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Antonius First To Step Up To Durrrr's Challenge

Posted at 00:01 2009-02-24
In January we reported Phil Ivey taking up a multi-table high stakes poker heads-up cash game challenge issued by Tom "durrrr" Dwan. We can now report two other players have decided to take Dwan up on the challenge and have each put up US$500,000 of their own cash, against Dwan's US$1.5 million.
 
There are no prizes for guessing the names of these two players. Patrik Antonius and David Benyamine are two of the world's biggest high stakes poker cash game players, and when the challenge was issued they were two players that poker fans thought would immediately accept.
 
The rules governing the challenge state that the players must play at least 50,000 hands of heads up Omaha and/or Hold Em, and that they must play at least four tables simultaneously at all times.
 
At the end of the challenge if either player is $1 ahead of the rake, for all the money he put up during the challenge, then he will win the side bet also, which will award $1.5 million to a victorious challenger or just $500,000 if Dwan wins.
 
Antonius not one to procrastinate has jumped straight into the challenge against Dwan and through the first four sessions the player’s have pumped out 2,925 hands in nine and a half hours at the tables.
 
At the conclusion of the most recent session, Antonius was ahead by $56,177.50. Pretty good considering Dwan had won 361 more hands, leading the hands won 1,637 to 1,276.
 
The event has seen see-sawing fortunes for the evenly matched opponents with Antonius leading by US$125,000 through 700 hands, before Dwan took the lead, his biggest lead of the challenge almost US$200,000 ahead, after 1,600 hands.
 
Over the past 1,300 hands things have steadily turned in Antonius’ favour. The aggressive Scandinavian has moved into the lead on the back of winning big pots.
 
The biggest pot of the challenge to date occurred on Saturday with Antonius flopping a full house and trapping Dwan into doubling him up. Antonius holding {Ac}{Ad}{5c}{4c} opened three times the big blind to US$1,200, which Dwan reraised to US$3,600.
 
Antonius called and saw a dream flop of {As}{Js}{Jd}. He decided to sit back content to allow Dwan to hang himself. Dwan obliged firing out a bet of US$4,800 which Antonius flat-called.
 
On the turn {8d} the ever-aggressive Dwan continued hammering away, this time betting $11,200. Antonius once again making the call. The river {7c} saw Dwan bet US$17,400. Antonius moved all in at this point for US$56,833. Dwan called the final US$39,433 and upon showing down he immediately mucked and shipped the US$152,866 pot in Antonius’ direction.
 
Dwan may be licking his wounds slightly after a black Saturday that saw him drop around $190,000 to Antonius. Despite being in good spirits at the end of the session Dwan and Antonius haven’t played in two days, however, things are expected to ramp up again this week with the titanic battle taking place on the virtual felt at Full Tilt Poker.
 
Anyone can rail the action by simply downloading and signing up for Full Tilt Poker today, and checking out the specially reserved Durrrr challenge tables. If you can’t get to the felt, stay tuned to PokerNetwork as we keep an eye on all of the action from these high stakes poker cash games.

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