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Jonathan Duhamel: The WSOP Champ Settles In
Jonathan Duhamel was crowned poker's World Champion ten days ago and the 23-year-old French Canadian poker pro hasn't picked up a chip or a card since.
"I haven't played a single hand of poker yet," he told PokerListings from his home just outside of Montreal, Quebec.
"I've been doing a lot of interviews and stuff like that. I wish I could play a little bit, but right now I don't have time for that. Hopefully, I will play a little bit more pretty soon."
Sponsored by online giant PokerStars, Duhamel does plan on getting back to the virtual felt this weekend when the Canadian Championship of Online Poker begins.
He's also looking to make the trip to the Bahamas this January for the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and may even head back to Las Vegas next month for the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic.
In the meantime, just exactly what he accomplished in Las Vegas a week and a half ago is still setting in.
"It's so big, it's so amazing and it really just happened," he said. "Of course it took me a couple of days to realize what really happened. And even now I think I do, but I'm still feeling like the happiest guy on earth and still thinking 'wow, what just happened?'"
Duhamel returned home to Boucherville, Quebec a few days after becoming Canada's first WSOP Main Event winner and meeting the bulk of the Canadian media.
He's has had the chance to spend some time with close friends and family, but things are already looking a lot different back home.
"It has been pretty cool to get back home again, but it's a bit of a different feeling with everybody recognizing you on the street and stuff like that," he said. "I knew it would be kind of big, but not this big. It's been so crazy here. It's weird a little bit, but I'm having a lot of fun doing all these interviews and things."
The Canadian media have been all over the story of his $8.9 million World Series of Poker win.
But much of the focus has been on the fact Duhamel dropped out of the University of Montreal finance program to pursue poker as a career and giving a stern warning to Canadian youth that his path is not for everyone.
"I'm a little surprised (that has been the focus), but at the same time I can't control that," he said. "If that's what they want to talk about, I have to talk about that with them. I just give the best advice and answer I can.
"The honest answer is that it's tough to do. Poker is not for everyone. There are some people who just can't do it. So I would not tell people to drop school to go play poker. It is not for everyone."
Duhamel has had the chance to watch himself on the ESPN broadcast and was relatively happy with how he and the event were portrayed.
"They did a great job," he said. "You always want to see more of yourself on TV, but I thought for the two hours they had, the show was great."
What he hasn't had the chance to do, outside of sticking to his commitment to donate $100,000 to The Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation, is spend any of his winnings.
"Other than that haven't done anything with the money," he said. "Maybe during Christmas time I will do something, like take a family vacation or something."
For now, he's just champing at the bit to get his hands on those chips and cards again.
"I want to get back in the ring a little bit," he said. "I'm really looking forward to playing some poker."