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Tom Dwan, better known by the online player handle “durrrr”, is a living legend of online poker. One of the most prolific players in the history of the game, few people (if any) have put in more hours or made more money playing poker on the Internet. But Dwan is more than an online star; he has already established himself as one of the world’s best live high-stakes ring game players, as well as a formidable tournament player who has earned more than $2.1 million in prize money.
Dwan, who was born and raised in New Jersey, discovered online poker while he was a student at Boston University. With just $50, Dwan started off by playing small-stakes Sit & Gos. When he found that he could easily beat these games, Tom turned his attention to playing in ring games.
While struggling a bit with the transition to ring-game play, Dwan still made enough money to steadily work his way up the levels. When his game finally rounded into form, there was no stopping Tom Dwan at the tables. Within no time, he had graduated to highest levels of play available online, routinely taking on the world’s best poker players.
Needless to say, graduating from college was no longer Tom’s top priority. Already a millionaire from his online play, Dwan decided to drop out of college to commit to poker full time.
An Online Sensation
Far and away one of the most prolific and successful players to ever point and click his way across the digital felt, Dwan’s meteoric rise through the ranks of online poker is the stuff of legends. Tom created an online sensation through his play, multi-tabling his way to a fortune.
You cannot surf an internet poker chat forum without coming across several threads about Dwan. The forums light up with tales of durrrr’s unmatched aggression at the tables, his huge swings of fortune as he takes on the highest limits in the game, and the “balla” lifestyle he leads thanks to his tremendous success.
Brick and Mortar
While durrrr had made quite the name for himself playing online poker, it was time for Tom Dwan to do the same in the world of live poker. His first tournament cash came abroad, as 19-year-old Dwan took 12th place at the 2005 European Poker Tour London Main Event.
Two years later, Tom made his first score on American soil, finishing 4th at the 2007 World Poker Tour Main Event in Foxwoods Casino for better than $300K.
2008 saw Dwan experience success Down Under, where he cashed in two events at the Aussie Millions for over $100K. He made another big score in the $5K No-Limit Hold ‘em event at the Borgata Winter Open, adding more than $225K to his bankroll.
When the World Series of Poker rolled around that summer, Tom was finally able to make a name for himself on poker’s biggest stage. He cashed in two events during his inaugural WSOP, including a 7th place finish in the $10K World Championship Mixed Event for over $65K.
Though still focused mainly on ring-game play, Dwan continues to put up solid results when he participates in live tournaments, including a 9th place finish at the 2009 National Heads-Up Poker Championship and a 14th place finish at the 2009 World Series of Poker Europe $5K Pot Limit Omaha event.
In 2010 Dwan came close to achieving every poker players dream of winning a WSOP bracelet when he finished runner-up out of a field of over 2500 entries. There is little doubt that this poker phenom will have multiple bracelets before long. His career tournament earnings currently stand at close to $2.2 million.
The Bigger the Pot, the Better
Part of the allure surrounding Tom “durrrr” Dwan is his involvement in some of the biggest hands ever played, both live and online. He was involved in the two richest pots ever shown on television, and the largest pot in the history of online poker.
The initial record for the largest televised pot took place during season five of High Stakes Poker. Dwan was able to crack the pocket Aces of Barry Greenstein by making trip Queens on the turn with his K-Q, taking down a monster pot of more than $919K.
Then, during the fourth season of Full Tilt Poker’s Million Dollar Cash Game, Tom was the winner of another record-breaking pot. Taking on fellow Team Full Tilt member Phil Ivey, Dwan picked up a pot worth over $1.1 million when he made the nut-straight on the turn versus Ivey’s smaller straight. All of the chips went into the middle, and Dwan was the winner of the largest pot in the history of televised poker.
Tom was also a part of the biggest pot in the history of online poker, but this time on the wrong side of the outcome. Playing at one of Full Tilt Poker’s $500/$1,000 No-Limit Hold ‘em tables, durrrr ran his pocket Kings into the pocket Aces of his opponent in a pot worth nearly $724K. Altogether, durrrr has been a part of four of the seven biggest pots in online poker history.
The durrrr Challenge
In January of 2009, Dwan issued a challenge to the poker world. He offered to put up $1.5 million to any opponent’s $500K, playing heads-up online at four tables simultaneously for 50,000 hands.
After the last hand is finished, the player who has earned more money – even if it’s only $1– wins the challenge. If durrrr wins, he keeps any money he won during challenge play, along with the challenger’s $500K. If his opponent wins, they keep their winnings and the $1.5 million that durrrr put up.
First to accept the durrrr Challenge was Team Full Tilt’s Patrik Antonius. When these two titans of high-stakes poker finish their 50,000 hands, both Phil Ivey and David Benyamine are in line to accept the challenge and take on Dwan.
Even when he’s not playing in the durrrr Challenge, you can usually find Tom sitting at the high-stakes No-Limit Hold ‘em and Pot Limit Omaha tables.