Don’t get yourself killed, you’re no Duhamel

Feb. 20, 2012, Posted by rick.dacey

Don’t get yourself killed, you’re no Duhamel

Most pro poker players have a skewwhiff sense of everyday money. While this is an essential quality if you're going to regularly take part in $10,000 crapshoots and bluff-catch in high stakes cash games, this carefree attitude can backfire and, quite frankly, I'm surprised that it doesn't more often.

While stories of a young(er) Doyle Brunson getting robbed and faking heart attacks tug our dark romantic Vegas heart strings the reality can be more sobering. Ben 'son of Paul' Jackson was held up after his second place £47,820 win at GUKPT Blackpool last November - thankfully he didn't have cash on him and wasn't roughed up – adding his name to a list of players including Scott Montgomery, David Sklansky and Greg Raymer who have been on the wrong end of a stick-up. Is there a right end? That's a matter open for discussion dependent on your moral scruples, but just a month later, at the close of last year, another poker player was turned over in a decidedly sinister manner.

Duffed up

World Series 2010 Main Event champ Jonathan Duhamel was the victim of a brutal home invasion and robbery, an act now closely linked to his former girlfriend, who is due in court this week for her part in the crime. The French Canadian was bound, beaten and forced to hand over a large amount of cash – largely €500 notes which may have helped in collaring the suspects - as well as his jewel encrusted WSOP bracelet and an engraved black Rolex.


While the robbery and betrayal by a former lover may send some into their shell it seemed to do the opposite to Duhamel. Less than a couple of weeks later he went to the PCA, still bearing marks of his beatings, and tore through the biggest tournaments there making four final tables, including 4th in the $100,000 Super High Roller ($313,600), 1st in a $5,000 side event ($239,830) and 2nd in the $25,000 High Roller ($634,550). Perhaps being forced to face his own mortality (he said he was threatened with death) helped to focus Duhamel on his game or maybe he was keen to prove a point to the watching world.

The four suspects are currently languishing in jail where, if chitter-chatter is to be believed, prosecution seems likely and Duhamel’s bracelet has been just been recovered by an eagle-eyed road sweeper. Let’s face it, this is the very best of a bad situation, but the headlines could all too easily be different in the future.

Play it smart

Street muggers stick up people on the street for far less than a buy-in to even a regional tour event. Masked bikers smash their way into shops for cash registers that hold a paltry amount compared to most grinder's pocket change. Want to hold up a bank? Don't bother, just hit the queue lining up to buy-into the next high roller. If protecting your bankroll isn't enough to get you to change your practices then just think of the embarrassment of looking like an idiot in the national press if you do get caught short. Don't be the fall guy.

This isn't a Daily Mail scaremongering article but do use a little common sense, ladies and gents. Use bank transfers and buy-in electronically when you can. Don't forget that a buy-in or some cash bullets are actually a lot of money in the real world and that people have been seriously hurt for less. You might point to Duhamel and say, 'Well, it worked out pretty well for him,' which may be true but don't forget this is the guy who possesses the run-good to beat a field of 7,319. You, sir, do not.

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1 Comment about Don’t get yourself killed, you’re no Duhamel

Rob "Hippy80" King says:

20th of February 2012

Great article Rick, very sensible advice. Also worth noting that most casinos will have a known and trusted Cab Company on their books to get you back to the Hotel/Home, and dropping a Cab Fare after a big win is worth it to keep that big win in your pocket!

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