Tom Dwan Nearly Misses Out on WSOP Gold

The eyes – and wallets – of many players at the 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP) are focused squarely on Tom “durrrr” Dwan. The youngster from New Jersey was the runner-up in the 11th event of the 2010 WSOP schedule, a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em tournament. According to Tao of Poker, Dwan’s side action in this year’s World Series could be worth up to $15 million.

Given Dwan’s propensity for prop betting, it’s easy to see why the tournament’s final table was perhaps the most buzz worthy so far, save bracelet #8 by Phil Ivey. Dwan battled Australian Simon Watt heads-up amid a carnival-like atmosphere that saw pros swarm Dwan’s heads-up match in order to watch millions of dollars in prop bets play out.

Here’s just a sample of the hubbub as tournament reporters at recalled: “Dwan’s cheerleaders are jammed into the stands and a few of them have now spilled over onto the floor space in front of the stage. They’re chattering amongst themselves and they explode into celebration any time their man wins a pot.”

It took 30 hands of heads-up play for Watt to dispose of the Full Tilt Poker pro and Durrrr Challenge combatant. On the final hand, Dwan open-shoved pre-flop with Q-6 offsuit and received an insta-call from Watt, who held pocket nines. Watt hit a boat by the time all was said and done and Dwan quickly exited stage right, collecting $381,000 for his second place showing. Watt, meanwhile, banked $614,000.

Watt told WSOP officials following his bracelet win that facing off against Dwan in one of the most watched final tables in history was quite memorable: “It was amazing. It was strange. It would have been crazy enough to just make the final table. But to play against Durrrr heads-up made it much better.” Watt was even greeted with a memorable comment from Mike Matusow, who spouted off the following gem: “Thank you for saving us all millions of dollars! How does it feel to be every high-stakes gambler’s hero? They’re gonna, like, put you on the wall in Bobby’s Room.”

Dwan also cashed in a $1,500 HORSE event this year for $2,800 and in a $5,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout for $16,000. Dwan now owns more than $500,000 in career WSOP earnings and sports the Full Tilt Poker patch on his shirt.

Meanwhile, his Durrrr Challenge nemesis, Patrik Antonius, has been largely absent this year from the WSOP. Antonius hasn’t recorded a WSOP cash since the last Summer Olympic Games. Instead, the poker community has deemed him to be a possible candidate for “Survivor: Nicaragua,” which is taping now from the Latin American country. The last poker player to appear on “Survivor” was former Bodog pro Jean-Robert Bellande, who tried to outwit, outplay, and outlast the competition in China.

A poster on TwoPlusTwo argued that Antonius would be a prime candidate for the show: “I think Patrik would be a good contestant on the show from a poker standpoint. Every Survivor season has the strong good looking male character. With constant taping, leading questions in required interviews during the game, and story line manipulation by the editors, it is not difficult to make a character out of a contestant.” Spoiling the “Survivor” party, however, have been reported sightings of Antonius in Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio. Perhaps the Fin is simply avoiding the WSOP to get his fill of cash games.

Meanwhile, action in the Durrrr Challenge between Dwan and Antonius has stalled during the WSOP, as was the case last year. The duo has avoided the virtual felts like the Plague since April 30th. Through 38,974 hands out of the 50,000 required for completion, Dwan is up what seems like an insurmountable $1.8 million.

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