Tom Dwan AMA covers HSP, Macau, and the Triad question

Jon Pill
Posted on: November 11, 2020 12:45 PST

When Thomas Keeling, better known as SrlsySirius, posted on TwoPlusTwo that he was doing an AMA series with Tom Dwan, the response was electric. It took two days for there to be five pages of questions to the forum.

This was in August. Since then — crickets.

Until last week. That's when the first video dropped. Keeling got Nick Shulman in to fill the interviewer's chair, and the video is up on YouTube now. At four minutes and change, it is a little short. But there will be more coming every week, and there was quite a lot packed into the time.

What is a "durrr"?

Tom Dwan's been out of circulation for a while. So if you joined the game after Black Friday, then the short version is that Tom Dwan was the meatspace avatar of infamous online nose-bleeder "durrr".

"durrr" came more or less out of nowhere and played the kind of loose-aggressive style that was associated at the time with manic Russian players. Except unlike other LAGs, he wasn't a whale dumping chips to the table. Or if he was, then he was Moby Dick — sinking ships, taking legs, and swallowing gold sovereign as fast as other players could nail them to the Pequod's mast.

Now far more internet players open wide preflop, and make moves in his style. But as Shulman puts it in the interview, he was "ahead of his time, that's a universally recognized fact in poker."

Dwan went from internet famous to poker-star when he appeared on High Stakes Poker (his reappearance is in part down to the HSP re-boot, in part because Macau's on ice 'til COVID passes).

In the interview, he is somewhat self-deprecating about his run on the show.

"I mean, I was pretty lucky," he tells Shulman. "There were a couple of spots where I did something crazy that was 60 percent to work [...] but I went, like, 15 for 16 on them."

The $20 million

The reason Dwan has been off the radar for a while now is that sometime after Black Friday he got himself into the high-roller circuit in Macau. And disappeared behind a door marked "private".

These games enjoy the highest levels of discretion. So, like that, Dwan was gone.

The players in these games are the kind of people who can lose millions of U.S. dollars on a good day, and tens of millions on a rough one. What was Dwan's biggest day up or down? He says 2,000 antes at short-deck hold'em.

For a moment after that answer you can see Shulman's face puckering into a math shape. Tom Dwan offers him an over/under on whatever amount he clearly wants to guess.

Shulman comes back with "$20 million?"

Dwan's answer is "Over. Not my piece, but over." We have to wait till next week to hear his response to "$50 million?"

The Triad question

The key question of the short video is the last.

"Here's another question for you, that the entire internet wants to know... Have you been kidnapped by the Asian mafia?"

The question refers to the ongoing gag that Dwan's disappearance is down to being hauled in by the Triads or Yakuza and made to play for them as their pet GOAT.

Dwan's answer is an unconvincing, "Not that I know of." So the speculation can continue.

Watch the full interview below:

Featured image source: Flickr