In the October 7th session of the Tom “durrrr” Dwan Million Dollar Challenge, Dwan set the tone by winning two sizable pots before cruising to a $418,000 bankroll boost at the expense of rival Patrik Antonius. Let’s check out these two momentum-setters utilizing the insight of our resident Omaha expert, PokerXFactor.com instructor Chris “Fox” Wallace.
In the first hand, Antonius raised the action to $1,200 pre-flop and Dwan made it $3,600. The raising continued, as Antonius pushed it to $6,000, with Dwan coming over the top for $18,000. Antonius made the call to see the flop fall 5-K-8 with two diamonds. Dwan put in a pot-sized bet of $36,000 and Antonius called to bring the seven of diamonds on the turn. Dwan bet enough to put his opponent all-in and, sure enough, Antonius called, creating a $194,000 pot. The river was the four of clubs and Dwan showed K-K-J-Q for trip kings. Antonius revealed A-8-7-9 for two pair.
DurrrrChallenge.com: Why does Antonius call on the flop when he’s so far behind, holding just middle pair and a straight draw to a six?
Wallace: Durrrr’s constant aggression gets to him. You hear other pros talk about how much that irritates them when they face Dwan. Antonius used to be the most aggressive guy in the poker world and Dwan took that title from him. Antonius has an inside straight draw and could make two pair, but I don’t like my hand much when Durrrr makes that bet. Once he makes two pair on the turn and called so much money on the flop, he can’t fold when he’s getting 3:1 on his money. His call on the flop was a mistake.
DurrrrChallenge.com: Is that what makes Dwan so tough of an opponent?
Wallace: Durrrr forces people to make mistakes. The people that Durrrr doesn’t play in cash games are the people who are unflappable and will continue to slowly grind away his money. That’s why he won’t play cash games with guys like Phil Galfond and Phil Ivey. If you’re playing four tables, your frustration level is that much higher if someone grinds you out.
In the second hand we’ll analyze, Dwan raised to $1,200 pre-flop, Antonius made it $3,600, Dwan pushed it to $10,800, Antonius raised to $32,400, and Dwan just called. The flop came 5-3-K with two spades, Antonius pushed for nearly $65,000, and Dwan called all-in. The turn and river came the jack of spades and ten of hearts, respectively, filling a potential flush. Dwan showed 9-10-A-8 with two spades, while Antonius turned over A-4-9-A; Dwan held a flush and took the win in the $187,000 hand.
DurrrrChallenge.com: Is Antonius shoving the flop with an overpair the correct play here?
Wallace: How you punish Durrrr from being aggressive is getting the pots big when you’re ahead, which is what Antonius does pre-flop here. Once that happens, Antonius should shove the flop. He plays it how any good player should play it. It’s not about letting someone hit their draw for free because they’d hit it anyway if they called. You want them to call now rather than check behind. In “Hold’em for Advanced Players,” David Sklansky talks about not letting someone hit their draw for free. In actuality, what’s important is not letting someone miss their draw for free. When you let them miss it and fold on the river, you’ve made a big mistake. You can’t let Durrrr miss his draw for free, so you shove on the flop.