Year-end summary for durrrr

We are continuing to sum up 2009, and this time around we are taking a look at durrrr aka Tom Dwan. Before Isildur1 entered the stage, durrrr was probably the online high stakes player who received the most press, and for good reason. He had a massive 2008 and he seemed to be steamrolling almost everyone who got in his way. Unfortunately for Dwan, 2009 would be significantly different.


Looking at durrrr’s graph for 2009 it might come as a surprise to many that his swings in 2009 were actually bigger than Isildur1’s. There is well over $9M difference between his peek ($2.47M on July 22nd) and his low point ($6.88M on December 2nd). He got a bad start to the year, losing close to $4M in the first two months. After making a nice $1.5M recovery, the bottom dropped out once again only to see the bottom drop out sending him down to -$4.7M in the middle of March. From there, he managed yet another recovery, almost getting back to even, but by the beginning of May, he was again at -$3.3M.

From then on, durrrr’s luck turned completely, and over the next 12 weeks he won over $5.5M bringing him to his peak at the end of July. After that, there was a month of steady losses before he again turned it around, climbing to over $1M at the end of October. Then, in steps Isildur1, and from that point durrrr lost $8M in just over a month. It wasn’t all to Isildur1, of course, but the Swede was definitely the main culprit contributing to this free-fall.

To durrrr’s credit, he stepped down in limits and has managed to recover about $2.7M of his losses in under four weeks at the end of the year. So the people who were screaming ‘bust’ seem to have been a bit premature. We will probably hear a lot from durrrr also in 2010, and the fact that he was able to step down when he was losing heavily is probably a sign that he will be around for years to come.

Of course, the result of the durrrr challenge against Patrik Antonius will be very influential on durrrr’s 2010 results. At this moment he is up $937K, but should he find a way to lose, the swing will be at least $3M. Losing $1M in cash and the difference between getting $500K from Antonius and paying him $1.5M. It will also be interesting to see if there will be a second challenge when durrrr is finished playing Antonius. I have a feeling that the lack of progress in the current one will discourage some of his potential challengers, so I would not at all be surprised if this is the first and last challenge in this format.


Looking at durrrr’s splits it is not difficult to see where he took the heaviest losses. In fact, had he stayed away from PLO his results would would have been close to even for the year. He also tried his hand at the 7-games but without much luck. The O8 part was particularly brutal, netting him a $900K loss in just over 3 000 hands, which is a lot, considering that game is a limit game.

Durrrr turns a straight flush to win a $672K pot from Gus Hansen.

The four of clubs might have been the best turn card that durrrr saw the whole year, and it is impossible to blame Hansen for being stacked on this hand. The only hand he had a realistic reason to fear was an ace high flush, and when durrrr didn’t raise the turn, there was little reason for Hansen to suspect that he did not hold the best hand on the end. It might be argued that durrrr might slow play an ace high flush on the turn, but the normal play is to move in while the hand is actually the nuts. If the board pairs up on the river, he might be beat, and if he is not, it might be difficult to get paid off.

Ziigmund turns the nut straight and rivers a full house to win a $703K pot from durrrr.

On this hand, durrrr waited until the turn to make a move with his flushdraw and gut shot straight draw- But with Ziigmund making the nuts, he probably wished he didn’t. Durrrr could have made a continuation bet on the flop, but Ziigmund would not had gone anywhere at that point. There was no help on the river for durrrr this time, so Ziigmund was the happy winner of the massive pot.

Durrrr rivers a straight on the river to snap off Martonas’ trips. $604K pot.

This was the largest Hold’em pot that durrrr won in 2009, and it took no small amount of luck to accomplish this. His 4-bet before the flop was obviously made in the hope that Martonas was making a marginal 3-bet and could be made to lay down his hand. Having kings, however, Martonas was not going anywhere. He could have made a re-raise which would have won the pot before the flop, but he was willing to take a risk to get more value from his hand.

When the flop came, Martonas must have felt he had hit gin, so going for the check raise is very understandable. Durrrr on the other hand probably had a feeling that something was up, so he decided to forego the continuation bet and take a card off, hoping to hit the straight. Then, when he hit a pair on the turn to go along with the draw he made the call of Martonas bet.

It would have been interesting to see what durrrr would have done if a blank came off on the river. Seeing how wild Martonas was playing at times, I am sure he would have been tempted to make the marginal call. If this has happened, Martonas strategy would have paid off in full, but unfortunately for him, the six on the river completed durrrr’s straight so the tables were turned quite sharply. There was little reason for Martonas to suspect that durrrr had a five in his hand, and even if he did suspect it, he had to bet his top set in this spot. Durrrr would have called the bet with several hands that could not beat the set, and Martonas would never check fold in this spot, so the bet seems straight forward. It just wasn’t his day this time around.

Isildur1 gets to go all in with his aces against durrrr’s AKs to win a $695K pot.

The largest hold’em pot that lost in 2009 was a real cooler. Even though we can discuss at length the merits of dropping close to 350 big blinds preflop with AKs, I don’t think there was any way for durrrr to get away from his hand in this situation. At which point would you fold in this sequence? It was just a cooler, and very symptomatic for the way things were going for durrrr in the games against Isildur1.


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