Vote Is In: Poker Players Are Not Athletes

Written by:
Thomas Somach
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So much for the "sport" of poker.

A public vote for the 2010 Canadian Athlete of the Year by the Canadian TV channel Rogers Sportsnet raised some eyebrows at the end of last year when one of the nominees for the honor was a poker player, Jonathan Duhamel.

Duhamel, from suburban Montreal in the Province of Quebec, won the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, becoming the first Canadian ever to accomplish that feat.

It was a great accomplishment, but was he an "athlete" and did he play a "sport"?

Rogers Sportsnet thought so.

It conducted a public vote on its website ( for the 2010 Canadian Athlete of the Year, and Duhamel was one of 16 nominees.

Other nominees included the likes of NHL stars Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews, the NBA's Steve Nash, MLB's Joey Votto, the UFC's Georges St. Pierre and Olympians Alex Bilodeau, Scott Moir, Tesse Virtue, Maelle Ricker and Ashleigh MacIvor.

Well, the vote is in and--drumroll, please--the poker player has finished in 13th place.

We don't know what's more surprising, the fact that Duhamel finished a lowly 13th or that he actually beat out three other nominees.

The vote was won by ultimate fighter Georges St. Pierre, the third year in a row he has copped that honor.

For the record, St. Pierre amassed 20,490 votes out of 135,751 online votes cast.

The runnerup in the voting was Olympic skier Alex Bilodeau with 14,020 votes.

Duhamel, finishing in 13th place, collected a measly 2,071 votes.

The card-loving, 23-year-old French Canadian is likely laughing about the tally--laughing all the way to the bank.

He earned nearly $9 million for his Main Event win, more than almost anyone else in the poll earned last year.

By Tom Somach Staff Writer