High stakes cash player Patrik Antonius called Card Player today to officially announce that he, too, will take up Tom “durrrr” Dwan on his poker challenge.
Dwan first discussed his poker challenge last month, saying that he would put up $1.5 million to anyone’s $500,000 if his opponent could beat him over 50,000 hands at $200-$400 stakes at four online tables in either hold’em or pot-limit Omaha.
Phil Ivey told PokerRoad.com yesterday that he would take up the cause, and Antonius confirmed today that he has accepted the challenge as well.
Dwan told Card Player TV (the video is embedded at the bottom of this article) that there are a number of players considering the challenge, and that he will try to play everyone. As of today, Antonius and Ivey are the only players who have officially accepted the offer.
Below, Antonius discusses Durrrr’s challenge, his chances in it, and his mindset.
Card Player: What went through your mind when you first heard about Durrrr’s poker challenge?
Patrik Antonius: It sounded too good to be true. I tried to figure out what would be the trap there and I still haven’t really figured it out. But I’m sure he’s really thought about it. For sure, he’s one of the best at the moment.
It’s like Phil Ivey says. He plays anyone, and everybody knows that. I’m basically the same. I mean, obviously I would not play him if it was just even because there’d be much better games out there. But it’s pretty interesting. Even if I lose, it’d probably help my game a lot. I really hate losing though.
CP: Have you contacted Tom yet?
PA: We call and text. He just texted me something about golf this morning. I just feel weird, calling him, and saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to play you.’
I don’t think any of us at this level take poker personally. If you take it personally, I don’t think you’re going to make it this far. You have to take poker with a very cold mentality. Every single day, you’re analyzing everything.
It’s going to be fun. I don’t know how hard it’s going to be to play, because he said you have to re-load when you go under 75 big blinds. But what if you do go under and you play a couple hands? Is that like breaking a rule? Also, I’m a very busy man with my friends and my traveling. I’ll have to see how our schedules are going to work. Maybe a couple hours here and there, maybe sometimes we won’t play for a week. It might take a very long time.
CP: Have you talked about some of those details with Tom?
PA: I saw the rules. The way I was going to do it… well, I think it’s going to take 80-90 hours. I haven’t even calculated it. I was just doing the math in my head. But it’s probably going to take a few months. If it looks like either of us is going to lose really bad, and there’s like 10,000 hands left or something, I guess you can just quit and pay, right?
CP: Would you consider quitting early if you were down a few million?
PA: Probably not. I would play until the end. I would just take a little break or something. Sometimes, you just know when you’re not playing your best and it’s better to back away and get yourself in a better mindset.
CP: Have you ever heard of a heads up challenge like this before?
PA: Nope. There’s a lot of people that talk, but they back off.
CP: When do you plan on starting this challenge with Durrrr?
PA: I can start whenever. Basically, I can play whenever I have time to play online. I wonder how it’s going to work, because I don’t want to force myself to play and he doesn’t want to force himself to play either. Maybe some days, the online games will be so good that we don’t want to play each other that day. I really don’t want to play if there’s good action going on. I want to play when there’s no action going on online. It might take a year.
CP: How much experience do you have playing against Tom?
PA: A lot. It’s been a very fun time. I can’t say how much I respect his game. He has a unique style. You have to be a very unique player to be able to have that style. I think if any other player would try to play with the same style, they’d have huge problems at the big game.
CP: Are you going to be playing him in hold’em or pot-limit Omaha?
PA: I think I’m going to pick PLO. I just have more experience from that game. The funny thing is, I think I’ve done better against Tom in no-limit hold’em heads up, but I think I have a better chance in PLO. It’s very hard to have a player drawing very, very thin. The fact that he’s offering $1.5 million against $500,000… I think PLO is a smarter choice probably. But I don’t really mind. My no-limit hold’em game is very good at the moment.
I wonder if one day we can decide to play no-limit hold ‘em, and the next day we play PLO. If I’m ahead, he’ll probably want to play PLO. If it’s very close at the end, it’s going to be very interesting. I don’t know how to even think about that yet.
CP: What do you think about Phil Ivey accepting the challenge?
PA: I think Phil is going to play before me. That’s my guess. But I don’t mind playing first; in fact I would like to play first. I just can’t promise with the time schedule. I’m sure Tom has more time than I do, since I’ll be traveling and spending time with my family.
CP: Who has the better shot of beating Durr — you or Ivey?
PA: I mean, it would be kind of stupid to not say me. But Phil Ivey — I’ve said it so many times before — he’s the greatest that I’ve played. He just has something that most people can only dream of. I don’t know how he does it. He just thinks differently. He’s a very smart guy. It’s going to be very interesting to see how they play. In fact, I might want to play second to see how they play.
CP: Do you think you’re going to sell a piece of yourself in this challenge?
PA: I don’t think so. If I sell a piece of my action, I’ll sell it to someone who I think is lucky for me. First of all, I don’t want to keep track. I just think I play better poker when more money is on the line.
Tom Dwan Discusses “The Challenge” on CardPlayer TV