Recent research revealed that there’s a trend across Canada where more and more people are turning to online gambling. In Qebec alone, the rate of online gambling has increased from 0.3 percent in 2002 to a staggering 1.4 percent just last 2009. Tied to this discovery are a number of disturbing statistics in such things as the number of underage gamblers, their risk for becoming pathological gamblers, their subsequent risk of considering suicide, and much more. The release of this bit of research cast a shadow on the victory of Duhamel; but the champ was gracious enough to give his own support to the research, giving kids who have begun to idolize him a very succinct message: “Don’t.”
Statistics do Matter
Duhamel managed to outlast a field of more than 7,000 players and, by doing so, earned himself a pretty nifty $9 million as well as instant celebrity status. It’s the sort of thing that most people dream about – especially teens who are just forming their opinions about the world around them. Of course, it doesn’t seem like it’s a very hard choice if they need to find a role model: a 23-year old guy who won $9 million just by playing poker or a 23-year old guy who works from 9 to 5 in an entry position in just another company. The answer seems to be obvious – and yet statistics say that for every Duhamel there are tens of thousands of people who hit rock bottom because of gambling. Jeffrey Derevensky, one of those behind the revealing research even said that kids have better chances of playing for the Montreal Canadiens than winning the WSOP.
Don’t, says Duhamel
Duhamel himself admitted that luck plays a huge part in his win. “I don’t want to glorify anything with that win”, says Duhamel, “I’m just one lucky guy who got far in that tournament. I don’t recommend anybody should quit school for stuff like that.” Duhamel dropped out of Universite du Quebec a Montreal a few years ago when he decided to focus on online gambling. Now, it seems like that was a very good decision, seeing as all he started out with was a $100 investment and a poker bonus– but back then, it must have been pretty scary for a young man to give up the chances at a slow but stable life for the fast lane in the poker industry. The problem is, his success might be generating the wrong message for kids out there and making them think that it’s okay to drop out of school as they might one day be the next WSOP winners.
This message is pretty dangerous, and it’s pretty admirable that Duhamel would refuse to hype his win and send out a message discouraging kids from following him and possibly going down a dangerous path.
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