– General Information –
Born July 30, 1986 in Edison, New Jersey, Thomas (Tom) Dwan Jr. is best known for winning record pots at high stakes poker events. He used to go by the iconic screen name “durrrr” on Full Tilt.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2004: He begins his career at age 17.
- 2007: He wins his first million playing online poker.
- 2008: He wins his first WSOP event in the U.S, finishing 7th in the $10,000 World Championship 8-Game mixed game event.
- 2009: He engages in legendary online battles against Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and begins his partnership with Full Tilt.
- 2010: He starts his infamous “Durrrr Challenge” against Daniel “Jungleman” Cates.
- 2012: He is rumored to be found playing High Stakes Cash Games in Macau.
- 2016: He returns to the poker scene with the Triton Super High Roller in Manila.
- 2017: He makes a public return by taking part in PokerGO’s revived version of the classic show Poker After Dark.
– Tom Dwan’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Starting with a $50 bankroll his father gifted him for his 17th birthday, Dwan played mostly sit-and-go tournaments on Paradise Poker. At one point, he was down to $15, but then he switched to heads-up and multi cash games and began to build his bankroll back. Four months later, he had $15,000.
Tom Dwan attended Boston University where he was majoring in English, but he dropped out to play poker professionally. Although he deeply desired to compete in live tournaments after trouncing his friends in college, he couldn’t play tournaments in the US until he was 21, so he found himself playing a lot of foreign tournaments.
At the age of 19, Dwan won $12,000 when he came in 12th at the European Poker Tour’s €3,000 No Limit Texas Hold ’em Main Event. Nevertheless, Dwan’s strategies always had better results in online poker.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Exceeding $3 million, The Hendon Mob reports that his lifetime tournament winnings total $3.400 million.
→ World Series of Poker ←
2008: $10,000 World Championship 8-Game Mixed Event, 7th place, $67, 680
2008: $5,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw w/ Rebuys, 8th place, $45,110
2010: $1500 No-Limit Hold’em, 2nd place, $381, 885
2011: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E., 5th place, $134, 480
2011: $25,00 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship, 9th place, $67, 436
Unfortunately, Dwan has never won a WSOP bracelet. His best effort was at the 2011 event, where many poker pros, including Daniel Negreanu, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, Sorel Mizzi, Eli Elezra, and Huck Seed, bet against him winning. If he had been able to capture his first bracelet, Dwan would have won $9 to 12 million from them.
Dwan hasn’t cashed in any World Series events since 2011.
→ World Poker Tour ←
2007: World Poker Finals $9,700 Championship Event, 4th place, $324,244
2008: Borgata Winter Open $ 5,000 No-Limit Hold’em, 2nd place, $226,100
2008: Five Star World Poker Classic $25,000 Championship Event, 9th place, $184,670
→ Other Tournaments ←
2005: Cashed in his first live tournament, finishing 12th in the European Poker Tour’s £3,000 no limit Texas Hold ’em Main Event, earning £7,000 ($12,398).
2008: Finished second at the Aussie Millions A$3,000 Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys event, winning A$103,200 ($90,716).
2008: Finished 62nd in the A$10,000 No Limit Hold ’em Main Event for A$25,000 ($21,976).
2008: Finished 9th in the Five-Star World Poker Classic (the $25,500 WPT Championship), winning $184,670.
2014: Placed 6th at the Aussie Millions, $250,000 LK Boutique Challenge, winning $447,359.
2017: Tom Dwan lost the final in the Super High Roller event in Macau against Belarus player Mikita Badziakouski, taking a prize of $275,000.
→ Live Cash Games ←
Dwan holds multiple records for the largest pot in the history of televised poker. He broke his previous world record of $919,000 on High Stakes Poker when he won a $1.1 million pot on Full Tilt Poker’s Million Dollar Cash Game.
In September 2018, he broke that record again -and it still holds to this day. He played a session of KRW3 million/KRW6 million/KRW6 million NLHE on Triton Poker’s live streamed super high stakes cash games.
There, he got it all-in pre-flop with AQ off-suit against Paul Phau’s pocket Aces. That pot ended up being $2.35 million (KRW 2.615 billion). Unfortunately for him, Dwan lost this historically large pot.
There are rumors of Dwan participating in many High Stakes Cash Games in Macau. Some reports mention stakes as high as HKD50,000/HKD100,000 or $6,000/$12,000 with $500,000 and $1,000,000 stacks, and several members of the poker media have reported about HKD200 million ($25 million) in winnings for Dwan. However, he has denied all of these reports. On 2+2, he posted the following:
“Ya this is all bull****. bunch of little facts and a bunch of big ones wrong. nothing like this happened and at the time of this post i was losing on my current macau trip (altho i did do some rungood since).”
A few years after these reports, Daniel Cates said in an interview that he saw Tom Dwan losing a $20 million pot in a set-over-set situation.
For several years, Dwan remained completely focused on live cash games, rarely surfacing in the public eye, but he did make a very public return in 2016, when he appeared at the third edition of the Triton Super High Roller in Manila.
In August 2017, Dwan appeared on the TV show Poker After Dark in a $200/$400 game with a $400 button ante and $100,000 minimum buy-in.
→ Online Poker ←
Not long after opening his account with Full Tilt Poker, Dwan won $200,000 in less than an hour after joining six different $100/$200 NLHE tables at the same time, and it didn’t take him long to start playing against the most established online poker players in the world, including Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.
During a session of $500/1000 No Limit Hold’em on Full Tilt on October 26, 2008, Dwan gained recognition for playing the biggest pot in online poker: $723,938, which he lost with KK against Urindanger’s AA. His record has now been passed several times. The record for the largest pot in online poker is now $1,356,946.
Dwan started the Durr $1,000,000 Challenge in January 2009. He’d play anyone heads up for 50,000 hands 4-tabling 200/400 No Limit or higher. After 50,000 hands, if his opponent leads, Dwan will give them $500,000 plus an additional $1,000,000, and if Dwan leads, he will keep their $500,000.
After battling through a series of heads-up No Limit Holdem cash games against Blom (online handle, Isildur1) in November 2009, in which Blom went on one of the longest runs in the history of online poker and won approximately $5 million, Dwan challenged Blom to play him at the Full Tilt Poker Durrrr Million Dollar Challenge.
Of course, since he plays such large stakes online, Dwan has suffered huge losses and enjoyed enormous wins, often winning or losing millions of dollars in mere days, or sometimes even hours.
→ Sponsorship Deals ←
Dwan signed a deal with the Full Tilt Poker online poker site in November 2009 and became a member of Team Full Tilt. The cooperation lasted for almost three years before Dwan left the team in October 2012 after Full Tilt lost its Alderney e-gaming license and was unable to proceed its operations.
During this collaboration, Dwan was sponsored by Full Tilt Poker for the launch of Durrrr’s Million Dollar Challenge which was televised on Sky Sports. However, after the US Department of Justice started going after poker sites to enforce the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed in 2006, Full Tilt had to close their doors to US customers.
When asked what his take was on the Full Tilt fiasco with Bluff Magazine, he replied by saying, “From an ethical standpoint, the only two things they had to do were to make sure they had all the money and make sure there was no cheating. And that shouldn’t be that hard. It was pretty ridiculous.”
In May 2015, Tom Dwan was present at the Poker King Club grand opening alongside Phil Ivey, another sign of its ties in Macau.
→ Scandals ←
The never ending Durrr Challenge vs Jungleman
The ‘Durrrr Challenge’ with Daniel ‘jungleman’ Cates. in 2010, Tom Dwan was at its peak confidence and he offered 3:1 odds to anyone who could beat him heads-up over a 50,000 hand span. if Cates lost, he would have to give Dwan $500,000. If he won, Dwan would have to pay him $1.5 million. After playing around 20,000 hands online, Cates was clearly ahead with an impressive profit of $1.3 million. But the challenge came to a sudden halt in the spring of 2011 with Black Friday.
In November 2012, Full Tilt reopened and Cates was eager to finish the challenge and boost his bankroll with $1.5 million. However, Dwan wasn’t into playing online poker anymore probably because the live games were much more soft and rewarding, and even though he agreed according to Cates to pay $40,000 for every two months without progress in the challenge “jungleman” threatened to reveal certain aspects of Dwan’s private life and the poker community sided with him.
In 2015, Cates made an announcement on 2+2 saying that he solved his problem with Dwan and the challenge would hopefully be completed. He stated that they had so far completed 25,000 hands. “I think Tom intends on finishing the challenge but has been distracted by things of great importance… In addition Black Friday greatly hindered our progress.”
With over a decade passed since the commencement of this infamous challenge, the two players are still stuck at having played about 40% of hands out of the originally proposed 50,000…
Tom Dwan member of the Triad?
In the summer of 2014, Paul Phua, linked with the notorious 14K Triad – one of the largest international criminal organizations in the world with an estimated 25,000 members – and his son Darren, along with Richard Yong and his son Wai Kin, all friends of Dwan, were arrested in Las Vegas. According to several reports, ‘durrrr’ helped the Phuas’ case and paid their $2.5 million bail alongside Phil Ivey and Andrew Robl. He also helped one of Phua’s friends with a place to stay during the trial.
Of course those links fired many rumors, such as Tom Dwan being broke or bankrupt, having huge gambling debts and being the triad’s slave, or even being involved with drugs… The hashtag #savetom was even used across social media.
Alleged sports betting scam
In a video posted in March of 2017, Tom Dwan was accused by popular poker player and poker YouTuber Doug Polk of scam.
According to the Polk, Tom Dwan is likely the person that sports bettor and poker enthusiast Haralabos Voulgaris mentioned on Joe Ingram’s podcast back in 2015. In this interview, Voulgaris declared that a former NVG superhero (News, Views, and Gossip forum on 2+2) owed him “seven figures” in sports bet earnings.
– Tom Dwan’s Private Life –
→ Love Life: Is Tom Dwan gay? ←
In 2010 during an online chat, Dwan responded to rumors that he’s gay, saying, “this is all b/c my old roomie (dave benefield) wanted to play a joke, but no, not true”.
He started dating Erica Marie (b. January 31, 1983) in 2012. The couple most likely met when she lived in Edison, NJ around 2010. Although their relationship was made public when a photo of the couple in front of the Sydney Opera House was posted on Twitter during Dwan’s attendance at the Aussie Million of Melbourne 2011, they’ve remained a fairly private couple. Little is known about Erica Marie, whose Twitter account has been inactive since 2014.
— erica marie (@ericaeskeli) 29 may 2013
Dwan did once write about Marie’s poker playing in a blog post on Full Tilt: “So anyway, now im about to send my girlfriend erica 25$ on ftp and 25$ on stars, hopefully she can run up her 1st 50$ too. competition was a bit easier when i did it, but there were less microlimits available, so i think she should still have a decent shot. She’s gonna try to run it up to the 1500 or 1k or whatever it is for the WSOP women’s event.“
Due to their discretion, the status of their relationship today is unknown, but several sources have reported that they live together in Vegas.
In late 2017, Tom Dwan got engaged to Bianca Rosso and is rumored to soon become a father, and a husband, answering the questions of what happened to him. On a tweet he posted on January 27th, he spoke about Bianca Rosso in the terms of “soon to be wife.” That is incidently the name the young woman chose for her Instagram account : “durrrrswife“.
→ Business ←
Tom Dwan has participated in Paul Phua’s poker school by producing videos in which he discusses beginners’ trapping, bluffing, betting, being overly aggressive, the playing style of Chinese players, and various international tendencies.
→ Net Worth ←
According to celebritynetworth.net, Dwan is worth $10 million, while profitingatpoker.com reports his net worth at $8 million.
→ Hobbies & Personal Life ←
Dwan’s personal life has remained mostly a secret, as he’s an intentionally private celebrity. However, he does seem to have an interest in politics, at least based on his tweets, which mostly concern news of Trump and his administration, WikiLeaks, Russia, international relations, and other contemporary political issues.
– Tom Dwan on Social Media –
He’s not a big user of social media. He last posted on Facebook in April 2012, and his Twitter description says “I use Twitter sporadically.”
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tomdwan 153,000 followers
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tom.Dwan.TeamFullTilt/ 51,000 fans
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/officialtomdwan/ 2,000 subscribers