EPT8 Deauville: Situation normal for in form Duhamel
Jonathan Duhamel's draw is perhaps not the easiest. Across from him sit Kevin Vandersmissen and Philip Meulyzer, both of whom have final table experience on the European poker Tour, having finished second and sixth respectively at EPT Snowfest in Season 7. That said it might be they who think themselves to be badly drawn.
Duhamel is in France after a seriously good PokerStars Caribbean Adventure that's worth recapping. The basic numbers are these: Played five cashed in four.
And when we say "cashed" we mean "final tabled". Fourth in the Super High Roller ($313,600), fifth in the $5,000 8-Max Turbo ($17,990 - good you might say for tips and beer), second in the $25,000 High Roller ($634,550) and before that, a first place in the $5,000 8-Max ($239,830)
In all Duhamel took away $1,205,970 from his Bahamian adventure, and even with that re-buy in the $100,000 Super High Roller his earnings that week were extraordinary.
Two weeks later and 26 degrees colder, Duhamel is in Deauville off the back of a near-miss in Paris where he bubbled a high roller at the Aviation Club. Does this recent form change anything?
"It doesn't' change anything that much, maybe a little bit confidence wise," said Duhamel. "You feel more confident going into the next tournament but you know, I feel pretty confident about my game no matter what's going to happen."
Just his normal face: Jonathan Duhamel
Judging from Duhamel's results (let's not forget that World Series win), not to mention demeanour, which exudes this confidence, Duhamel is unusually level-headed and pragmatic, two traits he could be forgiven for ditching after recent well-publicized events - being victim of a violent robbery - put poker well and truly into perspective.
None of which concerned Duhamel as he recounted his performances at the tables over the past two months...
"At the end of 2011 I had a cold streak, a couple of months without any score and I wasn't too stressed. I still had confidence about my game.
"It just feels good obviously," said Duhamel, reflecting on his PCA. "Maybe it changes the fact that the other players that know about it might fear you more after that. That's a good thing and maybe you can use that to your advantage. So maybe that would be the biggest change."
It will be Vandersmissen and Meulyzer who will are best placed to judge the validity of that. For now Duhamel is adamant that there was nothing different in his play during the PCA, just the continuation of the poker he always plays.
"Maybe some small things [have changed] but not too much," said Duhamel. "Maybe just my timing was more right than usual. Sometimes you're about to make a bluff but you kind of feel that the other guy is going to call you, but you still do it anyway and he ends up calling.
"I guess it's the way the cards are sometimes. You go by streaks. Some good streaks, then on some bad streak, it's the way it is. You just have to deal with them no matter what."
Duhamel is dealing with the streaks, and more, extremely well.