Posts Tagged ‘Dan Colman’

PokerStars Angry over Political T-Shirts at EPT Barcelona High Roller

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

The 2014 EPT Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller tourney certainly wasn’t short on compelling storylines. First off, Olivier Busquet beat Dan Colman to win the €896,434 ($1,188,996) top prize. This is interesting because Busquet was one of Colman’s main backers as the latter went on to win the 2014 WSOP Big One for One Drop and $15.3 million.

The more-recent story involves the t-shirts that Busquet and Colman wore during the final table. The former had “Save Gaza” written on his shirt while the latter sported “Free Palestine.” This final table was live-streamed, meaning thousands of viewers got a good look at the shirts. And certain poker fans weren’t too happy about the scene.

After hearing many complaints about the matter, Eric Hollreiser, PokerStars’ head of corporate communications issued the following statement:

In retrospect it was a mistake to allow them entry. Our tournaments are designed to promote poker and poker competition and not as a platform for political statements. Players have many channels to express their views on world politics, but our tournaments are not an appropriate place. We will refuse entry to any player displaying political statements of any kind.

Save Gaza is a movement to end the Israeli-Egyptian blockage of ships to the Gaza Strip. Many human rights activists have jumped on board this movement because they believe it’s the residents of Gaza who are suffering. Free Palestine is an older reference to how the Palestinians claim European Jews took over their land with the help of the British military.

Both phrases are very political and based on individual beliefs. So it’s no wonder why they’ve incited controversy on twitter. PokerStars is definitely making the right move for their company by declaring that no more political shirts will be allowed at the EPT tables.

Dan Colman’s Dark Message about Poker inspires Author

Friday, August 8th, 2014

A month ago, the poker world collectively rolled their eyes when Dan Colman won the 2014 WSOP Big One for One Drop, then refused to do interviews. His reasoning became clear afterward: poker is a “dark game” where pros prey upon weaker players. Colman certainly didn’t have any trouble collecting the $15.3 million check for winning the One Drop, though.

I could go on about the hypocrisy surrounding Colman’s message all day long, however, his words have inspired at least one player named Amit Varma. Writing for India’s Economic Times, Varma describes an incident where he and his poker pro friend exploited a drunk builder who kept raising and re-raising hands without looking at his cards. All that he and his buddy had to do was wait for opportunities against the drunk in order to make profits. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“We pride ourselves on studying the game, cracking the math, all that other shit,” I said to J as we drove away, “but in the end this is what it comes down to. Sitting in a dark room waiting for a drunk builder to give his money away. Where is the nobility in this?” J replied, “Yeah, we’re like drug dealers exploiting people’s addictions.” I can give you all the counter-arguments to that, considering that I use them to rationalise what I do all the time. We play poker as an intellectual challenge.

Varma goes on to cite Colman’s words that, “The losers lose way more money at this game than winners are winning. A lot of this is money they can’t afford to lose.” He ends by writing that even the winners can get consumed by poker, logging many hours at the table just to turn out profits. Varma also claims that the drunk builder and a poker pro are one in the same.

This is definitely an interesting viewpoint and one that the author has obviously thought long and hard about. But comparing a skilled poker pro to some drunk with a gambling addiction is reaching a bit far.

Poker is a game that exemplifies many pursuits, from business to sports. Should people look down on a successful Wall Street trader because he/she’s put the work in to gain an edge on others? Do we admonish Kevin Durant because he’s spent his life taking advantage of inferior opponents on the basketball court? Should Tom Cruise feel ashamed because he’s taken countless multi-million dollar roles due to his superior acting/looks?

The world is a competitive place, and people who pursue any game/business are paying a cost – whether it be through their time, money or social life. The affluent builder who gets drunk and loses their money at the poker table obviously doesn’t have the dedication or willpower to win in a competitive game like poker. Those who do have the necessary dedication and drive shouldn’t feel bad that they can win in poker.

Big One Champ Dan Colman: Idealistic or Idiot?

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

If Joe Hachem thought that young poker pros weren’t doing enough to promote the game, then he must really be fuming at Dan Colman. The 24-year-old poker player recently won the 2014 WSOP Big One for One Drop along with $15,306,668.

After his victory, Colman refused to do the usual winner’s interviews and needed some convincing before he was willing to take some pictures. Even then, he wasn’t going to smile for the photos, almost like a 5-year-old kid whose mom insists that they take a family photo. Everything up to this point had the poker world asking, “What’s wrong with this guy?”

Well, according to a TwoPlusTwo post, Colman essentially believes that poker, and gambling in general, can lead to misery for recreational players. Furthermore, he doesn’t believe in expressing individual accomplishments such as winning the biggest poker prize of 2014.

There are some valid points mixed in this letter, but perhaps they’d be best expressed by an anti-gambling activist – not some fresh-faced poker pro who just collected $15.3 million from a tournament and has made a very good living from the game. The whole thing reeks of the ole’ I’m-in-college-attaining-higher-learning-so-I-know-everything attitude.

One of the opening statements of Colman’s post is “I have played it (poker) long enough to see the ugly side of this world.” Ignoring the fact that Colman is just 24, let’s switch to a much more-experienced player in Daniel Negreanu. The 39-year-old finished second to Colman in the Big One for One Drop and issued a response at his Full Contact Poker blog.

Negreanu doesn’t have a scathing opinion of Colman as I or some other writers do. In fact, he finds “nobility” in the young player’s ideals and agrees with the sentiment that most people will be losers in poker. However, Negreanu also explains that there are millions who strive to be a professional golfer, NBA basketball player, hockey professional or an NFL football player – only to fail in their pursuit. The entire post is really good, but I’ll leave you with one great excerpt:

Poker, and more specifically poker tournaments are a competition no different than any other competition. The cream rise to the top, make the most money, and the vast majority whether its pool, tennis, basketball, golf, the restaurant business, etc. fail. Capitalism as a system allows people to strive for big success in whatever career they choose.

Daniel opened his statement with “I don’t owe poker anything.” No, I guess not, but I would look at it differently Daniel: GRATITUDE! Being thankful that you found a game you both love to play and are also good enough so that you can make a life for yourself. You don’t owe poker anything, sure, but poker has given you a lot. The camera crew filming the event, the dealers, floor staff, Caesars, the WSOP, ESPN, PokerStars.com for giving you an opportunity to support yourself, the players that came before you and did spend time promoting a game you would have likely never heard about. You don’t owe poker, or me personally anything, much like when a waitress brings your order, you don’t owe her a tip or even a thank you. It’s just a gracious custom, much like doing a winners interview…

I applaud Daniel for wanting to live his life with a higher consciousness and looking more deeply at the bigger picture. I support that, and his right to decline interviews 100%. I also think people are being too harsh on him. He is young, and I’m not saying that in a condescending manner, just at the age of 24 life is just beginning, your views on the world, the questions you have, are just starting to form. I’m not the same person I was when I was 24, and I certainly don’t hold the same views I did when I was 24.