One of the top online tournament pros in the world is Jeff “jeffbeesdat” Gray. He took down the fourth event of the Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS), a $300 cubed tournament, back in November of 2007 for $138,000. He’s also a former PokerStars $100 rebuy winner and one of the world’s foremost brains on online poker.
Gray, like many others in the industry, has been following the Tom Dwan Million Dollar Challenge. He recalled the early days of Dwan’s poker career: “The last time I played with Dwan was probably in 2005 when he still played a few tournaments as ‘Holdem_NL‘ on PokerStars. I remember him being a great closer, but he doesn’t play many online tournaments anymore.”
The game of online poker has changed considerably since 2005. Players have become increasingly aggressive, forcing established pros to change gears in order to keep up. Gray commented on why Dwan was so successful in his early days: “Back in the day, people who were aggressive just ran over us nits.”
Last April, Dwan took ninth in the World Poker Tour Championship at the Bellagio for $184,000, narrowly missing out on the televised final table. The six-figure cash came three months after a $226,000 payday for taking second in a $5,000 preliminary event held during the Borgata Winter Open. The winner in that tournament is among the chip leaders right now at the L.A. Poker Classic, Mike “SowersUNCC” Sowers.
Dwan’s showings in live tournaments have dwindled recently as his interest in cash games has spiked. However, in November, he finished fourth in the PartyPoker Premier League III for $50,000. Dwan was also recently announced as a member of the field in the fifth annual National Heads-Up Poker Championship, which will air on NBC starting on April 12th.