Thomas Dwan

Thomas Dwan (born July 30, 1986 in Edison, New Jersey)[1]  is an American professional poker player who regularly plays online in the highest-stakes No-Limit Texas hold ’em and Pot-Limit Omaha games, primarily on Full Tilt Poker, where he plays under the screen name “durrrr”. In early November 2009, Dwan became a member of Team Full Tilt.[2]

Dwan has won prize money in live poker tournaments and has appeared on NBC’s National Heads-Up Poker Championship, the fourth season of Poker After Dark[3], the third and fourth seasons of Full Tilt Poker’s Million Dollar Cash Game, and the fifth and sixth season of GSN’s High Stakes Poker. He attended Boston University before dropping out to pursue poker full time.[4]

Online poker

In March 2004 at the age of 17, Dwan began playing online poker at Paradise Poker with $50 his father had given him for his 17th birthday. He believed the alias durrrr would put players on tilt if they lost to him. Dwan initially focused on $6 sit-and-go tournaments and ended up losing $35. With his last $15, he continued to focus on these sit-and-gos until he was able to turn profit. After finding he could beat these games, he turned to cash games where he built his bankroll starting at low stakes and slowly climbed his way to largest games found online. After beating multiplayer cash games, Dwan switched his focus to playing heads-up No Limit hold ’em against other professionals such as Frederick Halling at the $10/$20 stakes level. He challenged Prahlad Friedman at $25/$50 stakes and lost to him for several months, forcing him to drop to lower stakes before coming back again and again until he was able to beat Friedman.[5]


According to, a site that tracks high-stakes online poker action, Dwan earned $312,000 on Full Tilt in 2007 and $5.41 million in 2008,[6] even though he had gone through several large swings in his career. Before the 2007 World Series of Poker, Dwan claimed to have lost $2 million of his $3 million bankroll at the time over a span of four months.[5] He was able to recover from this loss in a year. In January of 2009, Dwan lost more than $3.5 million which he managed to recover after six months. However, from late October to November 2009, Dwan suffered his largest downswing, losing approximately $2 million to Phil Ivey and Ilari Sahamies, and $5 million to a newcomer.[7]

In mid November 2009, a player from Sweden using the online name “Isildur1” challenged Dwan to a series of heads-up No Limit Holdem cash games. Isildur1’s foray into online high stakes cash games began in late October, when he initially lost $1.1 million to Patrik Antonius, Brian Townsend, and other high stakes players. However, by the beginning of November, Isildur1 had recovered his losses and challenged Dwan to a heads-up marathon playing six tables at a time with over a million dollars in play. By the end of the week, Isildur1 had gone on the largest run in the history of online poker, winning approximately $5 million from Dwan, prompting Dwan to issue a live challenge to play Isildur1 at the Full Tilt Poker Durrrr Million Dollar Challenge.[8]

At the end of 2009, reported that Dwan had lost $4.35 million in 2009, putting his cumulative online poker winnings at Full Tilt since January 2007 at approximately $1.4 million.[9] also reported that after stepping down in limits following his massive loss to Isildur1, Dwan won $2.7 million in December 2009.[10]

Million dollar challenge

In January 2009 Dwan issued a $1,000,000 challenge to play online anybody, with the exception of Phil Galfond, heads up for 50,000 hands 4-tabling $200/$400 or higher No Limit Holdem or Pot Limit Omaha. If his opponent is ahead after 50,000 hands, Dwan agreed to give them $1,500,000 more, while if Dwan is ahead, he will get $500,000.[11][12][13] Phil Ivey has said that he is willing to accept the challenge.[14] David Benyamine told CardPlayer magazine that he is still considering taking the challenge.[13] Patrik Antonius officially accepted the challenge and is Dwan’s first opponent.[15] Regarding his challengers, Dwan has said, “I think all of them actually are better over-all poker players than me — by quite a bit; I happen to think in this one area, I might have a little edge — and we’ll see if I do.” [16][17][11]

As of March 8, 2010, Dwan and Antonius have played over 33,000 of the 50,000 hands. Dwan is leading by nearly $1.76 million.[18]

Live poker

When Dwan was 19 in September 2005, he cashed in his first live tournament, finishing 12th in the £3,000 no limit Texas hold ’em Main Event of the European Poker Tour’s second season held in London, earning £7,000 ($12,398). His next cash wasn’t until he was 21 years old at the World Poker Tour’s 2007 World Poker Finals, $9,700 No Limit Hold’em Championship Event, where he finished 4th, earning $324,244.[19] In January 2008, Dwan finished second at the Aussie Millions A$3,000 Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys event, winning A$103,200 ($90,716) and later finished in 62nd place in the A$10,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event, good for A$25,000 ($21,976).[19] Dwan finished second to James Michael Sowers at the 2008 WPT Borgata Winter Open in the preliminary $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event, earning $226,100.[19][20]

Dwan participated in the 2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, where in his first match he defeated Phil Hellmuth in the third hand. Dwan was eliminated in the next round when he was defeated by Mike Matusow.[21] At the 2008 Five-Star World Poker Classic (the $25,500 WPT Championship), Dwan finished in ninth place, winning $184,670.[22][23]

Dwan holds the record for the largest pot won in a recorded live game at over $1.1 million, which occurred during the fourth season of Full Tilt Poker’s Million Dollar Cash Game. This record broke the previous record of over $919,000 also won by Dwan in the fifth season of High Stakes Poker.[24]

As of 2009, his total live tournament winnings exceed $1,100,000.[25]

World Series of Poker

Dwan cashed twice in the first year that he was eligible to play in a World Series of Poker (WSOP) event held in the United States. Dwan reached the final table in the $10,000 World Championship Mixed Event at the 2008 World Series of Poker finishing in 8th place, earning $54,144. He then nearly made another in a seven person final table, but finished again in 8th, this time in the $5,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw with Rebuys event, earning $45,110.[19]



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