Dan Colman Wins Another One!
2014 has seen poker’s online heads-up specialist, Dan Colman, on a streak of amazing results in the live arena, and he’s just added another massive title and prize to his amazing list of 2014 results.
The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open main event had a guarantee of $10 million, and after only 1499 entries also has an overlay of around $2.5 million. The final table of six was streamed live from Florida by the award-winning PokerStars media team. At the start of play, Colman was second in chips, but it didn’t take long for the player primarily known online as “mrGR33N13” to take control of the table. After Martin Hanowski was sent to the rail in sixth place by John Dolan, Colman eliminated Joe Kuether in fifth place when he raised from the small blind after Kuether limped on the button. The flop brought Jc-5c-3h, and Kuether shoved after Colman had continuation-bet for half a million chips. Colman snap-called, turning over his cards to show pocket rockets, which was significantly ahead of Joe’s jack for top pair. The turn and river changed nothing, and Colman’s first victim of the day was sent to the cage to pick up $424,044.
The second scalp for Colman was only a few hands later when John Dolan limped from the small blind, and Colman elected to just check his option in the seat to his left. The 9s-8h-4d flop didn’t start any fireworks as both players declined the option to put any more chips into the middle. The 2d turn card, however, saw Colman fire a bet after his opponent had elected to check, with Dolan then calling behind to bring the river. The 3d river brought in straight and flush draws, and Dolan decided discretion was the better part of valour, and ceded control of the betting to Colman. Colman, never one for half measures, announced he was all in, forcing Dolan to make a decision for all of his chips. AFter a trip into the tank, he made a decision he instantly regretted, as he called, only to be shown 6d-5c by Colman for a rivered straight. Dolan shouldn’t feel too bad as he added $548,763 to his Hendon Mob profile, to go with his appearance in the 2010 WSOP November Nine.
Three-handed play saw Mike Leah take the chip lead, but eliminating Shawn Cunix in third for $748,313 was enough for Colman to resume position as the captain of the table. Heads-up play saw stacks deep enough that those of us watching were expecting a long night in front of our computers, and the pair’s early small-ball strategy didn’t really do much to dissuade. Colman appeared comfortable, as heads-up is his bread and butter game. He cut the legs out from under Leah when he rivered a full house against the Canadian. We don’t know what Leah was holding as the cards up coverage was only able to capture one card, but once Dan announced he had the boat, Leah rapidly mucked his hand to send the pot to the other side of the table. He did announce to his rail later that he couldn’t beat trips, ending a heated debate on twitter as to what he had mucked so quickly.
Leah abandoned his small-ball strategy at this point, and moved towards a large-pot agenda, trying to unbalance Colman and reduce the heads-up specialist’s edge. It didn’t work out that well for the Maple Leafs fan, and the last hand saw him open from the button with Qc-Jc, only to be three-bet by Colman, who was holding Ah-Kd. Leah pushed his remaining chips into the middle, and Colman snap-called. The dealer soon spread the board, and when the dust had settled, the five cards sitting face up on the felt were 4h-3h-2c-Td-Kc, pairing Colman’s King, and letting him collect his fourth million-dollar-plus result of 2014 so far.
This year alone, Colman has won $21,058,153 which is an amazing achievement. If you add in the fact that most of his results this year have been in the tough High Roller or Super High Roller events, the achievement is even more impressive.
Colman’s friend and mentor, Olivier Busquet, quickly tweeted the following after the last hand had aired on the live stream:
THE HEATER IS REAL
— Olivier Busquet (@olivierbusquet) September 4, 2014
It appeared to be a popular comment as a few moments later, Scott Seiver tweeted his own comment:
THE HEATER IS REAL
— Scott Seiver (@scott_seiver) September 4, 2014
It seems that great poker minds do think alike, and the semtiment is one a lot of us share. Colman undoubtedly deserves the success he has achieved. He has slipped into the elite of poker pretty seamlessly (from a poker point of view anyway), and his understanding of the game rivals the best in the business. He hasn’t been afraid of controversy, as his actions after winning the Big One for One Drop and his decision to express political views on his way to second at the recent Barcelona Super High Roller, illustrate.
I think we may be seeing the birth of a new star of poker, albeit one that may be conflicted about the game he plays for a living, that has the longevity of the “old school” combined with the high quality game of the new school. Colman has the chance for a long career; he just has to become comfortable with the industry that causes him conflicted feelings every time he plays. It certainly doesn’t seem to be stopping him playing at his best.