Dwan Challenging Pros

Dwan has not had a lot of success on the live poker circuit when compared to his online poker accomplishments. The Hendon Mob lists Dwan’s total live earnings as $2.6 million and ranks him 263 on the all time money list in the U.S. His preference has been towards online poker where he plays under the handle of ‘Durrrr’ and has won millions of dollars over the years.
Tom Dwan received a lot of attention in 2009 when he issued a massive challenge which became known as the Durrrr challenge.

This was an open challenge issued by Dwan having odd of 3:1 for a game of  No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up were a minimum of 50,000 hands were to be played. The deal was for the opponent to put $500,000 on the line and if after 50,0000 hands Dwan was even $1 in the red, then he would pay his opponent three times the amount i.e. $1,500,000.  The first person to take up this challenge was poker pro Patrik Antonius who did not complete the challenge as he decided to buy out from the bet in the end. The second challenge was taken by Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates who was rather unknown in the online poker community.

Cates surprised Dwan and after 20,000 hands was in a good lead. The match was never completed as a number of issues cropped up including the infamous Black Friday. It was at this point of time where Dwan started avoiding Cates and his reputation started to take a hit. Cates and Dwan agreed to financial penalties if either of them continued to delay and in the process Dwan has raked up over $1.2 million in debt. Cates also announced that Dwan had started to avoid him as he wasn’t responding to calls and text messages.


This year that have been new allegations that a high stakes poker player has borrowed millions from well known sports bettor Haralabos Voulgaris but is yet to return the money. Voulgaris has not named the poker player but recently sent out a tweet tagging Tom Dwan saying that he had been trying to get in touch with him but was finding it difficult. He tweeted reminding Dwan that he knew very well as to why he was trying to get in touch with him and asked him to share his contact information.

Poker pro Doug Polk is clearly not a fan of Tom Dwan nor his Durrrr Challenge and has used his video poker blog to warn the online poker community to stay away from Tom Dwan. Polk also gave his own interpretation of the Voulgaris tweet stating that he politely asked Dwan when is he going to pay back the money. Polk has also highlighted the fact that when the Durrrr challenge between Dwan and Cates was accepted, Dwan was supposed to escrow $1.5 million with Phil Ivey and Cates was to escrow $500,000 with Ivey.

Cates kept his part of the deal and gave Ivey $500,000 but Dwan never deposited any cash with Ivey which showed that he never really intended to keep his part of the deal. Polk has called the ‘Durrrr Challenge’ as one of the biggest online poker scams in the game. Cates had earlier stated that he had finally resumed talks with Dwan and were discussing the possibility of resuming their challenge but so far no date has been set.

Tom Dwan has been out of action on the U.S poker circuit and there are reports that he is spending a considerable amount of time in Macau playing high stakes games. Some have alleged that Dwan has found it difficult in Macau and has lost millions playing high stakes online poker which has significantly damaged his bankroll and prevented him from responding to these allegations and clearing up his now tarnished reputation.

Jennifer began her relationship with poker at the World Poker Tour in the early 2000s and transitioned to a freelance writing career by 2006. In the nearly two decades in poker, she has written for publications ranging from Poker Player Newspaper to Poker Pages and from PokerStars to Mediarex. Further, she oversaw poker news aggregation at PokerScout for several years and has done ghostwriting work for poker pros and gambling company executives. When it comes to writing, interviews and opinion pieces are her personal preferences, but her knowledge of the industry often takes her to reporting on legislation and legal developments in the poker world and beyond to the larger gambling space. When Jen is not immersed in something related to poker, she is home with her rescue dogs in St. Louis, either working on her crime novel or planning her next trip to Italy.

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