The unheralded Canadian, who in November of 2010 made it to the Main Event of the elite WSOP and won the grand pot of $8.94 million, endured a home invasion in Montreal on Dec. 21. The thieves, one woman and three men, tied up Duhamel, severely beat him and robbed him. He was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries and, though not fully recovered, has since been released.
The robbers made off with a Rolex watch and his prized World Series of Poker bracelet - one of the most coveted possessions in poker - and an unidentified sum of money Duhamel said was mostly Euro 500 bills. Police have recovered most of the money and the watch but have not recovered the bracelet.
Poker Champ Duhamel Robbed by Ex- Girlfriend
Police identified the former girlfriend as Bianca Rojas-Latraverse, 20, of St. Sauveur, Que, and a story from Valerie Duhaime in the Canadian Press
says an agent of Duhamel's, Phillipe Jette, said that the two went out a few months and only "over a short period of time." Rojas-Latraverse was the only one of his assailants known to the poker player, the other three all men in their early-20's.
Duhamel talked about the experience on his pokerstars.com blog and detailed the invasion and how he is doing in his recovery: "As police reported...two persons forced my entrance and beat me up and robbed me," Duhamel wrote on his blog. "After they threatened to kill me I gave them all I had. They then tied me up and beat me, hitting me in the face and all over my body before leaving my house."
Duhamel Hit Big Time in WSOP
A native of Boucherville, Quebec, near Montreal, Duhamel was an unknown in the poker world when he fought his way in preliminary tournaments to make it to Las Vegas and the Main Event of the 2010 World Series of Poker Championship. He was the first Canadian to win the WSOP and after Daniel Negreanu is now arguably the most known poker player in Canada.
Duhamel offered a $10,000 reward leading to the return of his stolen goods. The day after the home invasion he reported he was "black and blue all over but no broken bones, no blood clots, nothing to worry about" and that while "exhausted" he was "happy to be alive."