Will 2017 See the Restart of Tom Dwan vs. Daniel Cates?

January 23rd, 2017 | by Kaycee James

Has a tweet from Doug Polk sparked renewed interest in the $1.5 million heads-up match between Tom Dwan and Daniel Cates?

Tom Dwan may restart Daniel Cates match.

Daniel Cates says that he and Tom Dwan (pictured) may resume their high stakes heads-up match later this year. (Image: WSOP.com)

Although Dwan, aka durrrr, hasn’t been around the online poker community for a while, his name still stirs up certain emotions within the community.

At one point in time, many considered Dwan the best online player in the world, but recent years have seen some question his integrity.

Was It All a Scam?

Polk is one of the latest crop of high stakes stars to question Dwan’s reputation. Around the same time he posted a YouTube video questioning where Dan Bilzerian’s “poker wealth” came from (Polk critiqued Bilzerian’s recent online session), he also took a shot at Dwan.

“Just a casual reminder to everyone that the @TomDwan Challenge against @junglemandan was one of the most massive scams in poker history,” tweeted Polk on January 15.

Since reigniting the debate over the unresolved match that started in 2010, Cates has responded by saying that the two may reignite their challenge later this year.

“Tom and I have been talking about this and working on a resolution. We should get some hands this year. Tom is cooperating though /has had some problems,” Cates tweeted.

Dwan Still Silent

Although Dwan hasn’t joined the conversation (his last tweet was made on May 22, 2015), Cates is closer to the situation than anyone. Having been in communication with Tom Dwan off and on since their challenge started, he has done everything in his power to bring the action to a close.

Under the terms of the challenge, the two must play 50,000 hands of $200/$400 heads-up No Limit Hold’em (originally on Full Tilt) and whoever comes out on top is declared the winner. If Dwan finishes $1 in profit, Cates would have to pay his opponent $500,000, but if Cates finishes on top, Dwan would owe him $1.5 million.

As well as Cates being $1.2 million ahead with around 40 percent of the challenge complete, a number of high stakes pros have an interest in the action. When the challenge was first announced, side bets on the action dominated the forums.

With dozens of players potentially out of pocket due to Dwan’s reluctance to resume the match, Cates tweet could revive some interest in the challenge.

Although the dynamics of match would be different this time around (Full Tilt doesn’t offer $200/$400 tables anymore), it may well pique the interests of railbirds and, potentially, lead to a new wave of high stakes online action.


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