When the dust cleared at the 2014 World Series of Poker’s Big One for One Drop tournament, 23-year-old poker pro Daniel Colman had walked away with $15.3 million, the second-largest prize in poker history. But if you weren’t following along with the action and only checked to see who was talking after the tournament ended, you would have been forgiven for not knowing it.
Colman became the second person to win the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop, topping a field of 42 players to secure the title that Antonio Esfandiari won in 2012. The young pro navigated his way through a field that was filled with most of the best poker players in the world before defeating Daniel Negreanu in heads-up play to claim the title.
Tournament Benefits One Drop Charity
The Big One for One Drop is the brainchild of Guy Laliberté, and exists to benefit the One Drop Foundation charity. From each buy-in, $111,111 benefits the organization, which works to provide access to clean water around the world. While the field was slightly smaller than the 48 who played in the first edition of the tournament back in 2012, One Drop still raised over $4.6 million in this event this year.
Of course, that still left plenty of money for the players to fight over. The win immediately brought Colman into 6th place on the all-time tournament money list, and the runner-up finish earned Negreanu nearly $8.3 million, pushing him back to the top of that list with about $29.8 million in career winnings.
Colman Silent After Victory
But after the tournament, all of the talk was about the winner. More specifically, it was about how the winner didn’t talk much at all.
Colman took a few moments to pose with his winnings and the WSOP bracelet he won (his first), and seems to have done the minimum required for the ESPN broadcast that will air later this summer. But he didn’t offer any other media interviews, and showed no interest in promoting himself, his win, or the game of poker.
Negreanu did stick around to talk to the media for a while, and stuck up for the winner in the process.
“Poker is his job and he’s here to work,” Negreanu said. “If he doesn’t want to do interviews, I respect it completely.” Negreanu would later write on his blog that he told Colman the same right after the tournament concluded.
Forums Post Clarifies Position on Poker
That wasn’t enough to stop the speculation over why Colman was silent, though. The next day, Colman took to the TwoPlusTwo forums to explain his actions.
“First off, I don’t owe poker a thing,” Colman wrote under the user name “mrggr33n13”.
“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…I would never in a million years recommend for someone to try and make it as a poker pro.”
Colman went on to explain that he felt that many people lost money they couldn’t afford through poker, and that the game shouldn’t be advertised. He also noted that he didn’t feel he should promote his individual achievements. Yet in the end, he said, he still had some love for the game, even if he was “conflicted” about it.
“I capitalize off this game that targets peoples [sic] weaknesses,” he wrote. “I do enjoy it, I love the strategy part of it, but I do see it as a very dark game.”