Merry Christmas from all of us here at Poker News Daily. Just a few days prior to the worldwide holiday, Tom Dwan and Patrik Antonius hit the felts of the Durrrr Challenge tables on Full Tilt Poker, pushing the total number of hands played to nearly 30,000.

Dwan now holds a commanding $937,000 lead over his opponent, a newly-minted member of Team Full Tilt. A total of 29,764 hands have been played of the 50,000 required for completion. The Challenge has stretched the majority of the 2009 calendar year and will likely last well into 2010. If Antonius is up at least $1 after 50,000 hands, Dwan will fork over $1.5 million. If Dwan leads by at least $1 after the requisite number of hands, Antonius will owe $500,000. In either case, the victor keeps the spoils of the competition.

In a $238,000 hand that took place during a recent session, Antonius called all-in on a flop of Ks-7h-Jc. He held Qc-9s-Js-Kd for top two pair, while Dwan turned over Jd-8s-9h-10s for a series of straight draws. The seven of clubs on the turn paired the board, while a nine of clubs on the river gave Dwan a straight. The hand occurred at a $200/$400 Pot Limit Omaha table, four of which make up the Durrrr Challenge virtual felts.

On a board of 3c-10c-9d-3h, Dwan check-raised all-in over the top of a pot-sized bet by Antonius for $86,000 and Antonius made the call with As-5c-Jh-Ad for aces-up. Dwan, meanwhile, put his stack at risk with 8c-9s-6d-10s for top two pair and watched as the river came an ace, improving Antonius to a boat and allowing him to scoop a $227,000 pot. The hand all but negated the $238,000 pot won by Dwan earlier on.

In a $114,000 pot, Dwan flopped a boat to give him a sizable payday just moments before challenge play came to a halt for the night. Dwan held 6s-Qh-Qc-10s and Antonius put in the standard raise pre-flop to $1,200. Dwan called to see the first three cards come 3s-Qs-3d. Dwan led out for $2,000 with a boat and Antonius called to see the seven of spades on the turn. Very uncharacteristically, the action went check-check to the nine of diamonds on the river. Then, fireworks went off. With Dwan holding a flopped boat, the youngster bet $5,200 and Antonius raised to $19,200. Dwan re-raised enough to put Antonius all-in and the poker pro called, promptly mucking his hand.

On December 22nd, Dwan and Antonius battled in a nearly 2,000-hand day that saw Dwan pull away by another $225,000. The challenge, which began back in February, now features Dwan leading by a commanding margin, although Antonius overcame a $1 million-plus deficit at nearly the 20,000-hand mark to gain the lead about 2,500 hands later. The December 22nd play featured the 10th largest pot in Durrrr Challenge history, a $259,000 sum won by Dwan. In fact, out of the top ten pots in the competition, Durrrr has taken down eight of them.

Dwan has claimed 16,015 hands total, while Antonius has scooped 13,640, according to statistics found on Full Tilt Poker. Both combatants are sponsored pros of the site, which accepts U.S. players. Visit our sister site,, for a complete recap of the 46 sessions played so far as well as complete analysis.

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