Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Durrrr Challenge 2.0: Tom Dwan vs. Dan "jungleman12" Cates

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Photo by Michele Lewis

We’re all voyeurs obsessed with mortality; we’re either encompassed with the fear our own death, or fascinated with the deaths of others. Lurking on the rail for a high-stakes poker match gives everyone watching an opportunity to withdraw from their own harsh lives and escape into the hyper-reality of professional gambling. That's why the "durrrr Challenge" is a guilty pleasure for so many of you, even though the first version failed to live up to expectations.

Anyone can watch the "durrrr Challenge" by simply downloading the software for Full Tilt Poker. This mighty contest gives spectators an exhilarating rush, sort of like watching a NASCAR race where you’re secretly hoping for a crash. In this realm, the railbirds wait for someone to get felted. I wouldn't be surprised if the "durrrr Challenge" has become an underground gathering point for Goths and other Emo-kids dressed in black with mascara smeared over their faces, who are cutting themselves every time Dwan win a pot.

The first installment of the"durrrr Challenge" starring Dwan and Finnish boy toy Patrik Antonius was like a big budget Hollywood movie that was got all the hype in the world and had so much potential but ended up a horrendous bust. An astonishing 18 months after they first sat down to play, the two are not even 80% of the way through their 50,000-hand challenge. Dwan is up a cool $2 million and has a chance to walk away with $500,000 of Antonius' money -- provided he can hold onto his lead over the remaining 10,000 or so hands. Looks like their duel might get drawn out into 2011.

Dwan is a gambler with an unquenchable thirst for action. He couldn't wait for the match with Antonius to end so he accepted a new challenge, but not from who you think. This summer, Brain Townsend was rumored to play Dwan once the WSOP ended. Other names interested in a shot at Dwan's money included Phil Ivey and David Benyamine. However, none of those three got to slug it out with Dwan. That honor went to Dan Cates.

Wait... who?

I know what you're thinking... who the hell is that? Well if you don't know, about a month ago, Tom Dwan announced that his next opponent would be Dan "jungleman12" Cates. The University of Maryland student has yet to play in the WSOP because he's not even 21. But he's been tearing it up at the nosebleed tables this year. He's hoping to win $1.5 million from Dwan. They have already played two sessions and this jungleman12 kid has taken an early lead.

AlCantHang, Dave McCarthy, and the gang at Full Tilt Poker invited me to share my thoughts on the latest "durrrr Challenge." If you want to know a little more about jungleman12 and the opening sessions, I encourage you to read the guest post that I wrote for the Poker from the Rail Blog titled Dr. Pauly on "durrrr vs jungleman12."

Hope you enjoy it.

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