Jonathan Duhamel joins Team PokerStars Pro

teampro-thumb.JPGTeam PokerStars Pro is nearly synonymous with world champions. From the very beginning, Team Pro has been home to the WSOP main event winners. So, when Jonathan Duhamel stood from his seat at the Penn and Teller theater as the world champion, there wasn't much doubt what was going to happen next.

Though you might have assumed so by now, this morning PokerStars made it official: Duhamel, the 2010 WSOP main event winner, is the newest member of Team Pro.

If you're just catching up, Duhamel won nearly $9 million last November after besting the November Nine in Las Vegas and currently stands as one poker's most important ambassadors to the world.

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Duhamel playing in the 2011 PCA

Duhamel faced countless opponents in his long march to the World Series of Poker final table and the heads-up battle that would decide the 2010 world champion, but none so insistent and unforgiving as the expectation he foisted upon himself. He said at every turn that he would not be happy unless he was wearing the gold bracelet. Within a few days in November, Duhamel put a muzzle on that nagging compulsion when he became the first Canadian to win the WSOP Main Event. After entering the second night of November Nine play with a better than 6-1 chip lead over American John Racener, Duhamel made quick work of his opponent and claimed the bracelet in fewer than 50 hands.

"It's a dream come true," Duhamel said.

The man from Quebec may have pushed himself unfairly hard, but it was not without some help in the pushing. Duhamel's victory made him an immediate nationwide hero, the first man from Canada to ever win poker's biggest championship. For the past decade, Canada's first father of poker, Daniel Negreanu, was the undisputed king of Canadian card playing, but even he was never able to claim a Main Event victory. In an age of poker that welcomes players from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, there is still only one person from each country who can be the nation's first WSOP champion, and Canada was not going to let Duhamel forget it.

He's now setting out to be the best representative he can be for PokerStars and his country.

"I want to be playing the biggest tournaments in the world," Duhamel said. "I'm going to do my best to pull off another big score."

Welcome to the Team, Jonathan.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in Team PokerStars Pro