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Marc-André Ladouceur: "I Could Have Brought Something to Everyone"
The old saying in poker is the worst day of a poker player's year is the day he or she busts from the World Series of Poker Main Event.
For French Canadian PokerStars Team Online Pro Marc-André Ladouceur, there's a new twist to that old adage these days - especially if you get deep enough for a shot at a seat in the November Nine.
You're not just disappointed for you, the player. You're disappointed for all the friends and family you can't bring to the poker party of the year.
With the 2014 WSOP on the doorstep the spotlight is turning to Las Vegas again and, if recent years are any indication, that means we'll see a lot of French-Canadians on our ESPN screens come July.
PokerListings' Dirk Oetzmann spoke at EPT San Remo with one of the most likely suspects for some major screen time this year about his past success at the WSOP, world champ Jonathan Duhamel’s impact on Quebec poker and more.
PokerListings.com: First things first - the Montreal Canadians are the only Canadian team to make it to the NHL playoffs. What does that mean to you?
Marc-André Ladouceur: It’s a really big thing for us. Hockey is pretty much the only sport we follow.
We don’t watch much football or baseball or any of the American sports, so this is really important.
PL: I understand the Canadians are a team with a long tradition.
MAL: We have won the Stanley Cup 24 times, more often than any other team, but we haven’t won it in 21 years. I still remember that last one from the early 90s.
PL: You’ve been a member of PokerStars Team Online since last October. How did you actually become an online pro?
MAL: Well, the online team department contacted me via email last May to find out if I was interested, which I obviously was. I was really stoked.
We agreed on having an interview in the summer in Vegas. At that time it wasn’t sure that they would take me even if I wanted to, because with Daniel Negreanu and Jonathan Duhamel for the Quebec market they already had two great ambassadors.
In the end I signed the contract in October, so the whole process takes a pretty long time.
PL: What does being a member of that team actually mean. What are your duties online?
MAL: Team Online pros are expected to play roughly 30 hours a week. In my case, as I also play live, they just expect me to reach Supernova Elite.
PL: Oh, just that.
MAL: (laughs) I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s actually quite manageable if you are steady throughout the year. If I have to make more than 100,000 FPPs per month it becomes quite a lot, though.
PL: You're part of that very talented group of Quebec players with Jonathan Roy, Marc-Etienne McLaughlin, Jonathan Duhamel. Where does the success of that group come from?
MAL: There are actually many more good players who don’t travel on the live circuit but play online.
It's a loosely connected, large group of players that keeps getting inspiration by its general success.
PL: Did Jonathan Duhamel have an impact on this group?
MAL: Jonathan Duhamel had a large impact on poker in Quebec altogether. After his win it suddenly became trendy to play poker.
Before that, people who played would often not talk about it.
If you want to play live poker in Quebec you would mostly go to the places on Indian Territory. I’m not a 100% sure about their legal status, but they are definitely tolerated.
PL: The WSOP Main Event seems to be a specialty for the French-Canadians. How do you account for your collective success?
MAL: Maybe it’s because a lot of them have a cash-game background and know how to play deep.
But also, this is the tournament everybody in Quebec plays. In the year Duhamel won there were four players from Quebec in the top 40, among them Pascal Lefrancois in 11th and Jonathan Driscoll in 39th place.
PL: Is there any competition between English-Canadian and French-Canadian poker players?
MAL: Not more than anyone else. There is competition when it comes to hockey, but in poker everybody is pretty friendly.
You’d rather take someone else’s success to motivate yourself.
PL: When you think back to your WSOP Main Event run in 2012, when you were chip leader on Day 7 and finished 13th, is this a rather positive or negative memory?
MAL: That specific day, there is not a lot of positive memory. The full tournament was great, the experience was great.
If I could go back in time, I would maybe do two or three things differently but the breaking point was when I got really unlucky in one specific hand.
PL: They say that the worst day of the year for a poker player is the day he busts from the Main Event. Was that day in 2012 the worst day of your career?
PL: At the end of the day, it was still a great accomplishment.
MAL: Yes, it’s a nice result. I think the most disappointing part was not me busting as such. It was that everybody had lived through what Jonathan Duhamel had done two years before.
The fact that I couldn’t be the guy that would bring hundreds of players to Vegas for the November Nine again was probably the biggest disappointment.
I could have brought something to everyone, and I couldn’t.
PL: Since then, you seem to travel extensively in Europe.
MAL: Yes. Before that second deep run in the Main Event, I wasn’t travelling all that much.
Now, with EPT events turning into 10-day festivals including smaller national poker tours, it's a lot easier to travel to them.
Earlier, the only EPTs I wnt to were Madrid and the Snowfest, because I like to ski. I will definitely keep on playing EPTs and playing in Europe.