What is the durrrr Challenge?

poker_faqThe durrr challenge is an open challenge to the online poker community offered by high-stakes phenom Tom Dwan. Dwan basically offered all comers 3-1 on the following bet: That over 50,000 hands of 200/400 Pot Limit Omaha played online, they could not show a profit against him.

Here’s the original post made by Dwan announcing the challenge:

“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.”

Patrik Antonius was the first to take Dwan up on the bet, and the two are currently battling it out on Full Tilt Poker.

If you’re interested in watching the two battle it out, download Full Tilt (might as well get rakeback at FTP while you’re at it) and look for the special ‘durrrr challenge tables’ under the Omaha Hi tab in the main lobby.

Timeline of the Durrrr Challenge

January 6th, 2009 Tom Dwan issues an open challenge on 2+2 to any poker player (with the exception of Phil Galfond, who was quoted as being too good of a friend to challenge) to play 4 tables, heads up, in two forms of poker (NLHE and PLO) for 50,000 hands at a minimum of $200/$400 stakes. Stacks always had to have a minimum of 75 BB’s in play, and could choose to switch tables if effective stacks were greater than 250 BB’s, meaning somewhat deep stack poker would always be the norm. The player who had a profit at the end of the 50,000th hand, whether it be $1 or $1,000,000, would also win a bonus amount of money; Dwan would pay out $1,500,000, his opponent would pay out $500,000, meaning Dwan was offering 3:1 against playing him, a seemingly huge edge.

January 5th-8th, 2009 reports that Patrik Antonius is the first player in line to play Dwan in the challenge; Phil Ivey is also confirmed as accepting the challenge at this time, and David Benyamine is quoted as being “very interested” in joining the challenge.

February 18th, 2009 The “durrrr Challenge” officially begins. Dwan is given 8 tables on FTP specifically for the Challenge. The two play 1,541 hands, and Dwan leaves with a profit of $134,000.

February 22nd, 2009 Challenge continues, but Dwan makes a statement that is very likely the cause for the extraordinary amount of time the Challenge has taken to complete. He tells Antonius that, if another game on site or live is running bigger/juicier than their Challenge, he will always take the other game over the Challenge.

June 11th, 2009 After about 10,000 hands and little in the way of major action in the Challenge, the first in a series of big days occurs, with Dwan turning a $400k deficit in the Challenge into just a $30k one in a span of two hours.

June 19th, 2009 One of the biggest days in the Challenge, in terms of pot sizes; 4 of the 5 biggest pots played so far occur during this session, including the largest pot, a $477,555.50 monster pot won by Antonius when his flopped queens full of sixes beat Dwan’s turned sixes full of nines. However, Dwan won the other 3 big pots of the session and profited nearly $750,000 in fifteen hours of play.

October 7th, 2009 Dwan and Antonius reach the halfway point of the Challenge during a 1,063 hand session. At this point in the Challenge, Dwan holds a roughly $700,000 lead over Antonius in the 8 month battle.

November 8th, 2009 Thanks in no small part to the huge amount of advertising Dwan accrued for them via the Challenge, HSP, and other massive games that he was involved in, Dwan is selected to be a FTP pro.

November 17-19th, 2009 Dwan moves his “Million Dollar Challenge” to real felt, playing three players; Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies, Marcello “Luckexpress” Marigliano and Sammy “any two” George in a 500 hand match, in which the players could not leave unless the 500 hands had expired or the player had busted $500,000 at $500/$1,000 blinds. Dwan managed a small loss ($22,500) to luckexpress, a reasonable win against Ziigmund ($68,000) and destroyed George to the tune of $750,000, recording a whopping $795,500 profit for the 3 day session.

January 28th, 2010 The first session of 2010 is played, well into the year as per usual in the Challenge. 1,281 hands later, Antonius posted a small profit of $58k, but had actually posted a terrible night at the tables thanks to an earlier $800k loss to Cole South and Ziigmund. The renaissance of the high stakes games at FTP would be a recurring theme in why the duo would put their game on hold; Viktor “Isuldur1” Blom, Ziigmund, and South, among others, constantly took time away from the Challenge by offering Dwan and Antonius the nosebleed stakes games that they craved; without them, the Challenge would’ve probably came to completion some time ago.

March 14th, 2010 Another brief session is played, this time leaving a one month gap in between sessions, which started whispers from the 2+2 forums about Antonius possibly conceding the Challenge to Durrrr. At this point, Durrrr’s lead was approaching the $2,000,000 marker.

April 27th-29th, 2010 Play resumes on consecutive days, including a massive 2,700 hand marathon on the 28th, squelching the rumors of Antonius giving up. What seemed like a revival of the Challenge, however, turned out to be more of a red herring than anything; this would be the last play of the Challenge for almost four months, thanks to Dwan’s huge WSOP bets, among other things.

July 19th, 2010 Durrrr and Daniel “Jungleman12” Cates play a session on FTP. Afterwards, Durrrr invites Cates to take the Challenge, also quoting that “bt” (assumed to be Brian Townsend) is already in line to play, and that he wanted to complete the Challenges before WSOPE. He also states his ability to get the Challenge between them done in 2 weeks, which, given the status of the current Challenge (1.5 years, at this point) seems like a bit of a misjudgement.

August 3rd, 2010 The Challenge resumes again, as Dwan increases his lead over Antonius to $2,059,719.50 after 39,436 hands; in just 182 hands during this latest session, he added $459,961.50 to his lead, a roughly 25% increase. With just 10,564 hands remaining in the Durrrr Challenge, Durrrr holds a commanding lead, it would seem, but the $59k swing in such a short span of hands is a reminder that, at the stakes these 2 are playing, $2 million is little more than a short session or two away from swinging back in Antonius’s favor.

August 17th, 2010 Rumblings begin to appear on 2+2 and HighStakesDB about the Daniel “Jungleman12” Cates matches beginning soon; Dwan had been quoted during the WSOP about wanting both the Antonius match and the Jungleman12 matches to be completed before the WSOPE.

Some Final Interesting Facts (10/2010):

$342,257,728.50- The amount of money that has been wagered between the two since the beginning of the Challenge; this amount, to put things into perspective, is equivalent to the GNP of the British Virgin Islands circa 2005.

5 days, 6 hours- The amount of play the two have completed during the Challenge. This number seems large, but remember; we’re on Day 550 since the initial date of the Challenge. This means that, on average, they spend about 13 minutes per day on the Challenge, or about an hour a “work week” playing.

~20,000- The rough number of hands it took for either player to take more than a six figure lead in the Challenge. Many players/followers had guessed on 2+2 that the swings would be massive, given the players propensities to go +/- $1,000,000 on normal days on FullTilt in a matter of hundreds of hands. However, the graph of play in the Challenge shows very little change for the first 12,000 hands, then Antonius takes a slight lead of around $500,000 before Durrrr reverses that all the way to the million dollar marker.

$8,879.50- Thanks to FTP posting the profit/loss margins for Dwan and Antonius, it turns out that FTP has raked nearly $9,000 off of the tables over the course of the Challenge, a number that surely has been recouped a hundredfold between the duo thanks to the Challenge, but brings about an interesting dilemma for FTP if, somehow, Antonius makes a huge comeback. Both players could potentially play the 50,000 hands of the Challenge and BOTH be losers at the end of the Challenge.

20 days- Dwan had stated in an interview during the WSOP that he wanted to get both the original Challenge and the 2nd Challenge with Jungleman12 completed before the WSOPE kicked off, in hopes of being free to play all of the events there to try to collect bracelets for his mammoth bracelet bets. Given the nature of 4 tabling and the total amount of hands he has left (nearly 60,000 between both opponents) it seems highly unlikely that he can complete the task at hand before WSOPE starts. However, this is Dwan we’re talking about, so you just may see him 8 tabling furiously for the next five days; stay tuned to FTP and for the latest!


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