Canadian sports channel Sportsnet are organizing a vote in the form of a tournament to determine the 2010 Canadian Athlete of the Year. The list is comprised of sixteen athletes who are up for this honour including Ultimate Fighting Champion George “Rush” St-Pierre, hockey star Sidney Crosby, basketball sensation Steve Nash, and several Vancouver Olympic gold medalists. However, also in the running for Athlete of the Year is Canadian 2010 WSOP Main Event Poker Champion Jonathan Duhamel which seems to have sparked some controversy over whether poker should even be considered a sport.
We’re not sure how Jonathan feels about this nomination but we do know whether he considers poker a “sport”. In a previous interview with CanadaPoker.com (click here to read the full interview), we asked Jonathan whether or not he considered poker a sport, his answer was – yes. And we agree with him. Although he may not fit the physical profile of a sports athlete, Jonathan definitely possesses incredible stamina and mental preparation that is needed to play for a consecutive 8 days of poker, each session not less than 12 hours, far more hours than a professional sports athlete will see on the ice or field during any given week. One thing is also for sure, he may have put on some more muscles carrying home $9 million dollars.
The first round consists of 16 top Canadian athletes, squaring off against each other. In the first round, Duhamel is put up against Olympic Ice Dancing gold medalist pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Should he get enough votes to surpass the duo, Duhamel will reach the quarter finals where he would go up against either Sidney Crosby or Ashleigh McIvor to battle for a spot in the semi final round.
See below for a look at the athlete groupings.
Good Luck Jonathan.