing, the negativity can be so high. That’s a downfall you really need to make sure to catch. The positive is that we both understand the swings and the ups and down that we can go through. Like I won’t freak out and blame him if he comes back home saying he lost 50K in a game. That’s the kind of thing that we understand and support each other for.
SMP: Some other poker couples were also saying the difficult part was working on their game together because they would disagree on the strategy for example and argue about it. Is it something that happens to you too?
KL: It’s funny because Marle Spragg, Ben Spragg’s wife, posted a video about it and it was hilarious because it was so true actually. For example, Chris is very expressive and if I tell him a hand sometimes he reacts by making some faces and I say “okay no need to make that face!” So it can be difficult sometimes, if we disagree we can both feel that we’re defensive. But the cool thing is I also know Chris is a million times better than me and he would hear me out and understand that I can think of a hand in a different perspective than him. So we have times when we don’t have the same opinion but we listen to each other and it’s cool. No matter what happens I feel heard and overall, I have one of the best players in the world that I can share a hand with, so how lucky am I?!
SMP: You have been evolving in the poker world for a long time now, around 17 years, and you saw both sides of the poker industry. What positive changes have you seen and what would you still like to see being improved?
KL: We really have to regulate poker in the US. I cannot believe that poker is still not legalized and regulated countrywide in America. It’s shocking to me! It’s the number one problem. I’ve been back here when they were lobbying with the Poker Players Alliance. I’ve done everything I could hoping that it would get regulated but so far nothing has really happened. They go state by state and all we can hope is that we will be able to come all together. But other than that, the good side is that more people are coming into the game, more content is being created. Now there are a ton of vloggers and youtubers, poker training sites ect.. I really like the idea that now people who want to come into poker have an avenue where they can learn and know more about the poker world. I think poker is still growing. People still think we’ve seen the peak of poker but it keeps proving to us that we haven’t. Records keep getting broken everywhere.
SMP: You live in Las Vegas with Chris, what do you love the most about living in Vegas and in which rooms do you go the most?
KL: We moved from Los Angeles to Vegas four years ago and I was a bit scared because all of my friends were in LA and everything I loved but I really love our life here. We have everything. We have shows, we have the nightlife, great food, and such a great community of friends here as well. We enjoy our daily life here. When we’re not playing we can go get nice meals, different activities, we play pickleball, we invite friends over ect… It’s never boring. Regarding poker, I’m playing wherever the big events are but my favorite place is the Wynn. I love everyone that works there, I really love everything about that room so every time they organize an event I’ll be there!
SMP: You’ve both traveled the world together attending countless poker events. What is the funniest/craziest memory you have with Chris?
KL: Well.. When I travel with Chris it’s always an experience because he always forgets things on the plane or at the airport ect.. I always joke that he is like my child that I never wanted because I always have to make sure that he has everything. We’re always trying to do fun things when we’re traveling, like we went skydiving, biking around Berlin and went on a boat in Australia around the Sydney Opera. We always try to go out and find fun activities. I’m a planner. I like staying busy so I’m always looking at what we can see and do. But it’s always an adventure because Chris might lose something, so he keeps me on my toes for sure!