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Poker Prodigy Series: Tom Dwan

by Craig Edwards
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Tom Dwan

The next installment of the Poker Prodigy Series at Joe Wager is Tom Dwan. He is a modern-day prodigy in the world’s highest cash games that can get you inspired before heading into our top-rated online poker rooms

Recently, Dwan has been the recipient of much flak amid accusations of unpaid poker debts, and we look at that, but firstly and more importantly chart his prodigious cash game and tournament career in poker.

Where Did It All Begin?

It all began for Tom Dwan back in 2004, as a seventeen-year-old in New Jersey when he tried his luck online at Party Poker after he made his initial $50 deposit. Quickly, he was able to run his bankroll up through the limits of online cash games to the nosebleed stakes.

When Dwan first rose to prominence, it was not from his cash game expertise, but in his live poker tournament debut of 2005 at the EPT (European Poker Tour) Main Event in London when he lost in 12th place.

It was during that time that he found his nickname “Durrrr”, as he joined the highest stakes cash games online at Full Tilt, plying his trade against none other than Phil Ivey, Patrick Antonius and Viktor Blom.

The levels of those cash games were some of the highest seen online, with the players suffering huge swings in fortune and bankroll as millions of dollars changed hands daily. To this day, many of those online pots are still the biggest in online poker history.

Tom Dwan Is Not Only a Cash Game Player

There is little doubt that Tom Dwan has focused his energies on cash games. However, when he ventured into poker tournaments, he built a very creditable profile and went agonizingly close to a WSOP Bracelet and WPT title.

In the 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP), Dwan lost a heads-up battle for the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event and that was his best WSOP effort from five final tables.

On the World Poker Tour (WPT) he has made three final tables, finishing runner-up in the Bogota $5,000 Winter Open.

Interestingly, those eight final tables came between 2007 and 2011, with much of the last decade being spent grinding cash games around the world from Las Vegas to Macau. If he has played poker tournaments, it has been as the online ambassador for Triton, and again, he has played them profitably on those occasions, with several final tables and a win at the $30,000 Short Deck Event.

Tom Dwan Wins the Biggest Live Cash Game Pot in History Last Year

Nearly a year ago, in May 2023, Dwan won the biggest streamed live or televised pot in poker history at $3,080,000 during the Hustler $1,000,000 Casino Live Cash Game, as below:

There is no doubt Dwan is a real baller and has all the ballsy moves associated with the highest level of cash games. On this hand, “Wes Side” Wesley put Dwan to the test with a River with a bluff of nearly $800,000, which was his only way to take the pot down. Dwan took his time with just one pair to the board, although it was an overpair, eventually calling for the $3,080,000 pot and ending the night with over $2 million in profit.

It Was All Downhill After 2023 as Controversy Followed Tom Dwan

That night of the $1 million cash game was the bright spot of last year for Tom Dwan, as controversy started to follow the thirty-seven-year-old from New Jersey amid allegations from his backers of unpaid debts.

Esteemed sports bettor, author and poker backer, Haralabos Voulgaris, and top poker player, Peter Jetten, have both spoken publicly about how Dwan has avoided paying them back in the expected timely manner.

However, another backer, Daniel “Jungelman” Gates, stated on X how he believed Dwan was doing his best to square up those debts including his.

Joe Wager’s Final Thoughts About Tom Dwan

Tom Dwan was undoubtedly a precocious talent, plying his skills in the highest cash games around the world for the last 17 years. In that time, he has gambled millions of dollars at the cash tables but on his brief forays into tournament poker, his credentials are good and show huge potential.

At Joe Wager, we would like to see Tom Dwan get squared up with his backers and move forward with his successful career as a poker pro. It would be good to see Dwan move more into tournament poker and build his legacy further by winning the world’s biggest poker tournaments.

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Craig Edwards
Craig Edwards, an online tipster in golf and snooker for over four years, boasts a track record of 7800 bets with a 28% return on investment. A snooker professional from 1988 to 1996, he was once a single-figure handicap golfer. Achieving the 282nd position in the WSOP MAIN EVENT in 2007, Craig possesses a unique insight into the psychological shifts of professional sportsmen, anticipating their mindset week by week.

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