Playing out all this week from London is the PartyPoker World Open. The annual high-stakes tournament will shell out $200,000 to its winner and among those in attendance is Durrrr Challenge namesake Tom “durrrr” Dwan. PartyPoker caught up with the internet poker sensation and asked a slew of questions about the ongoing Million Dollar Challenge against Dan “JungleMan12” Cates.
The first Million Dollar Challenge against Patrik Antonius has seen Dwan build a $2 million lead through 40,000 hands of the 50,000 required for completion. Dwan rather confidently admitted to PartyPoker officials, “I’m a pretty big favorite in the first one. [Patrik is] still a really great player and Omaha is a high-variance game, so he has a chance to come back, but I’m definitely a solid favorite at this point.”
When will we see the next action in the Durrrr Challenge? Dwan admitted that it might be a little while longer: “I can’t play in the next three days, but I’d like to play sometime the week after that before the World Series Europe starts, but I’m not sure how much time I’ll have. The last few days, I was just traveling to Europe and then right before World Series Europe, [Cates will] be traveling here and we’ll both be playing a bunch… It might be a few weeks, but we’ll see.” The last action occurred on August 30th.
Many in the online poker community have speculated that a break for Dwan may be just what the doctor ordered to reverse a $700,000 slide in the new challenge’s first 7,000 hands. Dwan admitted, “I played around 10,000 or 15,000 hands versus [Cates] before we ever played the Challenge, so I have a pretty good idea how he played. Hopefully the next 43,000 hands will go better than the first 7,000.”
Still in his mid-20s, Dwan was nominated for the Poker Hall of Fame last year and is the symbol of an up-and-coming generation of players. He told PartyPoker interviewers, “My family, when I first got into poker, was a little worried, but has changed that mindset pretty quickly and was very supportive the whole way. A lot of my family plays cards and likes Vegas and likes traveling there occasionally. A lot of my friends are some of the people I started playing poker with.”
Dwan is already a poker-made millionaire and noted that he primarily plays for the money. He is also highly competitive: “I’m definitely very competitive in a lot of other fields, but that’s because you don’t get a lot of reward other than the competition. In poker, you can do it as a source of income if you’re good at it and that’s good enough for me. I play mainly for the money.”
Dwan is a sponsored pro of Full Tilt Poker, which happily accepts players from the United States and is hosting the high-stakes action of the Durrrr Challenge.