Although the first incarnation of the Durrrr challenge is still ongoing, Tom "Durrrr" Dwan decided earlier this year to accept an additional challenger, and now--in addition to finishing up the home stretch of the first challenge--is taking on a new opponent.
As you may recall, anyone brave enough to accept the Durrrr challenge is obliged to put half a million dollars into escrow and then play 50,000 hands of heads-up poker against Dwan, who puts up $1.5 million of his own. Being proficient in multiple games, Dwan allows his competitors to choose whether play no-limit holdem, pot-limit omaha, or a mix of both. The stakes must be $200/$400 or higher, and the player who finds himself ahead at the completion of the 50,000 keeps the escrowed $2 million.
Team Full Tilt member and Finnish nosebleed regular Patrik Antonius was the first to officially accept the challenge in early 2009, and though only 40,000 of the 50,000 hands have been played so far (globe-trotting, world class poker players have busy schedules) Dwan has accrued a lead of over $2 million.
You'd think Durrrr's systematic dismantling of one of Finland's greatest players would give pause to anyone considering the challenge, but that hasn't stopped a young upstart from rising to the occasion.
Daniel Cates has had a meteoric rise to success at a very early age, mimicking Dwan's own precociousness. Known online as Jungleman, Cates--who is only 21--has risen through the ranks by focusing intensely on heads-up no-limit holdem, a format in which he is now undoubtedly one of the world's best.
Cates accepted the Durrrr challenge earlier this year, and the two have been battling it out ever since, with intermittent breaks for live tournament action.
When we last checked in on Durrrr vs. Jungleman, the players had put nearly 7,500 hands in the books, and Cates was out to a very strong lead with $689,599.50 in winnings.
Since then, the two have tacked on another ~2300 hands, and Cates maintains a strong lead despite being bested in their most recent session in which Dwan won $47,341.50. Jungleman's total profits from their 9,783 hands so far is $645,667.00. He's also won 4 of the 5 biggest pots in the matchup, including the only three over $150,000.
One might think that a lead of 16 buyins would make Jungleman a lock to win the contest, but the intemperate beast that is heads-up no-limit poker never deals in absolutes. Cates's lead is certainly nothing to scoff at, but less than 20% of the challenge's scheduled 50,000 hands have been played. And in a game where 20 buyin swings can happen easily over the course of just an hour or two, it's still anyone's game.
Keep an eye on the Rakeback.com News Page for more info on the Durrrr/Jungleman match as it progresses.
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