In a rather bizarre hand from a recent session of the Tom Dwan Million Dollar Challenge, Tom “durrrr” Dwan raised to $1,200 pre-flop with 9c-Ah-3h-8c and rival Patrik Antonius bumped the price of poker to $3,600 with 3s-As-Ac-4c. Dwan raised to $10,800, Antonius pushed it to $32,400, and Dwan called to bring a flop of Jd-2h-5h. Antonius led out for $64,800 (a pot-sized bet) with pocket aces and an open-ended straight draw, while Dwan came over the top all-in for another $33,000 with flush and straight draws. Antonius called the board filled out Qc-6s, shipping the behemoth $261,000 pot to Antonius with a six-high straight. Meanwhile, Dwan mucked A-Q high.
DurrrrChallenge.com sat down with PokerXFactor instructor Chris “Fox” Wallace to break down the hand.
DurrrrChallenge.com: Thanks for joining us. Can you walk us through what you saw in this hand?
Chris Wallace: The pair of aces also has an open-ended straight draw, which is what Antonius hit. Dwan’s nut flush draw has an inside straight flush draw. I think these guys are so aggressive that when Antonius bets that flop, he could do it with almost anything. Durrrr figures he probably has 12 outs. He’s basically calling $98,000 into a pot of $65,000, so he’s calling a little bit bigger than a pot-sized bet. If his outs are live, he’s making money.
DurrrrChallenge.com: When the queen of clubs hits on the turn, what’s going through Dwan’s mind?
Chris Wallace: He knows that card hurts him for sure. That’s not a card he wants to see because he’s behind. He doesn’t even have a pair or a good kicker with his ace. When his hand doesn’t improve on the turn, he has to hate it.
DurrrrChallenge.com: Does Antonius build this pot pre-flop with the intention of getting it in on the flop?
Chris Wallace: The whole idea of poker being a struggle for the blinds is where it starts. These guys are so close in skill that they’re willing to fight hard for the blinds. They end up getting it all-in without strong hands.
DurrrrChallenge: With about 11,000 hands to go in the challenge, Dwan is up $1.8 million. Do you foresee Antonius being able to catch up?
Chris Wallace: I think it’s very unlikely, but it’s certainly possible. You see pots like this of $260,000; Antonius could go on a heater and win 10 pots in a row for $1.3 million. I would put the odds of Antonius wining this at about 12:1.
DurrrrChallenge.com: Brian Townsend may be the next competitor for Dwan in the Million Dollar Challenge? How do you think Townsend will fare?
Chris Wallace: Townsend doesn’t have that much money. I know he made some from Isildur1, but he might not have that big of a bankroll. He could lose almost all of it. I don’t think he’s a good enough player to be playing four heads-up tables of PLO against Dwan.
I think there are a lot of $25/$50 and $15/$30 heads-up PLO players who play pretty well. With a little time and study, they could be playing with and beating guys like Dwan. Cole South also seems to play pretty well.