After the best night of his life, Canada's newest multimillionaire flew home from Sin City with family and friends - in coach, along with the great unwashed.
"I had a ticket on a WestJet flight, and they don't have a first-class section," smiled Jonathan Duhamel, who became the first Canadian card player to win the World Series of Poker's Main Event in the early hours of Tuesday morning and pocketed $8.9-million for good measure.
On Thursday the Boucherville, Que., native, who dropped out of the finance program at the Université du Québec à Montreal at the age of 20 to pursue a career as a professional poker player, allowed that his life will never quite be the same after his triumph in Las Vegas.
"I'm only starting understand the magnitude of all this," he said, adding he hasn't decided what to do with his riches, other than delivering on a promise to donate $100,000 to the Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation. (Mr. Duhamel is a rabid Habs fan.)
The 23-year-old is also acutely aware of the tricky message his victory sends to his growing legions of fans. "I don't think it's given to everyone to be able to do what I did. I was lucky," he said, "I would never recommend that anyone drop out of school and gamble huge amounts of money."
If Mr. Duhamel is concerned about leaving the wrong impression with aspiring young poker players, he may have reason to be. The Quebec government released a study this week that suggests the number of at-risk and problem gamblers in the province has nearly doubled in the past decade.
Most people who wager their cash do so on lottery tickets or slot machines, but poker has out-stripped video-lottery terminals in popularity, according to the study.
"Poker is extremely popular in Quebec, it's one of the places in the world where it's most popular," said Alain Dubois, a responsible-gaming advocate and social worker who counsels compulsive gamblers.
Critics claim online gaming is more likely to turn at-risk gamblers into problem ones - last winter Montreal's director of public health suggested Internet gambling is "one of the most dangerous" forms of gaming and that launching its own poker site this fall, Loto-Québec "will certainly increase the number of problem gamblers."
Mr. Duhamel doesn't exactly fit that profile. Nor is he a typical dropout.
For one thing, he's something of a math whiz, like many of today's top pros.
For another, his first attempt to make a go of it resulted in him taking factory jobs and encouraged him to be an autodidact.
He read dozens of books on poker strategy, statistical probabilities and played thousands of hands, sometimes spending 40 and 50 hours a week at the poker table or online.
When Mr. Duhamel arrived for the beginning of the Main Event this past summer, he wasn't exactly an unknown in Las Vegas poker circles - he has made a good living playing professionally for a couple of years - but his victory is stunning nonetheless, in that he ultimately bested 7,300 other hopefuls.
And while he's living a childhood dream - he said the gaudy, bejewelled champion's bracelet means more than the millions that came with it - it's not about to go to his head.
"I'm going to be careful with that money. I'm not the kind of guy to spend it left and right. I'm sure I'll use some of it to play cards, but I won't do anything too crazy," he said. "I'm a pretty quiet guy."