Last night at the WSOP, Tom Dwan came ever so close to winning what might have been the largest single-day score in the history of poker. Dawn reached the final table of Event #11, a $1,500 no-limit tournament, and had most of the poker world’s attention while he chased his first career bracelet. It is rumored that the online cash game wunderkind stands to collect as much as $15 million in prop bets if he wins a WSOP bracelet this year.
The high stakes poker community, many of whom have booked action against Dwan, were brought to their knees last night while they faded Dwan’s attempt to seize a large portion of the poker economy. They had to sweat it to the very end: Dwan’s efforts came up just short when he lost heads-up to New Zealand’s Simon Witt. While Witt was playing for just more than $200,000 heads-up, Dwan was playing for countless millions. The high stakes regulars, who were seated nearby in the $10,000 Stud/8 event, breathed a collective sigh of relief when Witt’s pocket Nines held up against Dwan’s Queen-Six.
Rumors have circulated regarding exactly how much Dwan stands to collect should he win a bracelet this year. Some say the Phil Ivey alone would be on the hook for $9 million which would make Dwan’s total figure upwards of maybe $15 million. If that is true, it means Dwan was playing for more money last night in his heads-up match against Witt than perhaps anyone has played for in the history of poker. Even Jamie Gold’s $12 million score in 2006 should have an asterisk beside it since much of that money went to Crispin Leyser.
Will Dwan’s close call ruin his focus on winning a bracelet or make him even more motivated? Those betting against him are certainly hoping that it’s the former. For more on this story, check out Pauly’s fantastic write-up.