Dan Colman is an American professional poker player who hails from Holden, Massachusetts. He is best known for winning the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2014 Big One for One Drop tournament at the age of 23, beating Daniel Negreanu heads-up. At the time, Colman took home the second-largest single payout in poker tournament history.
Dan Colman: The beginning
The now-28-year-old Colman started gambling with friends when he was a teenager and it was Chris Moneymaker’s historic WSOP win that whetted Colman’s appetite for poker. When he was 17, Colman begin playing heads-up sit-n-go tournaments on Full Tilt Poker where he attracted the attention of Olivier Busquet—one of the best heads-up sit-n-go players in the world. Busquet offered to stake Colman and, well, the rest was history.
Dan Colman played—and continues to play—online under the monikers mrGR33N13 and riyyc225. Impressively, in 2013, Colman became the first player in online poker history to win $1 million in hyper-turbo tournaments in a single calendar year. In fact, Colman accomplished this impressive task in only nine months.
Dan Colman considers himself to be an intuitive player who doesn’t ascribe to game theory or any complicated math formulas. Regardless, whatever method Colman uses has obviously brought him success.
The Big One for One Drop
Colman’s impressive Big One for One Frop prize was nearly $15.31 million—second only to Antonio Esfandiari’s first-place prize in the same event in 2012 that totalled nearly $18.35 million and remains the single largest poker tournament payout to date.
In addition to this win, 2014 was a very good year for Colman, indeed. Prior to the WSOP in April, Dan Colman won the European Poker Tour (EPT) €100,000 Super High Roller Grand Final in Monte Carlo and a cool €1,539,000. Then, at the 45th WSOP, Colman came in 3rd at the $10,000 NLHE Heads-Up Event, pocketing nearly $112,000 before emerging victorious in the highly prestigious Big One for One Drop.
After Colman’s impressive win, his unceremonious lack of celebration and quick exit from the tournament room sparked considerable debate as to his motivation for failing to answer questions after his storied victory.
In fact, Dan Colman didn’t demonstrate much emotion whatsoever in winning such a prestigious event and incredible amount of money. Take a look.
Additionally, instead of providing an interview to ESPN which had been filming the event, Colman opted to reply in a TwoPlusTwo thread.
Dan Colman first said that he didn’t “owe poker a single thing” and that even though he had been “fortunate enough to benefit financially from the game” he has played long enough to see its ugly side—the side where pros are not always “happy and living a fulfilling life.” Of course, this sparked even more controversy by those who attacked him for trying to tilt or goad his opponents or among who called him out for being self-loathing. Such attacks obviously did little to sway Colman’s posture on the entire situation.
Others, however—including second-place finisher Daniel Negreanu—applauded Dan Colman for his decision to eschew the expected interview process. You can read Negreanu’s wordy defense of Colman here.
Beyond the WSOP
Regardless of how Dan Colman handled himself following the Big One for One Drop, his next few years of tournament success rivaled the likes of Fedor Holz’s and Justin Bonomo’s recent sick runs. Colman was seemingly unstoppable. In fact, in 2014, Dan Colman won the Bluff Player of the Year award.
Let’s take a look at his impressive money finishes.
3rd place, $100,000 NLHE Super High Roller, Aria, Las Vegas
2nd place,€50,000 NLHE Super High Roller, Barcelona, Spain
1st place,$5,300 NLHE, Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event, Hollywood, Florida
1st place, £60,000 NLHE WPT Main Event, London, England
7th place, HK$ 500,000 Super High Roller APPT Asia Championship, Macau
3rd place, $111,111 NLHE High Roller for One Drop, WSOP, Las Vegas, Nevada
3rd place, $5,250 NLHE Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship Freezeout Hollywood, Florida
6th place, $200,000 NLHE WPTN Triton Super High Roller, Paranaque City, Philippines
More recent success
Additional, recent highlights include winning the 17 February 2017 HK$ 250,000 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series NLHE-Six Max, Paranaque City, Philippines for HK$3,641,600 ($469,246); the 3 March 2017 $25,000 Aria High Roller NLHE for $342,240; and Poker Night in America’s King of the Hill 3 for $200,000—an event previously won by Phil Hellmuth and Olivier Busquet, respectively.
Contrary to popular post-Big One for One Drop opinion, Colman does, in fact, smile. Take a look at this sick hand from a PokerStars Championships Bahamas tournament that would make anyone grin.
“So sick” indeed, ElkY.
Taken collectively, Dan Colman sits comfortably in 5th place on the All Time Money List with cumulative live tournament winnings nearing a truly impressive $28.93 million.
Whatever you may think of Dan Colman, the fact remains that he is a superior poker player who has achieved impressive prosperity, and his talent will enable him to continue down his successful path. Whether he decides to continue to play live tournaments, focus on online play, or retire completely is up to him, but his name will be one that will undoubtedly remain in poker infamy. Colman’s favorite place to play is the Aria, so if you’re ever in Las Vegas, check out this magnificent poker room and maybe you’ll run into him. Or you can follow him on Twitter if you are so inclined.
Until next time.
Read more from Upswing Poker:
- Red Rock Poker Room Review: A Nice Off-Strip Venue
- How Did Jungleman Daniel Cates Becomes So Successful?
- Best Poker Tournaments in Las Vegas
Natalie Faulk is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer/blogger and the author of several books. She is an avid low-stakes (for now) poker player and huge Vegas Golden Knights fan.