Getting ready to defend my title

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for teampro-thumb.JPGHi again, poker fans!

I've been very busy lately, and this explains why I could not write any new blog entry in the last two months. In my last column, I spoke about the long journey I spent in the United States west coast. I then participated in various charitable activities here and there in the Montreal area. I was about to go to Asia.

In fact, I spent a total of three days in China. Almost as much time spent in the plane as in Asia! I went to Hong Kong and Macau in order to play in the Macau Millions Championship and also to play in a cash game with the winners of a major competition organized by PokerStars. I had a wonderful stay even though I could not stay as long as I wished. I indeed had to come back very quickly to participate in a North American Poker Tour event, a tournament that was held at Mohegan Sun Casino near Boston. I was still lost in my jet lag when I had to participate in the $5,000 main event of the series. Unfortunately, fatigue and bad cards hurt me, and I could not finish in the money. I spent about one week there, and I then went back to Quebec for a few days.

The bags just unpacked, I had to redo them for a major trip to Europe! Indeed, after the benefits of a few days off, I left for about 3 weeks to play in a few tournaments of the European Poker Tour series. I had to go to Italy, but I first stopped by Paris to attend the very popular show of Morandini at the Direct 8 channel. It's a huge show in France, a bit like "Tout le monde en parle" in Quebec, for those who know. Time for an interview, followed by a photo shoot for a magazine and another interview, and I was already in the plane ion my way to San Remo, Italy. I spent about ten days there playing almost every day. Unfortunately, the results were not there for me. With the great start of the year I've had, I expected to have a sequence without a win sooner or later. As they say, ''it's part of the game.'' I finally left for my final destination, Madrid, Spain, where I participated in the Grand Final of the European Poker Tour. I played only the two largest tournaments before returning home. Again, I could never take off in any of my two tournaments, so I did not reach the money places. It is sometimes difficult to have consistent good results in tournaments. It should be noted that only 10% of the players will finish in the money, so that 90% of players leave empty-handed at each event.

So, I was back in my hometown, Boucherville, after having spent a great trip in Europe. The sun was nice and I had eaten very well, but I was back with no score from this long trip. Time to rest? No! I immediately participated in PokerStars SCOOP, a large series of online tournaments played every day for two weeks where there is always an event with three different entry prices. The small, medium and large ones. Say that the small costs $20, then the average will be $200, and the large one $2000! I have played in many, picking up some results here and there, but nothing major. A series of tournaments where my high expectations were not achieved!

I finally got some days off to recharge. I had a good time with people who are important to me and did several things here and there. I took a break to think about anything but poker. It is important to keep a good mindset. In poker, one must have a clear head and a clear mind. It is important to have the rage to win, and I can tell you that these few days of rest have given me a taste of winning as never before!

Now I'm flying for a major six weeks trip to Las Vegas for nothing less than the World Series of Poker! I've been waiting a very long time for this moment! Several friends and I rented a huge house in Las Vegas for the duration of the trip, where we'll spend most of the summer. I'll play poker ten to 12 hours a day, a minimum of six days per week! I'll try to play as many tournaments as possible in order to have as many results as possible!

Of course, the last tournament of the series, the Main Event in early July, is the most important one, and this is where I will defend my title! But the whole month of June has two tournaments a day, every day, with different variations of poker, with different entry price! More than ever, I have a mad desire to play my best poker and win another bracelet! I honestly believe that I am a much better player than I was last year at this time. I really want to give the best of myself and have several very good results! We'll see what the summer will bring me, but my mental strength and my rage to win make me very optimistic! I am motivated and ready! The next six weeks will be all poker for me, more poker, and the WSOP Main Event! Shuffle up and deal!


Me proudly flying the PokerStars flag on my way to winning last year's WSOP main event

Throughout the summer, you'll be able to follow my live results. Every day, several times a day, I'll give you reports and news of my tournaments, both on my Twitter my Facebook FanPage. Just follow me to get results in real time throughout the summer!

I now fly to the desert of Nevada. Thank you all for following me! I wish you all the best of luck at the poker table!

Jonathan Duhamel
@PokerStars in PokerStars news