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November Nine Q and A -- Jonathan Duhamel

The Chip Leader heading into Saturday Talks About his Preparation for the Main Event


Jonathan DuhamelJonathan Duhamel will take the chip lead into final table of the $10,000 no-limit hold’em. main event at the World Series of Poker with 65,975,000. Live coverage from the final table begins at noon PST on Saturday, November 6 and you can follow all of the action on

Card Player caught up with Duhamel while he was preparing for the biggest day of his poker career and he shared his thoughts about being a highly visible member of the November Nine. To see how he got to the final table with the chip lead check out the live coverage from the previous days of the main event, and to reacquaint yourself with the young Canadian professional you can check out the background information provided by the World Series media staff:

Jonathan Duhamel — Seat 4, Chip Count: 65,975,000 (1st overall)

Hometown: Boucherville, Quebec (Canada)

Duhamel is 23 years-old and is the youngest player remaining. Duhamel was born in Boucherville, Quebec (Canada).

Duhamel still lives in Boucherville, Quebec – which is in the Montreal area. Duhamel lives in a condominium.

Duhamel is pronounced “Doo-ahh-mel.” Duhamel is fluent in both English and French languages. Duhamel is a professional poker player. He mostly plays online.

Duhamel has been playing full-time for about two years. Before he transitioned successfully to poker playing, he worked off and on at a series of what he called “bad jobs”. Among those jobs was working in a factory.

Duhamel attended college at Universite du Quebec a Montreal, otherwise known as UQUAM. He majored in finance, but left school during his second year of studies.

Duhamel prefers to play cash games, rather than tournaments. Duhamel had two cashes at this year’s WSOP. He finished 15th in the $2,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament (Event #56). He also cashed in 50th place in the six-handed no-limit hold’em tournament (Event #16). His combined WSOP earnings prior to this event amounted to $43,000. His best live tournament finish in a major tournament was ninth place at a tournament held in New York State, three years ago.

The Interview:

Ryan Lucchesi: So you are the chip leader heading into the November Nine. What is your state of mind heading in with that lead?

Jonathan Duhamel: I’m pretty confident about my game. I know it’s going to be a tough table because there are a lot of good players out there. I’m just going to go there and play my best and not make any mistakes at all. I’m the favorite because I’m the chip leader but that doesn’t mean that it is already done. There is a lot of work to do if I want to win and I plan on working very hard to win it all.

RL: What were some of the ways you prepared yourself for the final table during last few months?

JD: I just tried to play as much poker as I could. I played a lot live and a lot online on PokerStars. I’ve played a lot of sit-and-goes and I have been trying to study my opponents. I played a lot so my game is sharp and I’m ready.

RL: Will you be nervous to play in front of the cameras and crowds that will be at the Rio in November or did the taping and crowds at the main event prepare your nerves?

JD: I’m not very concerned about that. I played at a couple of featured tables during the World Series so I’m getting used to it. You just try to forget that and try to play your game as good as you can and not make any mistakes.

RL: Are there any players at the final table that you are concerned about?

JD: All of the players at the final table are very good. I won’t be able to make any mistakes against them. The Grinder [Michael Mizrachi] and [John] Racener are very good, but [John] Dolan and [Joseph] Cheong are very good as well. It really is all about making no mistakes at all and playing my best against everybody out there.

RL: Canadian players took home multiple bracelets this summer, so would a victory from you really make this a banner year for Canadian professionals?

JD: To be honest I’m not that surprised about that. There are a lot of very good Canadian players out there so for me it was just a matter of time before Canadian players started making good scores. [Matt] Jarvis and I will try to represent Canada the best that we can and hopefully every year after this you will see a lot more Canadians at final tables.

RL: Do you think a victory for you would grow poker in Canada the way that the Moneymaker win did here in the United States?

JD: Hopefully yes. That would be great if there could be more poker in Quebec because of it. Hopefully we can bring a North American Poker Tour event to Montreal. That would be very nice. Hopefully that can happen.

RL: What are some of the ways that your life has changed since you made the November Nine?

JD: Obviously there is a lot more media attention, not only at tournaments but back in Quebec as well with local television shows. I have been traveling more also but that is what I want to do anyway. I like to travel a lot so I can be on vacation and it allows me to meet cool people. So that has been very good and I enjoy it.

RL: How do you think your life can change if you win the title?

JD: If I win or I don’t win I want to keep playing in as many live tournaments as I can and prove that I can get back to another final table. I’m going to play a lot of big tournaments and try to make a big score. That is my goal.