November Nine stress
It was a different experience for me to be the guy on the rail at the November Nine cheering for my friend Marc-Etienne McLaughlin, instead of the guy playing whose friends were cheering for him. It was a lot of fun to be the spectator but I have to say it was a lot more stressful than being the one playing.
I remember how I felt in 2010. I was excited about the thought of winning but not that stressed about playing. This time, though, I was stressed! I couldn't control anything. Every hand I didn't know what would happen. I didn't know if Marc-Etienne (and me, by proxy) wanted the other guy to fold or call. I just didn't know what to expect at any moment, and that was stressful.
It was a lot of fun though. We were a huge group of French-Canadians ready for partying. Mark arranged a contest among our group for the best green costume. Marc-Etienne has an Irish background that he's pretty proud of, which is why we dressed in green. Let me tell you, there were a lot of good costumes.
We were sitting with Marc's mom and dad. It was interseting to see them just as stressed as I was about what was going to happen, every single hand. It made me think back to my own parents' experience when I was at the final table. They probably felt the same thing.
I may be biased, but 2010 was one of the best rails that the WSOP has ever seen. This time around there were more prepared for some loud French Canadians this. That's what Marc wanted and that's what we gave him. People on the stage maybe were a little more quiet but people in the stands were much louder. We had some unique chants, like the Larry Walker chant every time Marc was in the big blind.
We were just rying to encourage him by making some noise. Everyone had a lot of fun and Marc appreciated that. He was thankful for everyone who made the trip to support him.
Playing at the Main Event final table is something special . You're the one making the decisions. Fate is in your hands. When you cheer for someone else fate is not in your hands. You can't control anything. I preferred playing, but watching was a lot more fun than I expected. Each hand takes a while but the time passed quickly.
When I saw Marc take his seat at the final table, he looked very rested and ready to play well. He was clearly the best player out there. He got very unlucky, loosing KK to QQ, building his stack back up and then ran KK into AA. He deserved much better, but that is the part you can't control. I feel like he took it well, wished everyone good luck before leaving. It was all class by him. Everyone was proud of him, despite not winning the title. It was a few days that we're all going to remember for a long time.
It was a disappointing result for all of us, but in a way it was kind of a relief for Marc-Etienne when he was eliminated. For four months all you think about is the final table. To be done with it, even though it was not the result he wanted, is a relief. At least it's over and you can head to the nearest Irish pub with a few dozen French-Canadian friends and let loose!
Jonathan Duhamel is a member of Team PokerStars Pro