Tom Dwan, known affectionately by his poker fans as “durrrr,” has issued an online poker challenge to anyone who has the guts and the bankroll to take it. It is a “heads-up challenge to the world,” according to Dwan. A Bluff Magazine article introduced the challenge, and then Dwan later expounded in a post on the 2 + 2 forum.
Dwan’s original statement in Bluff explained:
“I’m making this heads-up challenge to the world. Anyone can accept. Four tables, minimum of $200/$400, and I’ll put up $1.5 million to their $500,000. We play 50,000 hands minimum and if they end up a dollar after rake they keep the side money or whatever. So basically, if you and I played and you won a dollar, you would get my $1.5 million and if I won a dollar I would win your $500,000.
So I’m giving a million dollars free if anyone thinks they can do it.”
In a 2+2 Forum post, Dwan made some clarifications about the challenge, and added a disclaimer that his good friend and fellow poker player, Phil Galfond, was excluded from the challenge. Galfond says he takes his exclusion from the challenge as “one of the highest compliments I’ve received as a poker player.”
Dwan explained what prompted the challenge: “I don’t get enough people to play me heads up. Even though there is more money to be made in other games, rather than playing heads up at one or two tables, it’s so interesting and you learn a lot, I think I might have an edge here, but it’s more to have fun and gamble a bit. That’s why I’m making this challenge.”
The fact that a high-stakes online poker player is going outside the box and has creating his very own promotional event, is a first, and might be a new trend that other poker pros will copy. It’s actually not surprising that this challenge has surfaced; no one else loves a challenge as much as a poker player.
And apparently, Phil Ivey couldn’t resist the challenge before calling Dwan and accepting after only one day to think about it. Ivey said, “Somebody’s probably going to go broke… That’s a lot of money, and a lot of time.”
Other players (e.g. David Benyamine) say they are thinking about it, but only Ivey has officially accepted.