The finale of the Full Tilt Poker Million Dollar Challenge in London featured sponsored pro Tom “durrrr” Dwan taking Sammy “Any Two” George for a colossal $750,000. Dwan entered the contest up over $40,000 after facing Marcello “luckexpress” Marigliano and Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies.
The battle between Dwan and George featured a 7-2 bonus, similar to a promotion you’d find at some of the world’s largest online poker sites. If either Dwan or George scooped a pot with the worst starting hand in poker, they’d claim a $10,000 reward. Dwan, as expected, went all-out to claim it, including pushing for $400,000 on a board of J-A-6-3-3 with three hearts with just 7-2. George tanked for over five minutes before finally releasing A-6 for two pair. Dwan flipped over his bluff, raking the pot and the $10,000 bonus.
George commented after his nearly $1 million thumping, “The turning point was the bluff with the 7-2 when I had the two-pair, but I cannot call there for three times the pot. The game was in his favor, he was hitting cards and rivering cards, but I respect Tom a lot and always will. He’s one of the best in the world and I think he’s up there with Phil Ivey and Patrik Antonius. I think when people see the show, they will have a different opinion of me from what they had before.” George was originally slated to appear on the sixth season of GSN’s “High Stakes Poker,” joining Dwan, Ivey, and Antonius, but was a no-show when taping commenced in Las Vegas.
Dwan and George bought in for $500,000 each and blinds began at $500/$1,000. Marigliano bested Dwan to the tune of $22,500, while Sahamies dropped $68,000 to his young opponent over 500 hands of Pot Limit Omaha. The action unfolded at the Les Ambassadeurs Club in Mayfair and featured pros such as Roland de Wolfe and European Poker Tour founder John Duthie turning out to catch a glimpse of the action.
In another key hand during Dwan’s match against George, the challenger was down 10:1 in chips, $900,000 to $90,000. George shoved all-in with 9-4 for bottom pair after the flop came 7-6-4, but ran into Dwan’s A-7. The hand boosted Dwan’s stack to nearly $1 million and ensured that George would be funding the youngster’s online bankroll for some time to come.
Early on, George ran A-K into Dwan’s pocket aces. George put in a raise pre-flop, Dwan bumped the action to $30,000, George re-raised to $113,000, Dwan shoved, and George made the call. The flop came 5-6-7, no help to George, but an eight on the turn left the possibility of a chopped pot if a four or a nine came off on the river. However, the final card was a 10 and George lost his initial $250,000 buy-in. Coverage on Matchroom Sport candidly noted, “[George] grabs the $250k behind him and off we go.” Neither player was allowed to leave the table until one was broke or 500 hands were completed.
In another pot, George held pocket kings and led out for $26,000 on a flop of 3-2-9 with two clubs. Dwan made the call with J-5 of clubs and the five of hearts fell on the turn. The action went check-check to the nine of clubs on the river, filling Dwan’s flush and also pairing the board. George bet $50,000 and Dwan moved all-in over the top. George debated for several minutes before folding. That hand gave Dwan a $357,000 lead; he’d more than double that by the time the 500 hands were up.
All told, Dwan won nearly $800,000 over the course of the Full Tilt Poker Million Dollar Challenge, which will hit television airwaves next year.