Is ‘durrrr’ the best high stakes online player in the world?
You recently issued a very large, high stakes poker challenge. What are the terms of the bet?
It will be a heads-up match – 50,000 hands, four tables minimum. We’ll be playing at least $ 200/$ 400 no-limit Hold’em and pot-limit Omaha. There’s a side bet with me wagering $ 1.5m to everybody else’s $ 500,000. Whoever is ahead after 50,000 hands gets the side money on top of whatever he happens to win through the course of playing. If you back out at any point, you have to pay the side money.
Why did you put out the challenge?
I wanted a way to start action at high stakes. It’s been a while since I’ve had someone willing to play more than two tables against me.
Do you think the challenge will run for 50,000 hands?
There’s a decent chance someone will back out [after losing a large sum]. It’s unlikely to be me. But if an opponent wins $ 8m straight, I’ll back out and pay the side bet. If they get ahead by $ 500k, I won’t back out. But there’s a number in between where I’ll be flipping a coin as to whether or not I want to continue.
Who’s taken you up on it?
Patrik Antonius and Phil Ivey are going to do it. David Oppenheim has talked about investing in David Benyamine against me. I’m hoping to start soon. If we’re not playing by the time this article comes out, I’m going to be annoyed.
Why give 3-to-1 odds to guys who are among the world’s greatest players?
If I gave them even money we would have to play when they want to. By risking $ 1.5m to their $ 500k I can come up with the terms. I’m pretty sure if I’d said $ 500k to $ 500k nobody would have accepted.
Are you doing it for the money?
Obviously I’d like to win some money, but I realise that there’s a chance I’ll lose. In that case, I’ll learn something from the experience.
Are you doing it in the hopes of proving something? Or is it a way to keep poker from getting boring?
There’s no reason for me to make a point. I have no ego in poker. And if I got bored with playing, I would stop. At this moment, the challenge seems like an interesting thing.
There’s been talk about the potential for somebody to lose $ 10m…
You’d have to play pretty bad to lose $ 10m. Five million – which I wouldn’t be happy losing – is possible.
You left the challenge open to every player bar Phil Galfond. How come?
Even if I hadn’t included that clause he wouldn’t have accepted, because we’re friends. But to not exploit the friendship, I’m happy to take away the option.
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