Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Challenge to Follow the Durrrr Challenges

The current graph of the first 'durrrr challenge'Already a lot happening in poker here during the first few weeks of 2011. Or “twentyleven,” as I have suggested we agree to call it. I mean, really, that extra syllable is such a bother, ain’t it? Plus, think of all the time we’ll save saying it this way!

The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure kicks off soon, with that “Super High Roller” $100,000 buy-in event starting on Thursday, then the $10,000+$300 Main Event getting going on Saturday. This month will also see another WSOP-Circuit event take place at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma. There’s the Beau Rivage Southern Poker Championship down in Biloxi, Mississippi coming up, too. And, of course, the Aussie Millions is just around the corner as well.

Meanwhile, on the tube this week a new season of “Poker After Dark” is premiering, with a big $100,000 buy-in sit-n-go featuring Phil Ivey, Erik Lindgren, Huck Seed, John Juanda, Phil Galfond, and Tom “durrrr” Dwan.

Speaking of Dwan, I was reminded yesterday that his “durrrr challenge” with Daniel “jungleman12” Cates is still ongoing. Actually both of the challenges are still ongoing, technically speaking. Was almost funny to think how the previous night’s SuperStar Showdown on PokerStars between Tony G and Isildur1 had grabbed so much more attention, even though the stakes for that match were so much less (relatively speaking) than those for which Dwan and Cates are playing.

If you recall, the “durrrr challenge” involves Dwan and an opponent playing 50,000 heads-up hands of either no-limit hold’em or pot-limit Omaha, with the blinds being a minimum of $200/$400. (The blinds in the SuperStar Showdown are at least $50/$100.) If Dwan is up at the end of the 50,000 hands, he wins whatever profit he’s made plus an additional $500,000 from his opponent. If his challenger is up, that player gets the profit plus $1.5 million from Dwan.

Remember also that Dwan said way back in late 2008 when he first announced the challenge that the one player he would not compete with would be Galfond. (Perhaps another encouragement to watch “Poker After Dark” this week.)

The first challenge between Dwan and Antonius, begun in February 2009, has gone quiet over the last few months. Dwan currently enjoys a lead of about $2.05 million over Patrik Antonius. They’ve played 39,436 hands of the scheduled 50,000, but none since early August 2010.

The second challenge between Dwan and Cates started in late August. So far those two have played 17,108 hands -- a little over a third of the way -- with Cates currently up over $820,000. Unlike the Antonius match in which PLO is the game, Dwan and Cates are playing NLH.

Last night saw several $100,000-plus pots, including one of $216,505.50 won by Cates in which both players turned heart flushes, but Cates had the better of the two. You can check the “Durrrr challenge” page over on the Full Tilt Poker website for more information, including graphs, stats, hands, etc.

Despite the big pots, it’s hard to get too psyched about Dwan’s challenges, primarily because with so many hands left to play, the end is much, much too far off to add much excitement to the watching of any individual hands. Indeed, with the Antonius match one wonders if the pair will ever get to the 50,000-hand mark. Perhaps the Finnish player will just concede the sucker first.

Comparing it to the PokerStars SuperStar Showdown, it’s kind of like the difference between a single game -- a game of special importance, like an NFL playoff game -- and an entire college football season. I pick college football because without a playoff it ends in anticlimax, limping to the finish with a lot of relatively non-significant battles punctuating the season’s final days.

Never mind the fact that here in 2011 we ain’t got time to follow something of such length. It’s twentyleven, man!

Or, as the Black Widow of Poker yesterday suggested we call it -- a craps-inspired proposal that would save us even more time -- “twenty-yo.”

Sounds cooler, that.

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