Tom Dwan

Elusive Tom “Durrrr” Dwan Emerges at 2019 World Series of Poker

Tom “durrrr” Dwan has entered the fray at the 2019 World Series of Poker.

The famous high-stakes poker pro bought into the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship this week.

It’s the first tournament that Dwan has played in this year’s WSOP and poker fans were justifiably excited to see one of the game’s action junkies in person.

Dwan has never been much of a tournament player — he prefers high-stakes cash games — but he does have a handful of tournament scores, especially in super high roller tournaments.

It’s been awhile since he played a WSOP tournament. His last cash at the WSOP came way back in 2011 when he reeled off three cashes and a final table appearance.

Last year he had just one cash on the international tournament circuit but it was a significant one. He finished fifth in the Triton Short Deck tournament in South Korea for a $252,320 payday.

Unfortunately Dwan busted in the last level of Day 2 of this year’s Poker Players Championship (Phil Ivey had the chip lead at the time this article was published) but you’d think he’ll take a shot at at least a couple more tournaments in the 2019 WSOP.

The Hunt for Bracelet No. 1

While Tom Dwan has never been that much of a tournament player, there was at least one year where he committed a great deal of time and effort to the WSOP.

Back in 2010 he bet an allegedly huge amount (we’ll never know exactly how much) on winning his first bracelet at the WSOP.

Dwan, a noted cash game specialist, reportedly got massive odds from fellow pros like Howard Lederer and Phil Ivey.

As it turned out, Dwan didn’t waste any time and made the final table of a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em tournament in the first couple of weeks of the series. He managed to get heads-up against relatively unknown New Zealand player Simon Watt and what transpired was one of the most memorable battles in the history of the WSOP.

The biggest names in the game all showed up to anti-sweat Dwan and several players joked that he would single-handedly break the high-stakes economy if he were to win.

Both players were trying to win a $614,248 first-place prize but Dwan allegedly had millions on the line if he were to take down his first bracelet. In the end Watt pulled off an upset victory against Dwan and the entire high-stakes community breathed a sigh of relief.

Dwan recorded a couple more cashes in the 2010 WSOP but never got as close as he did in that $1,500 event. In fact he’s never finished runner-up ever again in a WSOP event.

The very next year online poker’s so-called Black Friday pulled a large amount of money out of the poker economy and prop bets in the high-stakes community were never quite the same.

Dwan spent very little time at the WSOP over the last couple of years but he’s still looking for that first gold bracelet.

How Tom Dwan Changed the Game

Most of the famous poker pros, such as Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey, were stars of the game before the online boom hit in the mid-2000s.

There are very few players who came to fame after the boom that have achieved a comparable amount of fame for playing cards. Dwan is one of the only ones to gain mainstream attention and regularly gets waylaid by poker fans looking to score an autograph.

The reason for his fame is twofold. First off, he was an exceptional online poker player who played — and crushed — some of the biggest online cash games ever held.

Secondly, his status as one of the elite online players in the world garnered him a spot on GSN’s High Stakes Poker TV show.

Dwan was very successful on the show and his unique style — that included hyper aggression and putting opponents in tough spots — instantly captured the attention of poker fans around the globe. He famously bluffed Barry Greenstein and Peter Eastgate out of a $237,700 pot when they both had him dominated. That style was emulated by poker players around the world.

That was just the start of Dwan’s exploits around the world and he went on to perform well in a variety of televised poker cash games. In recent years he’s dedicated much of his time on the felt to high-stakes hotbeds like Manila and Macau.

It’s notoriously hard to get any information about the private ultra high-stakes games that Dwan plays in Asia, but there are plenty of rumors about the American winning pots worth in excess of $10 million.

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