Eighteen Years After Deep Run in 1995 WSOP Main Event, South Dakota Poker Pro Returns to Las Vegas and Gets His Revenge

The best things in life are worth waiting for.

Just ask Michael Moore, the winner of the latest gold bracelet at the 2013 World Series of Poker.

Moore waited three decades, indeed an entire lifetime, to reach the ultimate point in any poker player's life, which is winning the coveted gold bracelet.  His victory took place in the $5,000 buy-in Limit Hold'em tournament, which was played over three long days and nights at the Rio in Las Vegas.

The new champion collected $211,743 in prize money.  However, the amount of the payout had little impact on Moore, who was overcome with emotion as he finally realized what had been a longtime ambition.  

Moore topped a modest field size of 170 players in a game that might be sliding in popularity next to its cousin, No-Limit.  That said, based on a look at the field, this was about asstacked a tournament as we've seen on this year's schedule.  Perhaps it was all the top pros sensing this was an excellent value opportunity to gain a gold bracelet.  Regardless, Moore had to maneuver his way through a brutally tough lineup, including those who made the final table.  That short list included Ronnie Bardah, Todd Witteles, Greg Mueller – all gold bracelet winners.

Added motivation came from the disappointment of coming close to glory in a previous WSOP event back when the game was much different.  Back in 1995 in the Main Event that would eventually be won by Dan Harrington, Moore made it all the way to the edge of the official final table, finishing in tenth place.  However, that was as close as he'd come to achieving his dream for many years until this tournament.

Tonight, all old scores were settled and justice prevailed.

Michael Moore, a.k.a. “Big Store” is a poker pro an artist from Agar, SD – a small town of just 72 people.  No doubt, he will be it's most famous resident.  Moore is married and has four grown children.  Moore was given his unusual nickname by his father.  The phrase came from a catchy old Sears advertisement that Moore used to hear when he was younger.

Moore has been playing poker seriously for nearly 40 years.  He worked for a long time as a proposition player in Northern California.  While playing full-time, he was encouraged by his competitors to try big-time tournament poker.  Perhaps they just wanted to get rid of the best player in the game, but whatever they said influenced Moore to do exactly that.  He's won “a hundred” small tournaments by his own account over the years, but nothing as prestigious or challenging as the WSOP.

Up next, Moore says he expects to play in this year's Main Event.  Interestingly, now that he's achieved a gold bracelet, the only poker goal Moore said that he still has left is to win the World Championship.

Now, wouldn't that be amazing?


MEET GOLD BRACELET WINNER – MICHAEL MOORE

Name:  Michael Moore
 
Nickname:  Big Store
 
Current Residence:  Agar, South Dakota (USA)
 
Birthplace:  New Harmony, Indiana (USA)
 
Age:  63
 
Marital Status:  Married
 
Children:  4
 
Occupation:  Professional Poker Player / Artist
 
Previous Occupation:  Prop Poker Player in Northern California
 
WSOP Cashes (including this event):  14
 
First WSOP Cash (year):  1995
 
WSOP Final Table Appearances:  1
 
WSOP Wins (with this victory):  1


INTERVIEW WITH THE CHAMPION

WSOP:  How does it feel to win your first WSOP gold bracelet?
 
Moore:  I'm feeling a little emotional right now.  This is a really big deal.  The goal of being a professional poker player is to win a gold bracelet.  Now that leaves just one thing left, which is to win the Main Event.

WSOP:  How long have you been coming to the WSOP?
 
Moore:  I've been playing the WSOP for twenty years.  I used to just play one of the opening events.  And the cash games were huge.  

WSOP:  Tell us more about how this moment fits into the context of your poker career, which has lasted more than three decades.
 
Moore:  Ive got one bracelet.  Now, I'm moving on to try and catch Phil (Hellmuth).

WSOP:  How did you discover poker?
 
Moore:   My dad used to gamble.  My mom decided that one way to get him to stay home was to have the game in our home, but she didn't know how to play.  I was just a child and she would deal out cards to me so she could learn.  I picked up on that.  We would play heads-up poker.  Finally, when the game came back around I started to play.  I was winning from the time I was five years old.  One time, I won nearly all the money on the table.  It was pennies and nickels and dimes, or course.

WSOP:  You won $200,000.  What are you going to do with that?
 
Moore:  Two-hundred thousand – and eleven.  And change (laughter).  Don't forget the change.  

WSOP:  Any final thoughts to tell about what this moment means?
 
Moore:  I'm so happy that I might start crying.  I've played poker for a long time.  I never really felt this close to a gold bracelet and now that I have one it's the thrill of my life.

ODDS AND ENDS

David Chiu cashed.  He won a gold bracelet in Event 23 ($2,500 buy-in Seven-Card Stud).  This marked his fifth cash at this series and 58th overall for his career.  Chiu now ranks 13th on the all-time WSOP cashes list.