WCOOP 2014: Spencer "360flip019" Moe on a first title, and keeping feet on the ground
For Spencer "360flip019" Moe (a username created from a combination of a certain skateboarding trick and the shirt number of his hero Markus Naslund) poker is more about staying grounded than living the high roller lifestyle. Although after his win in Event #12 of WCOOP this month he could be forgiven for having a moment of celebration with the friends he shares a house with in Whistler, British Colombia.
"There were the standard hi-fives going 'round," admitted Moe. "After things settles down we mostly got back to the grind. Other people still had their goals in place and that helped me to stay focused on get back to playing after a day off. I'm very happy with the win but it mostly just motivates me to play more."
And so, as with many players in the moments after winning a first title, they can't help it when their attention returns to winning the next one. It must be something in the professional player's psyche--it's all one long game with as many high points as you can manage while making sure the low points don't ever get too low. For Moe then, now 25, the last three years since turning pro have been about continually improving, and a large part of that has been the people he was high-fiving a week or so ago.
"Over the last year we have managed to keep our poker house here in Whistler together," said Moe. "It's a lot of fun living in that kind of atmosphere. Fun people and being with other good players is always the best way to improve."
The results of that were made obvious this month--the title worth $46,185 as well as a first bracelet.. If came against rbhatia3 in a heads-up format, which immediately became Moe's biggest career win, topping his previous best from 2011. And it was some result. To win Moe had to steer his way through 11 matches. That's 11 chances to make mistakes, screw up, or succumb to the capricious nature of the game.
"Making the final table was very exciting! Especially in a heads-up formatted tournament," said Moe. "It is down to only one match and I hoped it went well. Luckily for me I managed to come out on top."
Cue the aforementioned high fives, and then back to it. All over in a brief moment, the journey of learning more and improving continues, which is not as easy as some people might think.
"The hardest think I have had to do poker-wise was understanding how much there is to really learn," said Moe, looking back on his first years in the game. "Learning to understand how expectations will effect swings and results was something that helped my not be affected while moving up in stakes along the way."
Like a lot of players Moe has his own poker story of how he started, way back as a kid with his grandmother (it's always the grandmothers) who taught him the hand rankings. Back then the game was five-card draw. "Basically just deal and show down to see who would 'win'. "
Years later, he's the only poker player in the family, playing mainly online--although Whistler, a small town, still has its share of small stakes home games and tournaments. It's the kind of environment that will keep you from getting too carried away.
"Personally I always try to remain very grounded," said Moe. "Poker players live a very different lifestyle compared to most people. I try to not lose touch with reality. Life will feel much more stale while staying down to Earth."
And the money? Moe has no specific plans but favours saving rather than splashing out. "I know it's nothing flashy or exciting but that will be the truth!"
Keeping both feet firmly on the ground has got him this far. Right now it looks like a winning system.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.