Dan Colman yesterday won the second largest payout of all time in a poker event after taking down the World Series of Poker ‘Big One for One Drop’, yet his actions after winning the event have been splitting opinions throughout the poker industry.
After the victory he refused to give any interviews to the media and did not even look happy to have his picture taken with the $15 million he had just won.
This has re-opened the can of worms of what is expected of a champion, a topic that was originally started by former WSOP Main Event champion Joe Hachem earlier in the year when he said some of the more recent winners are not doing their part for poker after claiming their prize.
In this particular case, Colman has received criticism for not giving any time for the media and leaving just five minutes after his victory whilst the runner up PokerStars Team Pro Daniel Negreanu spent 30 minutes with everything that happens after a big event ends.
He gave his honest and well thought out reasoning for his behaviour over at the 2+2 forums, with posters on the forums also seemingly split on their opinions.
His post read:
“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.
Happy to read any ones opinions that could convince me otherwise of my views.”
The Las Vegas Sun were quick to label him as a petulant child when they wrote:
“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”
Rich Ryan over at Pokernews also aired his views on why he thought that it might have been better for Colman to address his issues with poker in the interviews rather than shunning them all together.
Players though seemed to side with Colman across social media such as Twitter, especially after reading his reasons for the shun on 2+2.
Some entitled young punk changed 1000s of lives this week by giving them access to clean water and doesn’t promote gambling. Fucking prick
— Mike McDonald (@MikeMcDonald89) July 2, 2014
If poker media wants a Dan Colman story, they should focus on his incredibly rational and well educated worldview. The guy knows whats up.
— Darryll Fish (@DarryllFish) July 3, 2014
Totally agree with Dan Colman reaction to promoting poker after his $15 million win. He is a HERO in my book http://t.co/UGPhJJrZDN
— Randy Dorfman (@RandyDorfman) July 2, 2014
I think Daniel Colman is one of the nicer young guys in poker, but I believe it’s a big mistake on his part not doing the winner interviews.
— Donnie Peters (@Donnie_Peters) July 2, 2014