Canada is home to some of the most fascinating poker celebrities to ever play their way into the high stakes world of professional poker. Here are three of the many noteworthy professional poker players who make us proud to be Canadian.
Daniel Negreanu: Toronto, Ontario
The man who needs no introduction, and whose accolades are almost too numerous to name, deserves the first nod. Negreanu has been a legend in the poker world since the age of 23 when he broke the record for the youngest player to win a World Series of Poker bracelet. This victory earned him the nickname “Kid Poker” and international stardom. It also marked the beginning of a career that would continue to exceed the expectations of his world wide following. Undoubtedly one of the most charismatic and recognizable players of the internet generation, Negreanu is the author of Hold’em Wisdom for all Players, he is featured in the 2006 poker video game Stacked with Daniel Negreanu, and frequently makes film and TV appearances. His most recent accomplishment was finishing second in the Big One for One Drop tournament at the 2014 WSOP for $8.2 million. Negreanu has come a long way since his humble beginnings in Toronto. His remarkable career in poker is second to none.
Jonathan Duhamel: Boucherville, Quebec
In the 2010 World Series of Poker, Jonathan Duhamel became the first ever Canadian to win a WSOP Main Event bracelet after defeating John Racener. He walked away with $8,944,310 and donated $100, 000 of his winnings to the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation. A year later, robbers broke into Duhamel’s home, assaulted him and stole his Main Event bracelet, some money and other valuables. Since then, Duhamel has won the Deauville High Roller Event at the EPT and cashed in twice at the 2011 WSOP. The twenty seven year-old’s live tournament winnings, to date, exceed $12,400,000, and he comes in at 13 on the Global Poker Index. Duhamel confessed that his game has developed through interactions with other great players. “There are a lot of very good poker players in Quebec. We all talk strategy together, and I am the player I am now because of them.”
Guy Laliberté: Quebec City, Quebec
Lastly, our list wouldn’t be complete without the inimitable Guy Laliberté, whose list of accomplishments is pretty hard to top. He’s been a stilt-walker, an accordion player, a fire-eater, Canada’s first ever space tourist and is one of the founders of the internationally renowned Cirque de Soleil. He received the Order of Canada and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2004. He is best known in the poker world for creating the One Drop Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to fighting poverty by providing access to sustainable water sources. Laliberté finished fourth in the 2007 World Series of Poker earning him $626,220. He’s also made several appearances on the television series High Stakes Poker and played on Poker After Dark.