It sucks that sometimes your bleakest moments are caught on camera. That seems to have been the case for poker player Daniel Colman, who just had the unfortunate experience of winning $15 million, and having the whole thing broadcast to the entire world. I am grieving for you, Colman.
Colman was competing in the 2014 Big One for One Drop event at the World Series of Poker, and after outlasting 41 other players over three days of play, he finally took home the enormous pot. You’d think that such an amazing moment in one’s life would lead to, I dunno, a smile? Instead, Colman pouts and stares off into space, annoyed that he has to be photographed and put up with the media circus.
This event actually took place several weeks ago, but only just aired. After facing a wave of criticism regarding his reaction, and his general lack of engagement with the media throughout the tournament, he felt compelled to write the response below.
I really don’t owe anyone an explanation but I’ll 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 than winners are winning. A lot of this is money they can’t afford to lose. This is fine of course because if someone is dumb enough to gamble with money they can’t afford to lose, that’s their problem. I’m 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 there 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 [sic] weaknesses. I do enjoy it, I love the strategy part of it, but I do see it as a very dark game.
Is this guy involved in some type of indentured servitude where he is being forced by some unseen billionaire to play high-stakes poker for his amusement? If so, that sucks dude, I’m sorry. If not, you could always, ya know, stop playing? It sounds like a lot of professional poker players love to talk shit about the game that made them rich. That’s fine. But Colman is 23-years-old. I’m 28 and have yet to really establish myself in whatever you might call my “career,” so if you really hate poker as much as it seems, it really wouldn’t be that difficult to get out. If you want a fresh start and really start over, feel free to send me the millions of dollars you just made. I think the money is unclean, and keeping it would just give you bad karma. DM me if you want wiring instructions.
[H/T Yahoo Sports]