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Jonathan Duhamel, Poker Player Biography

by Jennifer Newell

PokerStars player, Jonathan Duhamel beat John Racener in the final heads-up of the 2010 World Series of Poker World Championship Monday, November 8 and took home the $8,944,310 first prize along with a WSOP Championship bracelet.

He dominated the 2010 November Nine table the previous Saturday. Heads up came the following night against American, John Racener. With a six-to-one chip advantage and 43 hands later, Jonathon Duhamel became the 2010 WSOP World Champion when his A-J held up against Racener's K-8.

Read more about Jonathan Duhamel vs John Racener.

At the age of 22, Duhamel has been playing poker for six years already, having started years ago at low online stakes and working his way to the higher limit games and some of the live circuit. By 2006, he was old enough to play in some casinos and took the opportunity to try his hand at some tournaments in Verona, where the legal age was lower than most of the United States. His first attempt was a meager 47th place cash at the Empire State Poker Series there in a $200 no-limit hold'em tournament. He did better the following year at the East Coast Poker Championships, where he finished in ninth place for $1,358. And in 2008, he again took ninth place, this time at a Heartland Poker Tour event in Verona for nearly $2K.

Jonathan Duhamel

Only weeks later, Duhamel broadened his horizon a bit by traveling to the European Poker Tour stop in Prague, and he hit his biggest live cash thus far by finishing in tenth place in the €5,000 NLHE main event. That payout was $54,904, and though many players may have continued on the live circuit, Duhamel didn't find the success there that he did online and resorted to what he knew best - live cash games and online poker.

But in 2010, he was legally able to play poker in the United States and decided to take his chance at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. He cashed in 50th place toward the beginning of the Series in a $1,500 NLHE 6-max tournament for $5,724, but he experienced a bit of a lull before the end of the long summer. Just before the Main Event, he played a $2,500 NLHE tournament and finished in 15th place for $37,276 and felt confident when he entered the $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em World Championship.

Duhamel couldn't have predicted how well the Main Event would go for him. But he felt confident, moving through each day with an eye on the final table, and it was on Day 8 that he soared to the top of the leaderboard, in part due to a famous hand with Matt Affleck in which Duhamel called Affleck's all-in with an open-ended straight draw and pocket jacks against the pocket aces and winning hand of his opponent. But Duhamel made his straight on the river to eliminate Affleck in one of the most memorable hands of the day, and he then sat with 42 million chips. He only increased his lead from that point forward.

Going to the final table, better known as the November Nine, Duhamel has 65.9 million chips and a dominating lead over his opponents. "I know I'm lucky to be here," he commented to one media outlet, "but at the same time I think I played a great game."

As one of only two Canadians cashing already for $811,823 in the Main Event but still vying for the $9 million first place prize, he has a lot of confidence. "[This is] the biggest final table of the biggest tournament of the year and being there [is] nice, but at the same time, I'm about winning. I won't be happy just to be there… I'm going to play the best poker game I've ever played and win that thing."

In the meantime, Duhamel plans to play more live poker, including some EPT events and possibly some in the U.S. to prepare himself for the November Nine.

Read Jonathan Duhamel's Profile for more information including his tournament results and total winnings.

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Jennifer Newell Jennifer Newell is a freelance writer, originally from St. Louis but now living in Los Angeles. She fell in love with poker while working at WPT and began writing about it in 2005.