The Day Before Becoming 2010 WSOP Champion.
Canadian pro Jonathan Duhamel won the 2010 WSOP championship. Most likely you know this by now. What you may be curious to discover is how he prepared for his final day of play. Here you have access to an interview with Duhamel on the night before capturing every poker player's dream.
So how did you spend your time during the layoff before the final table?
Mostly I've been studying the other guys, trying to get a read on them if possible. I've been watching all the ESPN footage, and I also have a lot of friends in Quebec who've played against them. Besides that, I've been traveling a little bit, and I've played a lot online on Pokerstars sit-n-go's and tournaments. Just making sure my tournament game is right on.
What's your assessment of the field?
I think it's one of the toughest final tables in a long time. All the guys out there are good. If I make a mistake, I think I'm going to pay the price. The blinds are high, so I don't know if people are going to be willing to gamble. I want to put pressure on the guys, but I'll have to see what they do and adjust to that.
Day 7 was big for you – how did it feel to chip up like that?
Well, it felt great, obviously! I wasn't thinking that much about the final 27 and stuff like that; I was just focusing on having the biggest stack possible, and the day went great. I just felt like almost every decision I was making was a good one. Sometimes you just feel like you're invincible.
You'd taken 15th in the $2,500 tourney earlier in the Series. Did that help your mindset coming into the Main Event?
It was very great because it was the last one of the Series before the Main Event. So, I was really focused and in the zone. I played three days of the $2,500 coming into the Main Event, and I think my head was in a great place to win big pots.
Were you nervous that you'd wear out a hot streak?
I'm always thinking, "Control what you can control," and the factor of luck, you can't control that. I just try to eat well, drink a lot of water and keep sharp. If you do that, it's easy to play the 12 hours a day.
You've said in the past that you prefer online cash games. How's it feel to be playing this huge tournament?
I play a lot of cash games online – and that's where my game is best – but I also play a couple of tournaments. I can make the transition very well, but playing the Series was definitely a challenge. You just go out there for two months and play a bunch of tournaments; it's a different challenge that I look forward to a lot. Early in the tournament, it's like a full-on cash game, but as the blinds are higher, you've gotta pick up your spots really well, making the re-raise at the good times. Because if you make a mistake, you're going to lose half your stack. At that point, it's a question of timing mostly.
What made you decide to go pro?
It's been about two years. I was winning quite a lot, and I thought, "For now, it's very lucrative, so I'll give it a shot for a year and see what happens." And it went very well. I like traveling and playing poker very much. For me it's kind of a dream to do that. I was working at an indoor golf place, working the machines and as a bartender, like a $10 an hour job. So, it was one of those jobs you don't really want to be doing.
Has life as a pro lived up to your expectations?
Right now, of course, yes. Since I've started playing poker, it's been a dream of going to the Main Event. Winning the Main Event is the dream for every poker player. Now, to have the opportunity to do that, I'm very happy, but once the tournament is over, I'll just want to do it again – I'll want to make another big score in another big tournament.
What bad habits have you eliminated from your game over the years?
I think I'm way more patient. I stay aggressive, but I pick up my spots better. If I get short-stacked in a tournament, I'm not going to be in a hurry to just double up and get back to where I was. I think I play a lot more with my head and a lot less with my emotions, and that's very important. I think I've made some improvement there.
What advice would you give to new players?
It takes a lot of practice, and I think the most important thing is to take all the small concepts – weapons like playing in position, applying pressure, not calling too much, making squeeze plays – and mix them into a bigger equation to stay unpredictable. The competition is getting a lot tougher than it was a couple years ago, online and live, and the game is evolving as well, so you have to evolve along with it.
After landing your spot at the final table, did you celebrate with any big purchases?
I bought a new Audi S-4. I needed a new car anyway, so ... It's a small car that can go very fast.