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Dwan issues challenge to the poker world

8 January 2009

Poker wunderkind Tom "durrrr" Dwan has never been afraid of mixing it up at the tables, especially if the stakes are sky-high. So it should be no surprise that the 22-year-old Full Tilt pro is issuing a $1 million challenge to the online poker world.

Dwan told Bluff Magazine that he will put up $1 million to prove that he is the best online player in cyberspace.

MGM Mirage's CityCenter

photo by Matt Waldron

"I'm making this heads-up challenge to the world," he said. "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."

According to PokerNews, Dwan's challenge stipulates the minimum of 50,000 online hands need to be played simultaneously at four or more tables of no-limit hold'em or pot-limit Omaha.

Dwan has made an exception to the "anyone" proclamation. His good friend Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond will not be allowed to participate.

In a post on the "2+2" forums, Dwan laid out a few more ground rules on the challenge:

• A player can change to another table at anytime if their chip stacks are greater than 250 big blinds.
• A player must reload when their chip stacks fall below 75 big blinds.
• Money won during the matches will be kept by that player plus the bonus wager. For example, if Dwan was up $750,000 by the end of the challenge, he would keep that amount plus the additional $500,000 wager. If his opponent was up by $750,000 his opponent would keep it plus the $1.5 million Dwan said he would pay out.
• The same stakes will be played the entire time.

Some poker heavyweights have already accepted the challenge. Phil Ivey said on Barry Greenstein's "Tuesdays with Ivey" podcast on PokerRoad Radio that he will take on Dwan.

"Somebody's probably going to go broke," he said. "That's a lot of money, and a lot of time."

Ivey said that he is probably at a disadvantage because he doesn't play as many multi-table games as Dwan does. He also said that fellow pros Patrik Antonius and David Benyamine have accepted Dwan's challenge.

Antonius confirmed this to CardPlayer magazine.

"It sounded too good to be true," he said. "I tried to figure out what would be the trap there and I still haven't really figured it out. But I'm sure he's really thought about it. For sure, he's one of the best at the moment. It's like Phil Ivey says. He plays anyone, and everybody knows that. I'm basically the same."

There has been no official confirmation from Benyamine on his involvement in the challenge.

Dwan issues challenge to the poker world is republished from