Poker A Very Dark Game According To $15m Winner Daniel Colman

Poker A Very Dark Game According To $15m Winner Daniel ColmanAt the end of June, 23 year-old poker pro Daniel “mrgr33n13” Colman took down the $1 million buy-in event known as ‘The Big One for One Drop’ for a staggering $15,306,668. On his way to victory Coleman had to first overcome some of the wealthiest businessmen on the planet, as well as the sharpest poker players in the game, including Daniel Negreanu heads-up for the title.
When Antonio Esfandiari won the same event in 2012 the popular pro was ecstatic at having won a WSOP bracelet alongside the $18,346,673 top prize, later commenting: “I believed it, I declared it and I wanted to win even more since I took third [last week]. I was determined to come back and win.”
In sharp contrast to Esfandiari, however, Daniel Colman showed little emotion over his monumental achievement, or the fact he helped raise $4.6 million for Guy Laiberte’s One Drop charity. Instead, Colman took the opportunity to attack the game that has afforded him a lifestyle other could only dream of, and labelled poker “a very dark game.”
After Coleman demonstrated a remarkable lack of grace by shirking the media reporters, the ‘Big One for One Drop’ winner soon became a polarized character in the poker community, and his subsequent post on the Two Plus Two only added to the debate. As an excerpt of his hostile post, read:
“First off, I don’t owe poker a single thing. I’ve been fortunate enough to benefit financially from this game, but I have played it long enough to see the ugly side of this world. It is not a game where the pros are always happy and living a fulfilling life. To have a job where you are at the mercy of variance can be insanely stressful and can lead to a lot of unhealthy habits.”
As far as labeling poker a “very dark game” is concerned, Coleman was quick to draw attention to the marketing tricks used in the business to persuade people to play the game, which he ultimately saw as the media playing “on people’s impulses and targeting their weaknesses in order for them to make irrational decisions.” In other words he was emphasizing the fact only a small percentage of players, probably around 1%, are able to turn a profit in the poker with the rest providing fodder for the sharks. Putting the final dig in against the industry, Daniel Colman, stated:
“I would never in a million years recommend for someone to try and make it as a poker pro.”
Needless to say there is more than a little element of truth in his words, but one wonders why after such a high-profile win he would not allow himself some enjoyment and take such a negative stance against game. Amongst the reasons already mentioned, it’s also possible giving away 90% of his winnings to backers may have dampened his celebrations somewhat. Nevertheless, Daniel Negreanu had these words of experience and wisdom to offer Coleman:
“You don’t owe poker anything, sure, but poker has given you a lot. The camera crew filming the event, the dealers, floor staff, Caesars, the WSOP, ESPN, PokerStars.com for giving you an opportunity to support yourself, the players that came before you and did spend time promoting a game you would have likely never heard about. You don’t owe poker, or me personally anything, much like when a waitress brings your order, you don’t owe her a tip or even a thank you. It’s just a gracious custom, much like doing a winner’s interview.”

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