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2010 November Nine: Jonathan Duhamel
French-Canadian Jonathan Duhamel will take a commanding 65 million chip lead into the final table of the 2010 WSOP Main Event.
The only problem is that he has to wait until November for it all to play out.
The 22-year-old poker pro from Boucherville, Quebec, played a strong game over eight days of the Main Event and had all the momentum going for him after abusing a grueling six-hour final table bubble on Saturday.
"To be honest I was surprised everyone was playing so tight," said Duhamel. "In a way it's a good strategy because making the November Nine is a big deal, but there are millions that separate the different payout levels."
Duhamel conceded that it will be a very different scenario in November when all nine players reconvene to play to a winner.
"Players are going to be looser and they are going to gamble."
A former finance student, Duhamel dropped out of college to pursue the poker dream. It's a decision that has worked out well for him after nearly six years of playing the game.
He recorded two cashes at this year's WSOP and nearly made the final table of EPT Prague in 2008, finishing 10th for $54,904.
Duhamel had the dubious honor of playing one of the most talked-about hands of the 2010 WSOP when he knocked out Matt Affleck midway through Day 8.
In the hand Duhamel made a huge call with pocket jacks and an open-ended straight draw while Matt Affleck had pocket aces. Fortunately for Duhamel he hit his straight on the river and the 42 million chip pot was shipped his way.
"I know I'm lucky to be here but at the same time I think I played a great game," he said.
Duhamel will have his work cut out for him against veteran pros like Michael Mizrachi and John Racener when the final table of the Main Event finally arrives in November.
"They're all very good, to be honest," he said of his final table opponents.
Duhamel doesn't plan on changing his lifestyle over the next four months although he might play a few more EPTs. He also plans to find as much information as he can on his eight November Nine opponents.
With lifetime tournament earnings of $101,560, it doesn't matter where Duhamel finishes in the upcoming final table of the 2010 WSOP Main Event, he's already in for the biggest score of his poker career.
Duhamel has already secured at least $811,823 but could win as much as $8.9 million if he runs over the final table in November.
He, along with final table opponent Matthew Jarvis, also has the opportunity to become the first Canadian to win the Main Event.
"I'm going to raise a lot of hands and you're going to see a lot of action from me," said Duhamel. "That's for sure."
The 2010 WSOP Main Event final table begins Nov. 6, with a winner crowned on Nov. 8 and ESPN airing the final table on Nov. 9.