You've been durrrred - Tom Dwan bio
Despite being only 26, Tom 'durrrr' Dwan can already be considered a legend of the modern game.
Tom 'durrrr' Dwan the rising star
The clean cut, casually coifed Full Tilt pro heralded a new generation of internet 'whizz kids', when he grinded a meagre $50 deposit into a multi-million dollar bankroll. His online supremacy has since been challenged by the likes of 'Isildur1' and more recently, Dan 'Jungleman' Cates, but his exceptional live cash game performances have underlined his status as one of poker's prodigious talents.
Dwan's rise through the ranks was not as seamless as people may believe. He lost $35 of his original $50 deposit on Paradise Poker, before returning a profit by grinding $1 SnG's. Switching to Full Tilt Poker, durrrr boosted his bankroll playing cash games, before challenging the likes of Prahlad Friedman heads-up at $25/$50 stakes.
Despite several setbacks, which included dropping down to $10/$20, durrrr amassed a staggering $5.1 million online in 2008, according to the High Stakes Database. 2009 was a bittersweet year online for Dwan. His aggressive style met its match when he was bludgeoned by hyper LAG Swede Isildur1 for $5 million in November.
However, Dwan was inducted into Team Full Tilt, presumably receiving a healthy stake in its ownership. 2010 has seen a return to winning ways for Tom, as he roosts on a $3 million profit.
Not only is Dwan a savvy player, but he possesses great marketability. Polite and level-headed, he has steered clear of controversy, and elevated his profile by issuing 'durrrr challenges' and fronting Full Tilt Poker commercials.
Tom has been the subject of constant riling and abuse by obnoxious Brit Luke 'FullFlush' Schwartz, who has referred to him as 'cringe-worthy' and 'nerdy'.
Dwan's first challenge, a 50,000 hand heads-up marathon, where he laid 3-1 on $500k if the opponent could record a profit, was accepted by Patrik Antonius. The challenge is yet to be finished, with durrrr holding a solid lead. The second challenge, accepted by the overconfident Dan 'Jungleman' Cates, has begun in frantic fashion. After 14,000 hands, Cates holds a $500k lead.
With the likes of Ivey, Antonius and Cates providing stiff competition online, Dwan has endured a mixed career at the nosebleed stakes But his live cash game performances have been formidable. His has been praised by High Stakes Poker commentator Gabe Kaplan for his ability to engineer pots with any two cards and think 'outside the box'.
Dwan's fearless style and 3-barell bluffs, coupled with his calm, methodical approach to each hand means opponents struggle to narrow down his range. In his section of poker book 'Deal me in', Dwan cites the importance of reading opponent ranges, and knowing when to value bet and bluff.
Dwan's LAG style has been very effective against poker's more experienced, conservative players, such as Howard Lederer and Phil Hellmuth. Such was the audacity of some of durrrr's plays on HSP, Daniel Negreanu coined the phrase 'you've been durrrred' when someone lost a pot to the American hotshot. The highlight of Dwan's HSP career was when he claimed at $919k pot at the expense of Barry Greenstein. On a 4s 2s Qh board, Dwan (Ks Qs) called Greenstein's (Ad Ac) all-in, and a Qc on the turn gifted durrrr the monster pot.
Other forays into live cash game poker included three 500 hand matches against Marcello 'luckexpress' Marigliano, Ziigmund, and Sammy 'anytwo' George at the Les Ambassadeurs Club in London. After tight encounters between the first two opponents, Dwan crushed jovial businessman George for $750k. With a $10k, 7-2 bounty in place, Dwan three barrel bluffed George off two pair in a huge pot.
Durrrr's most profitable adventure occurred at the end of 2010, when he participated in nosebleed stakes cash games against wealthy Chinese business tycoons at the APT Macau. According to twoplustwo insider Matt Savage, Dwan bought in for $2.5 million against one Chinese opponent, and playing $4k/$8k blinds, ran away with $9 million profit.
Taking advantage of relentless pre-flop betting and over-betting of marginal hands, Dwan recorded an overall profit of $6.5 million. It took him a few days to get acclimatised, and he suffered early losses against fellow pros Ivey and John Juanda. Reporters Savage, Stella Yeh and Tom Hall came under scrutiny for their updates, as the Chinese businessmen insisted on a private game.
Without doubt, Dwan is one of the leading poker players in the world. Hellmuth's derogatory remark of 'we'll see where you are in twenty years time', which came at the NBC Heads-Up Championship a few years ago, seems absurd given Dwan's achievements so far.
If he is to cement himself as a future Hall of Famer, however, he needs to show is tournament metal. So far, his biggest cash has been the $381,885 he made for coming second at a $1.5k NLH event at the 2010 WSOP. Surely a bracelet is only just round the corner.