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Poker Legends: Tom Dwan

Photo credit:http://somuchpoker.com

Tom Dwan, otherwise known by his online handle Durrrr, is the poster-boy for the new generation of online players. He started in high school with just $50 in his online account, and by the end of his senior year he had run it up to $15k. By the time he was 21 and legally allowed to enter live tournaments in the United States, he was already worth millions.

Widely regarded as one of the best in the game, Dwan hasn't won any WSOP braclets or WPT titles, but what he lacks in accolades he makes up for in cold, hard cash. He has won over $3M at live poker cash games and tournaments, and that’s nothing compared to the tens of millions he’s raked in from online poker.

Dwan is well-known for his loose-aggressive play style, featuring big bluffs and unconventional plays. In fact, Durrrr has even set the record for biggest televised pot ever played—not once but twice. Most recently, he played (and won) a hand worth $1.1M against another poker legend: Phil Ivey.

The High Stakes Challenge

Two of Dwan’s most notable stories come from his love for high stakes 1v1 poker. In a game that changed poker forever, Dwan played a huge multitable series in 2009 against Isildur1. After playing for hours on end at the highest stakes available, Isildur1 smashed Dwan. Over the course of play, Dwan lost $5M.

In 2009 Dwan also issued what came to be known as “The Durrrr Challenge”, where he offered anyone 3-1 odds on the following bet: over 50,000 hands of 200/400 Pot Limit Omaha or No Limit Hold ‘Em, played online, they couldn’t show a profit. Only two people ever took him up on this crazy bet, but it’s still part of his legacy. As he put it, if you can’t find action, then you’ve got to make it.

Philosophy of Poker

In an interview with Paul Phua, Dwan reflected on his career in poker and how many lessons the game has taught him. At the forefront was what he called the biggest lesson: “You’re not always going to be right. Anyone who thinks they are is full of shit, and I want to be betting against that guy at the poker table… you can’t be sure of anything.”

This mentality of looking at his mistakes and questioning everything has enabled Dwan to continually evolve as a poker player. He understands that it’s impossible to know it all, and he’s always doing what he can to learn more.

That’s how he stays on top.


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