WSOP 2011: Jonathan Duhamel flattened

wsop2011-thumb-blog.pngThe poker wrecking ball cares not for reputation. Rookie WSOP player? Mind your head. Online pro with a tendency to crush tournaments? Watch your back. Defending world champion? No chance. Not since Johnny Chan won back-to-back titles in 1988 has anyone come back and defended the crown successfully.

Jonathan Duhamel, the 2010 WSOP champion, has been demolished the wrecking ball.

The Team PokerStars Pro may have millions in the bank, but the disappointment will be right up there with any busted amateur experiencing this jamboree for the first time.

Canadian Duhamel came back today with 41,150 chips, strong enough foundations to have built a title defense. But once that ball started swinging, he could not duck out of the way. It would be fair to say he never got it going today; the fact that his highlight was announcing shuffle up and deal says it all. Crucially, his stack was cut down to size in an early pot that saw his top pair out-kicked. Things deteriorated further until finally he pushed with A♣2♣ and walked head first into A♦K♥. Not only did he not catch up, but his opponent improved to a straight on the 9♦4♦Q♠J♥[10d] board.

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Jonathan Duhamel, with wrecking ball soon to enter stage right

So that's one Team PokerStars Pro down, but what of the others? The starting field was full of them, and at the time of writing only a few have fallen.

Those we have lost:
Jonathan Duhamel
Victoria Coren
Pat Pezzin
George Danzer
Arnaud Mattern
Bill Chen (Friend of PokerStars)

Those we are still loving:
Tom McEvoy, 135,000
Matthias de Meulder, 130,000
Greg DeBora, 98,000
JP Kelly, 92,000
Humberto Brenes, 85,000
Dennis Phillips, 80,000
Daniel Negreanu, 75,000
Sebastian Ruthenberg, 70,000
Christophe de Meulder, 65,000
Joe Cada, 62,000
Fatima Moreira de Melo, 60,000
Jason Alexander (Friend of PokerStars) 56,000
Bryan Huang, 54,000
Julien Brecard, 46,000
Ville Wahlbeck, 44,000
Jason Mercier, 42,000
Lex Veldhuis, 37,000
Marcel Luske, 35,000
Jan Heitmann, 27,000
Johnny Lodden 11,000

So while we won't have a back-to-back champ., two of our remaining Team PokerStars Pros are chasing their second WSOP title: Tom McEvoy (1983) and Joe Cada (2009)

* * * *

Following a hand between Phil Hellmuth and Dan Shak, won by Shak
Hellmuth: Nice hand Dan, well played.
Shak: What? What did I do wrong?

There are three players contesting the main event from the tiny Principality of Andorra. That represents 0.004 per cent of the Andorran population.

PokerStars Blogger Brad Willis, who is currently sitting in dinner with the five Team PokerStars Pros who won bracelets this year, trails them in live tournament winnings by at least $940,000.