This week, the live version of the Tom “durrrr” Dwan Million Dollar Challenge is taking place in London at the Les Ambassadeurs Club in Mayfair. The youngster and public nominee for the 2009 class of the Poker Hall of Fame will battle three competitors in a high-stakes, made-for-television event: Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies, Sammy “Any Two” George, and Marcelo “luckexpress” Marigliano. The contest will air on Sky Sports throughout the United Kingdom sometime next year.
Sahamies is the only contestant of the three brave enough to tangle with Dwan in Pot Limit Omaha, as Marigliano and George will face the newest Full Tilt Poker pro in No Limit Hold’em. Each match will see the contestants post a $500,000 buy-in and neither will be able to walk away from the table until 500 hands have elapsed or someone is broke. Either way, the action will likely be face-paced and exciting, making for an epic event.
In August, George was the first contestant to step up to the plate and commented to Matchroom Sport, the spectacle’s organizers, “While other pros have dithered in accepting the challenge, I was the first man to step up to the plate and if Tom thinks he can come to my backyard and take half a million from my back pocket, he can think again.” George was originally slated to appear on the sixth season of GSN’s “High Stakes Poker,” but was a no-show when filming commenced last week. Those who turned out included Dwan and online Durrrr Challenge rival Patrik Antonius.
Dwan also extended an invitation to Swedish online poker phenomenon Isildur1, who has tangled against the likes of Dwan, Phil Ivey, and Antonius in recent weeks on Full Tilt Poker. He explained, “We have had some tough games over the last few days and the action just keeps on coming. I hope he can make it to London for the challenge so we can play some high-stakes live games as well.” However, Isildur1, whose identity has not been publicly revealed, failed to take Dwan up on his offer and will remain a bystander for the first ever live Durrrr Challenge.
The event was originally scheduled to emanate from London following the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Europe festivities in September. However, Dwan’s involvement with the Poker Million delayed the matches, which were then thought to be taking place in Las Vegas. However, Matchroom Sport ultimately settled on London one week following Dwan taping “High Stakes Poker” in Las Vegas, effectively a tune-up for his battles with George, Sahamies, and Marigliano.
In the online version of the Million Dollar Challenge, Dwan leads Antonius by $779,000 after 27,185 hands. A total of 50,000 are required to complete the challenge, which is taking place across four tables of $200/$400 Pot Limit Omaha on Full Tilt Poker. If Dwan is up by at least $1 when the challenge concludes, Antonius will owe $500,000. If Antonius is up by at least $1, Dwan will be forced to pay out $1.5 million. In either case, the winner retains the earnings of the 50,000 hands.