What do you do just after winning $15,000,000+ in the largest tournament of the year? Whatever you want. Or don’t want.
In the case of young internet whizkid Daniel Colman, who bested Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu heads-up to become the 2014 One Drop Champion, he just decided that he had no interest in fielding questions from PokerNews's Sarah Grant, ESPN or anyone else for that matter and 5 minutes after his victory – the kid was outtie.
This led to a couple media outlets not being very happy with Colman’s post win demeanor. Especially, perhaps, the Las Vegas Sun which called Colman a 'petulant child’ and 'self-absorbed.’
Channeling a petulant child, Colman had to be persuaded to pose with the winnings and bracelet most poker players spend their whole lives fighting toward. Caesars Entertainment executives and ESPN officials got their way with that one, but Colman would spare no more satisfaction.
PokerNews’ Rich Ryan took Colman to task in his Five Thoughts column for not using the platform to simply express himself, as it’s understood that Colman refused all media because despite his success in poker, he thinks that “poker is evil, and if you play you are likely to lose.”
You had an opportunity to say whatever you needed to when the entire poker world was watching you, but instead you chose to remain mute and pose in front of a mountain of money with a sour face.
Not nearly everyone was angry with Colman for doing what he pleased by keeping silent. He received support from all corners of the poker industry, like this from poker pro Michael “Timex” McDonald.
Well, as the conversation spilled over on Twitter about Colman’s right or ability not to say anything after such a huge score, whether he owes something to poker media, whether Colman is just shy, if he’s a conflicted poker player, socially awkward, aloof or just plain not interested in poker’s media bullshit – he took to Two Plus Two to, reluctantly, have his final say.
I really don’t owe anyone an explanation but Ill give one…
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. I would never in a million years recommend for someone to try and make it as a poker pro.
It is also not a game where the amateurs are always happy to be losing their money for the sake of entertainment. The losers lose way more money at this game then winners are winning. A lot of this is money they cant afford to lose. This is fine of course because if someone is dumb enough to gamble with money they cant afford to lose, that’s their problem. Im not really buying that though. In a perfect world, markets are based on informed consumers making rational transactions. In reality sadly that’s not the case, markets are based on advertising trying to play on peoples impulses and targeting their weaknesses in order for them to make irrational decisions. I get it if someone wants to go and play poker on their own free will, but I don’t agree with gambling being advertised just like I don’t agree with cigarettes and alcohol being advertised.
It bothers me that people care so much about poker’s well being. As poker is a game that has such a net negative effect on the people playing it. Both financially and emotionally.
As for promoting myself, I feel that individual achievements should rarely be celebrated. I am not going to take part in it for others and I wouldn’t want it for myself. If you wonder why our society is so infatuated by individuals and their success, and being a baller, it is not that way for no reason. It is their because it serves a clear purpose. If you get people to look up to someone and adhere to the “gain wealth, forget all but self” motto, then you can get them to ignore the social contract which is very good for power systems. Also it serves as a means of distraction to get people to not pay attention to the things that do matter.
These are just my personal views. 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.
With that, poker media has what it needs from Colman. No, it’s not another video where they ask him “how it feels” and he says “awesome” or “surreal”, where they ask him what he plans on doing with the money and he dodges the fact that it’s rumored that Haralabos Voulgaris and Olivier Busquet had large pieces of him and he talks about buying something nice for his mum.
No, we have an often unspoken sentiment that many in the industry feel, that poker is indeed, at times, a dark game. One where we need to “reel in the casual players” in order for the sharks to get fed. It’s a game that, if you are not careful and play responsibly, can bring life downswings that aren’t communicated as someone holds bricks of cash they won in under 72 hours.
This is Dan Colman, like him or not, your 2014 Big One For One Drop champion.