It was just a few weeks ago, during the 2014 Aussie Millions, that the incendiary words of former WSOP World Champion Joe Hachem started a firestorm about what it means to be a poker ambassador and how the personality in poker has seemingly evaporated. Now, former champ Jonathan Duhamel has taken to the PokerStars Blog to have his say and, in general, he doesn’t see things as black and white.
Duhamel doesn’t really blame Jamie Gold or Jerry Yang for not being the epitome of poker goodwill.
Joe mentioned Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang in his comments (who won in 2006 and 2007) and how those two kind of disappeared from the poker scene after winning their titles, but to me that’s not necessarily good or bad. Sometimes a career in poker is not for everyone, especially for guys who have other jobs or families as can be the case for players who are a little older. Not everyone who wins the WSOP Main Event wants to tour all of the time or continue playing tournaments, and that is absolutely their choice.
Read: On WSOP champs, ambassadorship, and the future of poker
As far as how players should act at the table, in terms of being welcoming and exhibiting personality, that too, like many things in poker – depends.
Duhamel snaps a pic with Bay 101 runner Candice Collins.
I think a lot depends on the kind of tournament, too, when it comes to how players should act. For example, at EPT Main Events there are so many qualifiers playing that the field is going to be more varied with a lot more amateurs playing. The WSOP Main Event is like that, too, with players from all sorts of backgrounds participating. During those kinds of events it is even more important to be inviting and make the less experienced players feel comfortable and want to come back again. Of course, it’s easier to be friendly earlier in those events than later on, and so when you get deeper it’s okay, I think, to be more serious and talk less.
The champ makes a lot of good points, but, in general doesn’t take much of a stand either way except to say that you can’t really dictate to anyone if they should or shouldn’t be good for poker but that, overall, being a good person while playing poker is to the benefit of everyone.
It’s a quick read, well worth a few minutes of your time.