Daniel Colman, a 23-year-old professional poker player, won the Big One for One Drop tournament. The contest had a $1 million entry fee and $15 million grand prize. When Colman hit a straight to beat Daniel Negreanu’s two pairs, the victor didn’t seem nearly as enthusiastic as one would have expected him to have been. (The tournament, which earlier featured a monumentally bad beat, finished over a month ago, but the end aired on ESPN last night.)
In fact, Colman didn’t seem excited at all. It just looks like he was relieved it was over. His words echoed a general ambivalence towards his profession. “It is not a game where the pros are always happy and living a fulfilling life,” Colman said in a statement a few days after winning the tournament, via CardPlayer.com. “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. I would never in a million years recommend for someone to try and make it as a poker pro.”
Colman wrote that, by its nature, winning in poker prays on the weaknesses of the game’s losers in a manner akin to alcohol and tobacco advertising. “These are just my personal views,” he concluded. “And yes, I realize I am conflicted. I capitalize off this game that targets peoples weaknesses. I do enjoy it, I love the strategy part of it, but I do see it as a very dark game.”
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