Who Remembers The Durrrr Challenge Part One?

Everyone knows about the Durrrr Challenge – Tom Dwan vs Dan Jungleman Cates, right? Well, only partly true, and today we will look at a match that some of the younger or newer readers might not know about – Tom Dwan beasting Patrik Antonius for more than $2million!

By: Andrew Burnett

Months before Jungleman Dan appeared on the scene to give Dwan the whooping of a lifetime, Patrik Antonius had stepped up to Dwan’s open challenge – ‘durrrr’ offering to play anyone except close friend Phil OMGClayAiken Galfond, and offering 3-1 odds.

The highstakes online poker community were lining up to take Dwan down, Phil Ivey and David Benyamine among those touted to be waiting for their chance at a highstakes battle with Dwan -  Brian sbrugby Townsend and Dan jungleman12 Cates also in the reckoning.

We all know who got second shot at Dwan, and how that match controversially ‘ended’, but back in February of 2009 the Finnish legend was first to bat…

Durrrr Challenge 1

The rules were fairly simple…

  • a minimum of 4 tables were to be played simultaneously
  • the blinds had to be minimum $200/$400
  • the match was set for at least 50,000 hands
  • Dwan's opponent was allowed to choose the variant (NLHE or PLO)
  • if either player dropped below 75 BB’s they had to reload
  • if Dwan was ahead after 50k hands he would receive $500,000
  • if Dwan was behind after 50k hands he would pay out $1.5million

The match started with both players playing aggressively, Dwan more so perhaps, and the blows being traded came thick and fast…the Finn holding his own over the first 20k hands

To give you an idea of the money in play, Antonius won a $500k pot and ended the session some $400k down – this was Full Tilt Poker heads-up cash games at their very best.

Try as he might, Antonius couldn’t quite keep up with Dwan’s play – and when you add in a little run-bad and the swings of PLO, it was no real surprise to find someone down 7-figures.

With almost 40,000 hands played, and Dwan ahead by just a touch over $2million, Antonius threw in the towel – and although we don’t know what it cost him to buy-out early, it’s safe to say that Dwan’s massive win had a tidy bonus attached to it…

Of course the ‘Durrrrr Challenge’ matches that took place throughout 2009 and 2010 – the heads-up against Jungleman only coming to a halt when Black Friday struck in April 2011 – weren’t the only games they were all playing online.

Take a look at the graphs below for Dwan and Antonius for those years and see if you can spot where the Durrrr Challenge had the most impact!

The recent chat about Dwan and Jungleman possibly reigniting and finishing their intense battle may or may not lead to anything – but despite being one of the winningest online players of all time, Patrik Antonius probably won’t be looking for a rematch any time soon!


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