|FTR Exclusive Interviews|
Right now, Jonathan Duhamel is one of the biggest names in poker. He isn’t as handsome as Josh Duhamel, but the Quebec native did take down the 2010 World Series of Main Event, winning almost $9 million. In addition to a fat pay day, Duhamel earned a spot among the elite members of Team PokerStars Pro.
The 22 year old was first exposed to poker six or seven years ago when he was playing home games with his friends. Duhamel put off his finance studies two years ago to become a professional poker player. His devotion has paid off. Duhamel, who mainly plays cash games online, is on top of the poker world.
We sat down with the champ and asked him a few questions.
FTR – courtiebee
Congrats on the win! What are your plans now as a PokerStars pro? Are you going to continue on the tournament circuit or focus on cash games?
I’ll definitely be playing a lot of tournaments on the tour, I’ve played a lot of cash games, now I want to know how good I can do in tournaments. I’m thinking about the PokerStars European Poker Tour and the PokerStars North American Poker Tour just to name a few, and the PokerStars Caribeean Adventure in Bahamas this January!
FTR – cr4zybe4utifu1
How did you get started in poker?
Like almost everybody, playing with friends just for the fun of it. Eventually I went online and tried on PokerStars.net, I played for free there for a while to try to improve my game as much as I could.
FTR – courtiebee
Are you able to explain your thought process during the JJ hand with Matt Affleck? Did history between you at the earlier tables come into play?
Matt is a very good and aggressive player. When I raised from the Cutoff and he 3bets from the dealer, I felt he could be weak a lot of times. That’s why I reraised him, and decided to go all the way on the flop and turn. The main thing is even if I lost the hand, I still had around 10 million to play with, which was around 30-35 big blinds, good enough to play with.
FTR – CoryATX
Could you talk about the hand vs Joseph Cheong (Cheong’s 6-bet bluff with A7o vs your QQ)? Could you explain your thought process in the hand?
Joseph was playing a lot of hands, very aggressive player. When we were down to 3 handed, given the fact John Racener was short in chips, it was normal for Jo to bully even more. I had folded a lot to his 4bet so far, so I might thought I was 5betting light there, explaining why he shoved. For me I was just happy to go all the way with my QQ there. When 3 handed, QQ is a very very good hand.
FTR – lolzzz_321
Do you prefer online or live play?
I love both. When you play online you can play up to 8-10 tables at the time, which is kind of cool. When playing live, you see the players and can interact with them, which is also cool. I think mixing both is the best way to go.
FTR – daven
What kind of prep did you do between the summer and November?
I did a lot. I played the PokerStars EPT London, which was 1 month before the final table. I also played a lot online, there was the WCOOP on PokerStars at that time, so I played that and a bunch of tournaments and sit n go.
FTR – courtibee
Speaking of the break, was the final table delay beneficial to you directly? Do you think it’s good for the game overall?
I think it is good for the game. That way people get into the game much more, and I think more people are watching the Final Table because of that. As for the players, the break was the same for everybody, so it was about who’s going to prepare the best.
What are your plans with that big $8.9 million paycheck? What was your first purchase?
The only thing I have in mind now is to give $100,000 to the Montreal Canadiens Children’s foundation. For the rest I’ll just be traveling a lot to play all the big tournaments.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions and again, congratulations on being the first Canadian to take down the Main Event title!
The future is looking bright for Duhamel. Besides his big Main Event win, the Canadian kid has 3 WSOP cashes and navigated to a cash in an EPT event. With PokerStars footing his tournament entry fees for the time being, only Duhamel can limit Duhamel. Good luck Jonathan!