In March 2004 at the age of 17 – Dwan began playing online poker with a $50 bankroll focusing initially on $6 sit-and-go’s. After finding he could beat these games he turned to cash games where he grinded through the low stakes, building up his bankroll before reaching his current level of play which is often $500/$1000 stakes in which he plays against other notable professional players such as Phil Ivey, David Oppenheim, David Benyamine, Gus Hansen, John Juanda and Patrik Antonius. Dwan has said that since playing online he has never gone broke. On 26 October 2008, during a session of $500/1000 No-Limit Hold’em on Full Tilt, Dwan played the biggest pot to date in online poker, $723,938, losing with KK versus Di “Urindanger” Dang‘s AA. According to HighStakesDB.com Tom Dwan earned $5.41 million on FullTilt in 2008.
When Dwan was 19 in September 2005, he cashed in his first live tournament, where he finished 12th in the £3,000 no limit Texas hold ‘em Main Event of the European Poker Tour’s second season held in London, earning £7,000 ($12,398). His next cash wasn’t until he was 21 years old at the World Poker Tour’s 2007 World Poker Finals, $9,700 No Limit Hold’em Championship Event, where he finished 4th earning $324,244. In January 2008, Dwan at the Aussie Millions A$3,000 Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys event finished second winning A$103,200 ($90,716) and later coming in 62nd place in the A$10,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event winning A$25,000 ($21,976). Dwan finished second to James Michael Sowers at the 2008 WPT Borgata Winter Open in the preliminary $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event, earning $226,100.
Dwan participated in the 2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship where in his first match he defeated Phil Hellmuth in the third hand of play when Dwan’s pocket tens cracked Hellmuth’s Pocket Aces when Dwan made a set on the turn. Dwan was eliminated in next round when he was defeated by Mike Matusow. At the 2008 Five-Star World Poker Classic (the $25,500 WPT Championship) Dwan finished in ninth place, earning $184,670.
Million dollar challenge
In January 2009 Dwan issued a $1,000,000 challenge to play online anybody heads up for 50,000 hands 4-tabling 200/400 or higher No Limit Holdem or Pot Limit Omaha. If his opponent is ahead after 50,000 hands, Dwan agrees to give them $500,000 plus an additional $1,000,000. If Dwan is ahead he will get an additional $500,000. In an interview on January 6, 2009 by Barry Greenstein on Poker Road Radio Phil Ivey has said that he is willing to accept the challenge. In an interview published on January 7, 2009 Patrik Antonius told CardPlayer magazine that he has also accepted the challenge. David Benyamine told CardPlayer magazine that he is still considering taking the challenge. Regarding his challengers, Dwan has said, “I think all of them actually are better over-all poker players than me – by quite a bit; I happen to think in this one area, I might have a little edge – and we’ll see if I do.”
As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed one million dollar.
Durrrr Million dollar challenge
The live version of the Durrrr Million Dollar Challenge took place London late 2009.
Durrrr battled Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies, Sammy “Any Two” George, and Marcelo “luckexpress” Marigliano in head’s up matches.
The rules were straight forward. Dwan takes on each opponent across 500 hands of No Limit Hold’em or Pot Limit Omaha. The series has a buy-in of $500,000 and neither player is permitted to leave the table until they are broke or the requisite number of hands has been played.
The entire event was taped and you can of course watch it all right here at BestPokerMoments: Durrrr Million Dollar Challenge.