Once more for Montreal at the November Nine?
I spent a lot of time in Montreal before heading back over to Europe for the recent EPT and WSOP-E tourneys. In Montreal, it seems like poker is getting bigger and bigger. There was the big Full Tilt Poker Montreal event that played out here earlier this month that turned out to be a big success. There are other events happening there and also a lot of players from the area who are breaking through and doing well, too.
The Full Tilt Poker Montreal event at the Playground Poker Club was a C$1,000 event and drew 1,625 entries which was huge. It had a big guarantee of C$1 million, and crushed that easily as the prize pool ended up being over C$1.5 million. It seems like all of the big tournaments in Montreal have been getting huge fields pretty regularly.
There was a lot of Montreal players at the event, including Marc-Etienne McLaughlin who made the November Nine this year and is a good buddy of mine. He's third in chips right now and will have a great chance, I think, when the final table gets back underway soon. There are some strong players at the final table, but I'd actually rate him the best player among the nine, and he has chips, too, which will position him well.
Some people might not know about Marc-Etienne, but this is actually his third deep run in five years at the Main Event. He finished 86th in 2011 in the Main Event, and back in 2009 he finished 30th, so that alone is pretty incredible for him to make it even further this time.
If he wins that'll make two French-Canadians winning the WSOP Main Event in four years, which would be special. I'll definitely be there on the rail supporting Marc-Etienne at the Rio, just like he was there for me in 2010. I'll be getting there the day before the final table starts as will some other players from Montreal and we'll have dinner with Marc-Etienne and be there to watch when it gets going. It should be a lot of fun.
I remember in 2010 having him and a few other players there whose games I also respect a lot. They were all up on the main stage with me and my family. I would talk with Marc-Etienne and the others during breaks and they gave me tips and helped me a lot. Now it'll be the reverse -- he'll be playing and I'll be there to help him if I can.
I've already been talking with Marc-Etienne some during these weeks leading up to the final table, not so much about how to play, because he's an amazing player and doesn't need any help with strategy, but mainly about dealing with the media and extra attention and other factors that I experienced in 2010.
But Marc-Etienne is a very calm, even-tempered person and besides knowing what to do strategy-wise he's also going to be fine as far as not being nervous or letting emotion affect what he's there to do. That's a big reason why he's there, and that's also a reason why he's got a great chance to win.
Jonathan Duhamel is a member of Team PokerStars Pro