As Dan Colman faced off against Max Altergott in the heads-up phase of the World Poker Tour Alpha8 Season II event in London, all eyes were on two of poker’s brightest stars.
To the left of the table there was a busty young lady wearing a pair of latex pants that must have taken a full bottle of Johnson’s Baby Powder to squeeze on. She was bent over; inches from my face, as she set up a small table containing several champagne flutes and a bottle of Dom Pérignon.
So you could imagine where my eyes were fixed?
You can guess what was on my mind.
You’ve got it.
“There is no way that Dan Colman is going to drink that champagne,” I thought.
I learned a lot about Dan Colman during WPT Alpha8, and I barely spoke to the young man. As soon as I heard that he was playing, I was excited. Ever since his ‘wedding photo style’ look on ESPN divided the poker world, I have been keen to sit down and chat with him.
Anyone who does what he did is worth speaking to because you know he has an opinion worth listening to. People think his balls shriveled the day he turned into a mute in front of the world’s press. I say that takes balls bigger than Andre the Giant.
I introduced myself to him.
Look Dan, we are going to be together for the next few days, and rather me pestering you all of the time for an interview, let’s get it over with right now. Can I interview you in the next few days.”
“I’d rather not if that’s ok with you,” said Colman as he shook my hand.
I didn’t take this as a refusal. I took this as a polite request to respect his privacy. I am 100% convinced that it’s all about trust. Colman doesn’t want to talk about poker. I don’t want to talk about poker. But he doesn’t know me from Adam. If someone builds a strong relationship with this guy, then he will open up.
And he has a lot to say.
Away from the dictaphone, Colman doesn’t shut up. He has an opinion on everything, and the way that I saw it; it’s a respectful opinion. He doesn’t dominate conversations, he knows his place, and he let’s others chime in when it’s their time to.
“I don’t like food snobs. I don’t get it.”
This was one of his replies after Sam Trickett gently poked fun at Colman’s insistence that he doesn’t really like to go to dinner.
“Is that crispy duck?”
Proof personified that he really doesn’t spend much time going to dinner.
It’s through his table talk that I learned that he is not a fan of alcohol. It’s why I knew the champagne toast would not be accepted. If you don’t know this about Colman, and instead took your thin slice of him from the ‘One Drop incident,’ then you will think he’s a bit of a cock for refusing that drink.
“I don’t understand why people drink? It does nothing for you. An acquired taste? Why would you want to acquire a taste for something like alcohol?” he said during a debate with Sorel Mizzi.
Mizzi was a constant companion to Colman. The pair were talking incessantly and a lot of the chatter was centered on health and nutrition. They both ordered burgers. They both ate the meat and left the bun and fries. They talked about health regimes, protein, and all manners of ways of keeping their bodies in peak physical condition.
And the game.
Man this lad can talk about the game.
He was always seeking opinions, not only on other people’s game, but also his own. When he eliminated Sorel Mizzi on the bubble, he openly asked Altergott if he had made the right decision, and instead wanted to know if it would have been wiser to keep the short-stacked Canadian in the game.
“I am no good at those sorts of decisions,” said a humble Colman.
“He’s good. He’s bloody good,” said Talal Shakerchi after Colman had eliminated the Hedge Fund Manager in third place.
What Talal was really telling me was he is a freak of poker nature. We are in the midst of history. Poker historians will look back at this time and talk about the greatest heater in the history of the game.
After disposing of Altergott in a heads-up encounter that got a little silly towards the end, Colman’s giant Alpha8 trophy was heading to his apartment to sit alongside the 2014 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open title, the Big One for One Drop title, and the EPT Grand Final Super High Roller title. Although you can’t help but think they will never be removed from their cardboard boxes.
That’s $22,520,248 in earnings for 2014 alone.
It’s no wonder that everyone wants to speak to him, everyone wants to video him, and everyone wants to take a snap of him. He is history in the making. I say give him time. If you want the story then you either wait it out, learn to build up some trust with him, or just do what I have done.
Hang around the guy, pay attention to what you hear, and then write a little something like this.