Posts Tagged ‘Tom Dwan’

Jorn Walthaus says Macau Poker Games not so Great

Monday, November 17th, 2014

jorn-walthaus-macau-high-stakesIt used to be that Bobby’s Room (Las Vegas Bellagio) was THE premier place for high stakes poker. But that largely changed a few years ago, when top-notch grinders like John Juanda, Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan and others began mixing it up with billionaire fish in Macau. According to Dutch high stakes player Jorn Walthaus, though, the Macau poker games aren’t nearly as lucrative these days.

Walthaus describes a situation where a smoking ban and too many pros have driven away some of the recreational players. “The biggest difference between the games when I came here and now is I think…there are less recreational players,” he told PokerNews. “I was here when the smoking ban came, so no more smoking at the tables. And I think that really hurt the games. What happened is that a lot of professional players came here, and so there were more professional players at the table compared to recreational players.”

After spending eight months living and grinding from 10:00am to 4:00am every day, Walthaus made the decision to leave this gambling capital. His two reasons were A) the games got worse, and B) he can make more money playing online poker.

The Dutchman spent his time at the $300/$600 and $1k/$2k tables, and he says there were plenty of rec players at the table. However, he believes that the scene has largely shifted to pro vs. pro in recent times.

Given that Walthaus had trouble “getting satisfaction” from the Macau routine when he was winning, tougher games convinced him that his time would be better spent elsewhere. You can see everything that he had to say on the matter below:

Viktor Blom, Gus Hansen dropped by Full Tilt Poker

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Sponsored pros were once a staple of the online poker industry. But Viktor ‘Isildur1′ Blom and Gus Hansen recently found out the hard way that this is no longer the case these days. Both were let go by Full Tilt Poker in a move that’s officially disbanded “The Professionals.”

Blom, Hansen and Tom Dwan were signed to be Full Tilt’s Professionals after the site’s post-Black Friday launch in late 2012. Dwan was eventually dropped by FTP in late 2013 while Isildur1 and Hansen remained with the team. However, almost one year later, they are both gone too.

Anybody who’s searching for reasons why need look no further than what’s currently happening in the online poker industry. Few sites see the use in having sponsored pros wearing their patch, given the heavy focus on recreational players. So offering lucrative contracts to players like Blom and Hansen is an archaic business model in today’s poker world.

An additional reason for getting rid of their remaining sponsored players is likely their recent performance. After bursting on to the internet poker scene in late 2009, Isildur1 has failed to recapture the magic he had back in those days. Currently, HighStakesDB shows Blom as being over $3 million in the hole at Full Tilt.

Of course, this is nothing compared to Hansen – perhaps online poker’s biggest loser ever (close competition with Guy Laliberte). The Great Dane has over $20 million in losses, and his graph shows a consistent downward spiral since the relaunch of Full Tilt.

So if the industry trend wasn’t already against these two, their lackluster results didn’t exactly convince FTP that they couldn’t do without Blom and Hansen. And don’t expect any more big signings to fill these guys’ void.

Debate over whether Full Tilt Players cheated Guy Laliberte

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Earlier this week, Cirque du Soleil owner and high stakes poker player Guy Laliberte told Le Journal De Montreal that he was essentially cheated at Full Tilt Poker.

Although the French-to-English translation is a little choppy, Laliberte alleges that famous pros were borrowing an endless supply of money from Full Tilt. Combining this unlimited bankroll with their skill edge, the unnamed online poker players (reportedly Patrik Antonius, Tom Dwan, Gus Hansen, David Benyamine and others) were able to beat Laliberte out of an estimated $26 million. Here’s a translated look at what Guy told the Journal:

“I should have remembered that I am a dinosaur compared to this [internet].”

“The story of Full Tilt is clear: I got scammed, squarely, by people I knew personally who used unfillted bank, paying no money.

“By dint of” All in “all the time, when it’s not your own money, and they printed money to play against me, and they put two, three …; I was stupid. “

A TwoPlusTwo thread quickly opened up on the matter and it already contains a sizable number of posts. First off, nobody knows exactly what to make of Laliberte’s statements because A) they are a little vague, and B) most 2p2 users speak English and are only getting the google-translated version. But the general debate here revolves around whether or not playing with an unlimited bankroll is considered cheating, at least when the whale in question doesn’t know about it.

Another point of contention is whether certain FTP players were equity chopping behind Laliberte’s back. Assuming he didn’t truly know about this, then one could definitely make a case that secret equity chops would be cheating. Here’s a good point from “iosys” on page 2 of the TwoPlusTwo thread:

If we are not talking heads up matches but fill ring tables where multiple people shove in a hand (all in) with him being in that pot and everyone sharing equity. He got ripped off and that is morally wrong to be doing that to someone. He is definitely not a sucker for having that happen to him and I can see why he would be mad, even if the money doesn’t matter to him.

Reverting back to the unlimited bankroll topic, many TwoPlusTwo posters have gone back and forth about this one. Some believe that Laliberte would’ve lost anyways since he was competing against the best. So if they were merely borrowing fake money from FTP, it doesn’t matter because they still won. Some have even likened it to the Andy Beal situation, where he took on “The Corporation,” a group of elite pros who pooled their bankroll to play at stakes as high as $50k/$100k.

But the difference here was that Beal knew full well what he was up against. Laliberte, on the other hand, likely had no knowledge that he was competing against players with a near-infinite bankroll. That said, he probably thought that his massive reserves of money was one of his advantages, just like Beal did several years earlier.

It’s hard to say for sure where the moral line lies in Laliberte’s games against some of poker’s best. Moreover, we should also consider that maybe not everything Laliberte assumes is the truth, and he could’ve simply been beaten by better players.

Tom Dwan to address Issues with Full Tilt Poker Soon

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

For over two years now, Tom Dwan has been taking heat for being uncooperative in finishing the Durrrr Challenge with Dan ‘Jungleman12’ Cates. But as it turns out, Full Tilt Poker may have a large role in why Dwan hasn’t continued playing the Challenge more recently.

The famed high stakes player didn’t give out many details about exactly what the beef is with his former sponsor. However, Dwan did drop a big hint that he’s not on a friendly basis with Full Tilt when asked about a penalty involving the Durrrr Challenge. “I haven’t been comfortable playing on Full Tilt cause I have a really big issue with them,” he told Bluff Magazine.

Dwan added that he’ll probably reveal his problem with Full Tilt in more detail, but he doesn’t want to get into something like this on “3 hours of sleep.” It doesn’t sound like the Durrrr Challenge is any closer to resuming either. Dwan said that Jungle knows what the Full Tilt issue is, plus he has a lot of other things going on right now anyways.

One other interesting tidbit that he dropped during the Bluff interview is when he said, “We don’t even have the hands from Full Tilt which is ridiculous because they didn’t even put up a page, but I have another more pressing issue with him (Jungleman).”

The last topic that Dwan discussed in this short interview involved how he’s at the Aussie Millions right now to play in some of the big cash games there. However, he did say that he still spends most of his time in Macau because the games are just so much bigger there.

The big takeaway from this 3-minute conversation with Dwan is that he’s definitely not happy with Full Tilt. And it doesn’t sound like he’s trying to duck Jungleman’s challenge, but rather wait until everything is right between he and Full Tilt. But don’t expect that to happen any time soon, given how he was dropped by FTP less than two months ago.

Dan Bilzerian dishes on Ivey, Dwan and Degens of Poker

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

If ever there were a poker player who could rival the Dos Equis guy, it is Dan Bilzerian. For evidence of this, you need merely check Bilzerian’s twitter feed, which features numerous pictures of hot girls, guns, luxury cars and movie appearances.

Given all of the cool things that Bilzerian can and has done, it’s no surprise to hear that his net worth is $100 million. And this puts him in the opposite situation as some world-famous poker players whom he shockingly said were broke. During an interview with CardPlayer, Bilzerian said the following:

Well, it’s kind of a degenerate group. I mean, people who play poker professionally; it kind of takes a special type of person to do that. You have to be able to take a real kick in the nuts, and your life is stressful all the time. It is really hard to be a professional poker player and not go broke. The problem is that when they are winning, they feel like they are going to continue winning at the same rate and when they are losing they want to win their money back. Also, once you play big it’s really hard to drop down in stakes.

Bilzerian went on to say that Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey have gone broke. Of course, there’s no proof of this until these players actually confirm their financial standing. But it’s still interesting to hear Bilzerian declare that both of these guys are broke since he has an inside track on the high stakes poker community.

Aside from talking about degenerate poker pros, Bilzerian also covered a number of other very interesting subjects during his interview. One theme that he stressed is how he’s not among the world’s best poker pros. Instead, Bilzerian sticks to playing against celebrities and rich fish so that he can maintain an edge.

He also discussed a poker game in which an opponent only wanted to bet planes and luxury cars such as Ferrari’s ($300k) and Bugatti’s ($1 million). Dealing in tangible assets at the poker table, rather than chips, is something that really threw Bilzerian off.

One more intriguing subject is Bilzerian’s staking empire. As some people know, he staked Jay Farber during his 2013 WSOP Main Event runner-up finish. With 20% of Farber’s action, Blitz actually scored over $1 million off the second place finish. Aside from Farber, Bilzerian has a lot more pros that he stakes and earns money from.

If you’re interested in seeing what else Blitz had to say, make sure to check out the CardPlayer interview that he did.

Tom Dwan made $800k in 2013 Online Poker Profits

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Before 2013 began, there was one common assumption about Tom Dwan: the online high stakes games had passed him by. Sure, Dwan is rumored to be making big profits in the juicy Macau cash games. But the general consensus was that Asian whales are about the only players whom he can handle these days.

Perhaps determined to prove these theories wrong, Dwan ended his two-year hiatus from online poker and began playing in the Full Tilt nosebleeds again. Success didn’t come right away because Dwan quickly saw himself down over $500k to start the year. However, durrrr responded with a $2.3 million upswing in February.

From here, things got a little bit rocky as Dwan’s profits went up and down. At one point, he was $2.2 million in the black for 2013. But the last few months of the year saw Dwan go on a $1.4 million downswing. Even with this bad stretch, the New Jersey native booked an $800k profit in 2013.

So can this guy still hang with online poker’s best? Based purely on how he performed on the poker tables last year, we definitely have to say that Dwan still has the skills. And don’t forget, this is a player who revolutionized the way many high stakes grinders played in the last 2000’s. Assuming Dwan had to solely make his living through internet poker, we strongly believe that he’d find a way to do so.

But it certainly doesn’t look like online poker will be grabbing Dwan’s full attention any time soon. After all, he’s still whale hunting in Macau and probably making a very good profit in doing so. Given that Dwan still takes months off in between his online play, the best we can hope for is to sporadically see him on the cyber poker tables.

Dan Cates and Viffer in Heated Argument over Side Bet

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Dan “jungleman12” Cates claims he’s made an agreement with Tom Dwan that will finally get the durrrr Challenge started again. It’s been a long time since both players have squared off against each other, and Cates hopes they can finally finish the 50k hands they set out to play in 2010.

An interesting side story that’s been developing lately is a feud between Cates and live cash pro David “Viffer” Peat. These two entered into a prop bet on the durrrr Challenge, whereby Viffer put lots of money on Dwan to win. Cates explained this by telling PokerListings, “I booked a 20% crossbook with Viffer for the durrrr Challenge. I also did a side bet of $50k to his $62k.”

The story took a big turn recently when Cates was playing a $2k/$4k cash game in Vegas. Viffer had a piece of Jungleman’s action, due to business he’d done with other guys that Cates knew. After the session was over, Jungleman paid Viffer his $160k stake, and the latter said, “By the way, I’m not paying you for the durrrr Challenge.”

Cates said Peat strongly believes that Black Friday incident was an “act of god” and like a “rain delay in baseball” where everything was a wash. So because of this, the cross bet between he and Cates should supposedly be off.

Jungleman countered by saying that nearly everybody in the poker community sides with him over Viffer. He cited a situation where nobody on TwoPlusTwo backed Peat’s argument after he explained his side of the story.

Cates ended by saying that he thinks Viffer is trying to avoid paying up in this bet and nobody should do business with him in the future. Considering that Cates is already commanding quite a bit of attention over this matter, it’s likely that people will at least think twice before making another prop bet with Viffer.

Dan Bilzerian Craziness continues: He loses $2.5m in One Night

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Dan Bilzerian is known as one of the wildest and craziest poker players in the game today. The son of wealthy corporate takeover guru Paul Bilzerian, Dan first became well known after the lid was blown on Hollywood poker games involving Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon. Bilzerian was interviewed about his participation in these high stakes poker games and even called Maguire a “cheap bitch.”

The poker playboy has also gained notoriety for having three heart attacks and bragging about his use of steroids. With all of this being said, the latest chapter in his wild life is pretty easy to believe.

While playing at the Aria poker room recently, Bilzerian tweeted a picture of $2.5 million worth of chips (see below). He added the following message that explained what happened to the money:

I dusted off all this last weekend in Vegas.. My dad said, stop gambling. I told him, no one likes a…

It’s likely that Bilzerian participated in the big $2k/$5k NLHE game that’s currently running at the Aria. Some of the notable players involved in this game include Andrew Robl, Tom Dwan and Richard Yong. There’s a good chance that at least one of these guys got a piece of the $2.5 million that Bilzerian spewed.

What’s sad is that, just last month, he tweeted about dropping $3.1 million in a single night while playing poker and dice. Assuming the numbers are correct, he’s lost a combined $5.6 million in two gambling sessions over the past couple months.

Bilzerian must have made a lot in other high stakes poker games if he can afford to drop this kind of money. After all, he’s tweeted pictures before of a $9 million-plus chip stack he had at the Aria. Plus it’s possible that he might have gotten an initial bankroll boost from his father in the beginning.

Whatever the case may be, Bilzerian continues to be one of the most entertaining poker pros in the game today. He’s somewhat of a throwback to the early and mid-2000’s, when poker was dominated by big personalities/personas like Mike Matusow, Sammy Farha and Scotty Nguyen.

Tom Dwan wins $2 Million, then Loses Big

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Last month, we wrote a story about how Tom Dwan had been unsuccessful and largely absent from the online poker scene over the past couple of years. However, he’s recently returned to the internet poker scene in a major way and has seen some huge bankroll swings in the process. That said, let’s discuss some of this recent and very notable sessions.

A Triumphent Return

After bleeding out millions of his hard-earned poker winnings over the past two and a half years, Tom Dwan made a huge comeback. He won $1.25 million over a 25-hour session and made most of this money through 2-7 Triple Draw games. Some of the excellent players that he earned money off of during this session included Ben “Sauce1234” Sulsky, Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond and Hac “trex313” Dang.

Dwan wasn’t quite done yet though because he continued the winning by collecting another $871k on the tables. Some of the players that he faced off against during this session were Ben “Bttech86” Tollerene, Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond and “patpatpanda.” Thanks to two huge sessions, Dwan had earned over $2.1 million.

Hitting a Downswing

There’s no doubt that Dwan put himself back on the poker map following a $2.1 million profit. However, he lost some of this money over the past two days after dropping around $900k.

Despite losing nearly $1 million “durrrr” can’t be too angry about the losses. After all, he’s netted $1.1 million in a week and has $2.14 million in career profits at Full Tilt Poker. Sure this is a far cry from the $7.23 million peak that he was at in June of 2009. But Dwan has proved that he’s still capable of winning big in online poker, despite dedicating most of his time to live cash games in recent years.

What happened to Tom Dwan in Online Poker?

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

When it comes to online poker, Tom “durrrr” Dwan will always be known as one of the most famous players. After all, he was widely considered a top internet grinder from 2008-2010. However, the past few years have seen Dwan’s profits and online reputation take a major hit. To illustrate this point, let’s follow Dwan’s profits during the most significant rises and drops in his career:

– October, 2007, -$330k (rough start)
– December, 2008, $5.73 million (the legend was born)
– February, 2009, $2 million (a sharp drop)
– June, 2009, $7.23 million (Dwan’s peak)
– November, 2009, -$1 million (playing Viktor Blom takes its toll)
– April, 2010, $6.72 million (thank you Guy Laliberte)
– April, 2011, $2.4 million (a steady drop before Black Friday)
– January, 2013, $883k (the fall continues)

As you can see, Dwan has never been a stranger to wild bankroll swings. However, it looks like these swings have been going down far more often than up since April of 2010. Because of this big bankroll drop, some people question whether or not Dwan could even compete with the top online players of today.

There’s no simple answer to this thought because, as his results indicate, durrrr has not been a successful player over the past two and a half years. However, it’s worth mentioning that Dwan doesn’t dedicate the bulk of his time towards beating high stakes games at Full Tilt Poker anymore. Instead, he’s still grinding in the live Macau cash games and making a healthy profit off the Asian businessmen and whales there.

Assuming the Macau games were ever to dry up, it’s likely that Tom Dwan would fully rededicate himself to beating online poker – if there were no other juicy cash games elsewhere. And while it’s debatable on whether he’d definitely beat Blom, Ben Sulsky, Phil Ivey and other high stakes grinders, he could definitely become a profitable player.

After all, Dwan did revolutionize the way many poker players thought about the game during the late 2000’s. So as smart as he is about poker, it’s merely a matter of wanting to be one of the best again.