Jonathan Duhamel shocked himself when he won the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event and since then worked his ass off to avoid the winner’s curse that followed several recent Main Event champs.
Duhamel won his second bracelet in the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop for $3.9 million and did it against 135 of the best players in the world. At the final table alone Duhamel had Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Colman, Ben Sulsky and Anthony Zinno.
“It was definitely a tough one (final table), really it was. I got lucky early, picked up aces and doubled up – then made some hands here and there,” Duhamel said. “I feel like I was lucky early and then after that I could use my chips to play well after that.”
Colman and Bill Klein made for a tough three-handed table with the chips spread evenly. “Daniel Colman is an amazing player and Bill was pretty tough, I didn’t think he would play that good to be honest. He had some moves here and there – it certainly wasn’t easy and it was anybody’s game at that point. I give a lot of credit to those guys.”
Duhamel’s win pushed his career earnings over the $16 million mark. It was his fifth cash this Series, he’s cashed twice in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship and made three final tables at the 2014 WSOP APAC – including the $25,000 High Roller.
Duhamel’s used to playing with the best of the best, but this particular tournament had a big money bubble. “It was very stressful, especially because I was one of those short stacks – at one point I had eight or nine big blinds,” he said.
“It was a tough bubble and took a while,” said Duhamel. “Your heart is pumping because you know the min-cash is a quarter-of-a-million dollars, so it’s pretty good money. But it’s fun, this is why we play poker, this is why we play the game. There’s big challenges against tough opponents.”
The moment wasn’t lost on Duhamel, who’s had some public ups and downs. “The journey has been amazing – I never thought I would be at this point in my life. Five years ago I never thought I would win the Main Event and after that I never thought I would win two bracelets,” he said. “In life you’re always going to have ups and downs; everybody gets up, everybody gets down – it’s part of life so you just have to deal with it.”
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