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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

Where Are They Now – Tom “durrrr” Dwan

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Where are They Now is a series of an in depth look at all poker players - not just the pros - as they travel through one long game. Some of the players profiled are deceased but not forgotten.

I think with this edition of “Where Are They Now” we will be accomplishing two firsts.  The first one is that Tom Dwan is easily the youngest player we have ever written about.  Don’t let the age fool you though; he’s also easily one of the best poker players around today.  Secondly, while we’ve had a ton of poker players who have had success on the internet as part of our series, we have never had a player that originally became known for his online triumphs.  It may seem silly to write an in-depth piece about a poker player who is only 22 years old, but over the next thousand words or so, you will see that Dwan has more accomplishments in his five year poker career than many will have over five decades of playing.  

Tom Dwan was born July 30, 1986 in Edison, New Jersey, where he lived throughout his childhood, and in turn, the start of his poker career.  At 17 years old Dwan began the online portion of his poker career. He chose the name “durrrr” because he thought it would tilt his fellow opponents (as in “duh”)   At first he just played money tables to get the hang of the game, but in very short order he deposited 50 dollars, and has never looked back.  Dwan has said that he has never gone busto which means he has never had to deposit into a poker account again.  Dwan first started with playing $5 dollar sit and goes, and after two months of winning at those games, he moved to micro limit cash games. On his 18th birthday, just four months after he started, he had a bankroll of $15,000.  

While Dwan seems to be an original, one way he did compare to his older poker counterparts is when it came to college.  Dwan was a good student, and was able to get into Boston University.  However, as he was indeed doing well with school, he was also doing very well with poker as you can see.  After a year into college he elected to drop out to pursue poker as a full-time career.  While you can always argue for getting an education, Dwan has obviously made a positive choice in terms of monetary gain.  

Dwan made most of his money in the early going playing limit poker, but after taking the first downswing in his career he made the move to no limit hold’em.  That change would of course be a solid choice.  The switch to no limit wasn’t immediately profitable, but after a quick learning process, he began, and has never stopped, winning.  While he was already making a name for himself in the online poker world, via poker websites and forums, it wasn’t until he was profiled in Bluff magazine along with David “Raptor517” Benefield that he became well known on a larger scale.  With a Bluff magazine writer at his house in Fort Worth, Texas, Dwan proceeded to log on to his Full Tilt Poker account, sit down at six $100/$200 NL tables and win $200,000 in less than an hour.  The legend was born.  

Since Dwan was still a minor in the United States he was forced to go overseas if he wanted to get any live tournament experience, which is exactly what he did just two months after his 18th birthday.  While he was moving up the ranks in the online cash games, he was also starting to generate a liking for tournaments.  In his very first live tournament he took 12th place in an EPT Championship Event, winning him $12,398.  However, it would be three more years before he placed in another tournament, basically because he was living in America, and of course becoming one of the most feared cash game players in the world.  

However, just four months after turning 21 he finished 4th in the 2007 World Poker Finals in a World Poker Tour main event winning $324,244.  While that is the biggest cash in his short tournament career, he has a number of impressive cashes, including a $226,100 score at the 2008 Borgata Winter Open.  In 2008 he also made two World Series of Poker final tables, earning him a combined $110,000.  While his young tournament career is indeed impressive, it’s a recent challenge he made to the online poker world that may end up being his most impressive feat of all.

Just around the turn of the new year, Tom Dwan issued the “Tom “durrrr” Dwan Million Dollar Challenge.”   With this, Dwan has challenged any player online that over 50,000 hands at blinds of $200/400 and four tables at a time he would come out that victor.  He is so sure of himself in this challenge that he has put up 1.5 million of his own money if he loses and his opponents only have to put up half a million.  The winning player also gets to keep any money won over the 50,000 hands.  The games to be played are No Limit Hold’em and Pot-limit Omaha, and the opponent can pick the game.  

It took a couple of weeks for a player to accept the challenge, but so far three players have accepted the challenge: Patrik Antonius, Phil Ivey, and David Benyamine.  So far only one of these challenges has started, and just a little over 5,000 into the $50,000 hands, Patrik Antonius has taken a $107,445 lead.  Full-Tilt poker has set up tables just for this event.  There is no set time when they meet, and they usually just play a couple hundred hands at a time, so check often to see if the action is going on.  Also, full details and updates of the challenge can be seen on the website DurrrrChallenge.com.

That challenge may seem like something an overly confident person would do, giving world class players a 3-1 advantage, but Dwan appears to be both gifted and down to earth.  He is easily approachable, and will always talk poker on forums to new players and veterans alike.  

Dwan is arguably one of the most naturally gifted poker players to come along in years.  But, Dwan is quick to down play the naturally gifted label, saying he thinks anyone with an open mind and some intelligence can do well at poker.  However, that’s easy for him to say, as he has never read a poker book, and has kept a pretty quiet profile when it comes to what has made him a poker legend at just 22 years old.  An example of his natural ability came when he decided to move to Pot-Limit Omaha.  Despite playing very little Omaha, he took a very simple approach to the move.  Dwan thought he was at least better than most players who play Omaha, and therefore can make money from them.  Of course he’s moved up the ranks where he is playing Omaha against the likes of Antonius, Ivey, and Benyamine, but the seemingly simplistic approach of Omaha, and all poker, is why thousands of youngsters are going to play poker for the first time today.

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