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Is Tom 'Durrrr' Dwan vs. Dan 'Jungleman' Cates Back On In 2017?

Recent Tweets From Cates Indicate The High Stakes Heads-Up Battle Could Resume Soon

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Back when Tom “durrrr” Dwan was one of the most feared poker players on the internet, he offered the high-stakes community a chance to play him in a heads-up contest in which the winner would stand to earn a large bonus. Dwan would win an extra $500,000 should he be up by at least $1 after 50,000 hands played heads-up. If Dwan ended in the hole even just $1, he would fork over $1.5 million to his opponent.

The contest was dubbed the Durrrr Challenge.

Dan “jungleman” Cates, one of the largest winners in the history of internet poker, took him up on the offer, but more than 5 years after the challenge began only about 40 percent of the required hands have been played. Cates was winning more than $1.2 million when the challenge was put on ice. There have been some short-lived restarts since then, but it’s been basically inactive for a handful of years now.

Though Black Friday in April 2011 played a major role in the challenge’s hiatus, Dwan has been accused of being unwilling to finish the $200-$400 no-limit hold’em battle.

Cates told Card Player in mid-2016 that he was “still trying” to get the challenge done, and that he had been talking to Dwan about it.

Tom DwanFast forward to this week. High-stakes regular Doug Polk took to Twitter to issue a “casual reminder” that the durrrr challenge “was one of the most massive scams in poker history” Cates responded to the tweet, saying: “Tom and I have been talking about this and working on a resolution. We should get some hands this year.”

He added that Dwan “is cooperating” and “has had some problems.”

Dwan has apparently been spending a lot of time in Macau over recent years, playing in nosebleed cash games. In late 2013, Dwan took to Twitter to say he had his “biggest loss ever” in Macau. He didn’t say how much it was, but Dwan has recorded $2 million in losses from a single online session.

There was rumor that the Macau session in question was double that. In early 2014, Dwan tweeted “in Macau, the standard way to get even is baccarat.” Those comments, combined with his absence from online poker and not cashing in a major tournament since 2014, have fueled speculation that his bankroll isn’t as robust as it once was.