This year’s World Series of Poker has received a tremendous response from both players and visitors who have been flocking by the thousands to visit the Rio in Las Vegas to catch a glimpse of the action.
Dominating the tournaments have been a bunch of professional Canadian players who amongst themselves have been successful enough to walk away with 7 out of the 37 bracelets at the WSOP.
Canadians started paying more interest to the WSOP when Jonathan Duhamel from Quebec went on to win the Main Event in 2010. This helped popularize the WSOP in Canada and ever since then, the tournament has witnessed a large number of Canadian players visiting to see if they can be the next Duhamel.
In a statement, Marc-Andre Ladouceur, who hails from Quebec and finished 13th in the 2012 WSOP Main Event, said
I’ll speak for Quebec. Everybody followed poker and everybody knew people that played poker, but now people are actually interested in poker. Not just playing in their home games but following poker, reading the news online and following players. So the interest has probably tripled, quadrupled, it might be exponential. As far as the amount of players, you have also seen a huge increase in live poker rooms in Montreal.
The seven Canadians who have managed to win at this year’s WSOP are Benny Chen, Michael Malm, Levi Berger, Charles Sylvestre, Mark Radoja, Calen McNeil and Jason Duval. To give you an idea of the competition they had to beat in order win, together had to outshine 14,110 players and then collected prize money that was over $3.5 million. Again these are combined figured for all seven players. But if you go on to add WPT Season XI Champions Roy and Chanracy Khun as well as Daniel Negreanu’s gold bracelet which he got for winning the WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event, it does appear that the Canadians are making a strong statement when it comes to poker tournaments.
Ladouceur stated that one of the reasons that Canadians are doing so well is probably because poker is still legal in Canada and they get to play and practice throughout the year when compared to most Americans who have a lot of restrictions.
Jonathan Roy, WPT Montreal Season XI winner speaking about Canada’s success rates in recent poker events said
I think in Quebec it is getting pretty good because of Jonathan (Duhamel). He was on every TV station and he kind of explained how it works. Some people still think it is gambling. But more and more I think people are understanding what is going on and what the game is all about.