A few months ago, we asked our members to submit questions for Team PokerStars Pros Jonathan Duhamel, Jason Mercier, Daniel Negreanu, Liv Boeree and Barry Greenstein. First to answer some of the questions received are WSOP and EPT winner Jason Mercier and 2010 WSOP Main Event Winner Jonathan Duhamel!
1. You have been very successful on the tournament circuit since winning the EPT San Remo Main Event in 2008. However, according to Hendon Mob, you did not score a single cash over $100k in 2012. Was it a difficult year for you at the poker tables?
It was definitely my most difficult year as a professional poker player. I went through a 6 month span of nonstop losing, cash games and tournaments. I was able to dig my way out of it and turn the year into just a small loss instead of a big one.
2. How do you compare live poker to online poker? It must be easier for someone of your caliber to pick up tells in live poker, right? Can you see on some people right away if they are bluffing?
It's definitely easier to pick up tells in live poker. You can sense someone's energy and get a read/feel on whether or not they "have it". Where as in online poker, you are playing mostly off of a mathematical approach.
3. Have you seen any major change in live cash games and/or live tournaments since Black Friday? Did you have (or any of your friends) any money tied up at FTP?
I don't see too much of a difference in the live cash game or live tournament arenas since Black Friday. People still love to play poker and will look for an outlet to enjoy their hobby/passion. I had a few friends that had a significant portion of their net worth tied up on FTP, and were very happy once they finally received their funds this year.
4. Dan Shak and Greg Merson recently expressed their concerns on re-entry tournaments on Twitter. What is your opinion? Do you think players that blow their bankrolls on entering the same tournament multiple times will do it on something else otherwise... such as cash games, side events or casino games?
I don't see a big problem with reentry tournaments. As far as I'm concerned, a player that isn't smart enough to sell enough action or just not reenter too many times, isn't going to be smart enough to manage his bankroll properly regardless. It doesn't have anything to do with too many reentry tournaments.
5. You have two WSOP bracelets and one EPT title to your name. How important for you is it to complete poker's triple crown?
It used to be something I would think about all the time, "I need to win a WPT! I need to win a WPT!!!" But now, I understand much more the variance of the game, there just aren't that many WPT events that I play throughout the year. If it happens, great! And if it doesn't, oh well. I'm trying to win every tournament that I enter and that's the same across the board, whether I'm playing an EPT, WPT, WSOP event, high roller, or a smaller side event.
6. If you could choose any other career than poker, what would it be?
I could see myself coaching basketball, maybe at a high school or college. However, I'm very happy being a professional poker player right now, and wouldn't want to change that.
1. What do you think about people who hide their face (in order not to give away tells) at the poker table with sunglasses, hats etc.? Is it important to you to have a good time and speak to others at the poker table?
I don't really have a position on this to be honest. It's always more enjoyable when there are no sunglasses but it's an individual choice and I have no problem with my opponent's choices. It can show a bit of weakness when someone prefers not to show his emotions; it could hide a lack of confidence in his game. I also like to interact with people at the table although I'm not the most talkative. It brings good energy and is more enjoyable for all!
2. According to Hendon Mob, you have won over $12.6 million playing live tournaments. Do you still enjoy playing tournaments (live and online) with smaller prize pools? If the answer is YES, how do you keep yourself motivated?
Oh YES!!! I love the game, i enjoy the challenge poker brings. More and more I play different games such as PLO and Mixed games. No matter what the prize pool is, I'm still hungry and I still want to win!
3. Do you ever get tired of being known in the media as the guy who won the 2010 WSOP Main Event?
No, it's a great feeling to know I won this little tournament I would not mind being recognised as the 2015 WSOP Main Event winner also!
4. Do you have a role model in poker?
Fellow PokerStars Team Pro Daniel Negreanu, aside from being a Leafs fan, he does everything perfectly. He's almost always exemplary at the table, gives his opinion on the game, wants it to grow right, is a great ambassador and is still one the world's best. He's not young anymore but he still finds ways to adjust, reinvents his game constantly and still wins.
5. Whom do you consider to be the best tournament player in the world? (alive or not)
I would have loved to see Stu Ungar play since he seemed to win every tournament he entered. He was a step ahead of everyone in his time. Otherwise Phil Ivey should be considered the best. He has played more 8Games recently and is clearly the best all-around player in the world.