One Year Later- Follow Up Interview With 2012 WSOP Event #23 Winner- Toronto’s Simon Charette

Simon Charette at the 2011 WSOP
Simon Charette

It’s not quite déjà vu, but it’s close enough; almost one year ago to the day we talked to poker player Simon Charette about his runner-up finish and six total cashes at the 2011 WSOP. It was quite an impressive performance then, but Charette took it the next level in 2012, winning Event #23, the $3000 No Limit Hold’em Six Max just a few days after arriving at this year’s World Series of Poker.

By far one of the friendliest and out going Canadian poker personalities we have talked with over the past 18 months or so, we thought we’d catch up with Simon and see how’s he doing and what his plans are after now claiming one of poker’s most coveted prizes…

CP: “We’ve talked to many players, but you have always stuck at as one that truly had in your heart to make this happen. Your post win tweets and status updates seemed to have you “beside yourself”, does it feel real yet?”

Simon: “It’s been about 2 weeks now and I’ve just finally begun to accept it. It was so tough last year losing heads up for a bracelet. I tried to adopt the attitude that I had the opportunity to play ’heads up’ for a big one in a huge No Limit Hold’em field and that I should feel blessed getting 2nd last year; to re-start the thinking that I’ve now done it and actually won a bracelet is a total shock to the system. No idea how long it’ll take until it registers with me.”

CP: “While obviously winning heaps of cash doesn’t hurt, it was never all about the money for you. We’ve watched you protect your bankroll well on your journey and last year you were a bit devastated by your runner up finish; mentioning not really even “registering” the monetary gain. Have you “filled that hole” and achieved your goals with this win, or do you think it will just add accelerant to your competitive fire? Again going back to last year’s interview, do you now feel validated as one of the top players in the poker community?”

Simon: “I would say I’ve definitely ’filled that hole’. I grinded a lot of live tournaments the previous 3 years and felt I ran under-expectation in championship events, despite being very profitable. Now, I would say the opposite and say I’ve run well over-expectation in live tournaments (you can only play so many). It doesn’t accelerate me at all…it was more of a feeling of relief that I finally got a big one, again, for the respect and the accomplishment much more so than the money.“

“I do feel validated. I feel like I’m one of the top no-limit tournament players in the world and it’s a lot easier to believe that with a major title. I’m not looking to chase more. Although it be awesome. I love poker and I feel like I’ll end up playing less tournaments and enjoying it more. A more relaxed attitude.”

CP: “You’ve won more than a million dollars over just the last calendar year, over your career few players will ever come even close to your combined live and online winnings totals. When we talked last year, you thought there might be a time to hang up your poker hat to pursue your passion for film and screen writing; does this put you any closer to that goal? Can we expect an original Simon Charette production on the near horizon?”

Simon: “Cash doesn’t really affect my decision making when it comes to my passions or how I spend the majority of my time. My results prove that I play a  great game and that’s all that matters. I don’t spend much on anything except flights and expenses. I love the EPTs and traveling whenever I can. I’m very fortunate to have money that buys me time to figure things out. I go through phases of wanting to write but lack the motivation.  Poker was just always on my mind like it couldn’t be finished.”

“Being more relaxed, I’m hoping my creative juices will flow and I’ll be working on some interesting projects soon.  My visions for stories often come like waterfalls in random moments of serenity. Not having a schedule is just a dream for me. I can always go on the tour if I want, or I stay locked in my apartment writing scripts. I love the freedom. No original production soon, but it’ll happen!”

CP: “You were barely off the plane when you binked this, does this change your 2012 WSOP summer plans at all? Will you stick around and make a run at POY or bracelet number two, or just take it easy now that you have your hardware?”

Simon: “I have major issues with my hip and my back that are pretty serious, so the plan this year was always to take it easy. I almost skipped the WSOP because it’s been so bad. Now that I have the the hardware, I’ll take it even more easy and skip events. I NEVER missed a day last year and I was in fairly extensive pain by the end of it, but of course I still wanna win everything!”

“Just don’t expect 6 cashes again (laughs). The $10,000 Six-Max event I’m really looking forward to. I’m in Toronto now, taking a week off, but I’ll be back soon; not interested in pursuing POY so much especially when I’m out classed at the Limit games…I crush in No Limit!”

CP: “Impressive predictions by the way. When we spoke last summer you mentioned both Mike McDonald and Andrew Chen and both went on to have incredible years of their own on the world felts; Mike wins an EPL event, Andrew chops an EPT…any others names you want to drop as ones to look out for this year?”

Simon: “I think you deserve the kudos for your pick as well (laughs)! Those 2 guys are just 2 of the best tournament players so they are always good picks. I really like Stephen Chidwick’s (known as Stevie444) chances as he’s a great player and is due for a big win. He already final tabled the $1,500 HORSE event this WSOP. He’s one of the nice guys in poker and it appears to be the ’year of the nice guy’, so I expect to see more friends shipping bracelets.”

CP: “Simon, you’ve always been awesome when it comes to our media requests and we really appreciate your open and genuine interviews. I don’t think there isn’t much we haven’t asked you at one point or another and I’m sure we haven’t heard even close to the last about you, so at this point, we just want you to wish a huge congratulations!”

“You’ve worked hard at this and we have to say it was very exciting for Canadian poker, fans and obviously your friends and family as well to see your poker dreams come true. Thank you very much for your time and letting us in on your wild ride!”

Simon: “Thanks a lot for following my progress and thanks to all those who sweated my bracelet win on twitter (@simoncharette) and sending me private messages. I was blown away by the support! Jon should write an article about his top picks for the $10,000 Six-Max and put me at the top, can’t hurt in making it happen (laughs). A big thanks to all the readers and fans for following my career!”

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Jon Harnish
35 year old recreational player, husband and father of three from Calgary, Alberta. Enjoy lower stakes cash games including PLO and limit Omaha 8. Any of the micro-stakes HORSE games will play online MTTS and SNGs. Live, Tournaments and Satellites up to $550. I love the game but am far to social to take it seriously and sometimes give up a little to much information at the table because I enjoy discussing the game, so decided it was safest for my bankroll to take up writing about the game. That way I still get to meet the cool people and opinions on the game, but with a little less risk. Writing wise, currently a regular contributor to Poker Pro Canada, like to write profiles, previews and recaps the most. formally wrote for Canadian Poker Player Canada. My Poker Blogs have been featured on CardPlayer Social and SpadeClub as "Recommended" or in newsletters on several occasions and Pokerweblogs as "Blog of the Month". Past projects included organizing and promoting major events with the Canadian Poker Tour, introducing Big Slick Poker Tour to Southern Alberta and directing events and finals.


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