It’s that time of year again, when sports authorities rate the best athletes of the past 12 months. SportsNet.ca has nominated 16 athletes from a wide range of sports for its Canadian Athlete of the Year award and some might be surprised to see poker pro Jonathan Duhamel on the list on nominees.
This year, Jonathan Duhamel became the first Canadian player to ever win the World Series of Poker, the biggest poker tournament in the world. After years of being an underdog in the industry, Duhamel’s win thrust him into fame among Canadians and across the world.
The nomination finally puts to rest the argument over whether or not poker is an actual sport. However, the chances of Duhamel winning were slim from the beginning, if you had a look at his competition. He was in direct competition with gold medalists Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir and Alex Bilodeau, all of which edged him out in the second round of voting.
Although Duhamel is out of the running for this year’s award, being nominated is still a great feat for any poker pro, solidifying poker’s place in the world of professional sports.