Dwan Pays Jungleman Cates $800K for Delaying ‘Durrrr Challenge’

2 months ago
Dwan Pays Jungleman Cates $800K for Delaying ‘Durrrr Challenge’
17:19
11 Aug

It was the most famous heads-up match in the game of poker ever – the ‘Durrrr Challenge’ – which saw Tom Dwan offering odds to anyone brave enough to take him on. One of those who did, Daniel ‘Jungelman12’ Cates, has now revealed that Dwan has paid him almost $800,000 in fines related to the aborted match.

The challenge began back in 2010, with Dwan and Cates battling it out online at $200/400 stakes, both NLHE and PLO, and when Black Friday struck the online world it was Cates who was way ahead - $1.2million after less than 20,000 hands. The match was intended to see 50,000 hands played, Dwan offering 3-1 odds, $500k of Cates’ money against $1.5million of Dwan’s.

Seven years on and despite rumours of the match being continued regularly surfacing, Dwan has shown no real signs of wanting to finish what he started, and this week Cates took to Doug Polk’s podcast with some startling revelations.

“He’s been paying me penalties every two months lately,” Cates revealed, adding “He wants me to point out he’s given me something like $700,000 or $800,000 basically in penalties since 2010.”



Over the intervening years Dwan has been accused of deliberately delaying or refusing to complete the match, with Cates commenting from time-to-time on his opponent’s intractability, stating in 2014: “He failed to uphold any promises he made to me. He’s extremely frustrating. It’s outrageous,” regarding penalties Dwan had accrued for his procrastination.

Last summer, Doug Polk called the ‘Durrrr Challenge’ the “largest scam in poker history” and followed it up this spring with claims of Dwan scamming fellow high-stakes poker player Haralabos Voulgaris, so having Polk as the sounding board for the latest ‘Durrrr’ news is perfect.

This week’s very public announcement by Cates is the first time any money has been declared to have changed hands, and Cates still seems hopeful that the match will finally re-start, although he failed to mention just what extra penalties Dwan would be liable for should that fail to happen.

“By the end of 2018”, is Cates latest timeline when asked when the match would finish, but these statements have been regularly made and broken in the past, a combination of factors including rumours of Dwan having heavy debts in Macau, the lack of a good place to continue the match and the heavy investment in time which another 30,000 hands would require.


It seems that PokerStars, however, will be an unlikely ‘venue’, Cates also claiming in his podcast interview that the site is rife with bots, stating that “multiple” sources have informed him that players are ”definitely bypassing Stars security and using bots”.

For those who followed the first 20,000 hands the two played as part of the challenge, it would be almost a relief for them to finish the heads-up battle – or terminate it altogether – the long-running ‘dispute’ getting tiresome without Dwan’s input, but from Cates’ point of view he wants to see it finished – and wouldn’t say what further penalties Dwan might accrue should that not happen.

Cates revelations and a host of other stories he shared with Polk can be seen at the link below…


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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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