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New Agreement in Durrrr Challenge Includes Penalties

The stalled Durrrr Challenge might have finally had a major breakthrough to get some hands played and draw closer to a finish. Dan “Jungleman12” Cates announced a few days ago in the High Stakes NL forum on 2+2 that he and Tom “Durrrr” Dwan have agreed to a contract that sets up rules designed to complete the heads-up contest. Although the challenge won’t be ending any time soon, it will move at a quicker pace than it had been previously. That alone is a very important move that many had given up hope of actually seeing happen. We will talk about the major terms of the contract and provide some analysis for what it actually means.

–          “The agreement: Starting September 1st, 2013, Dan and Tom agree to make themselves available to play at least 8,000 hands every two month period (September + October 2013 is the first period, November + December 2013 is the 2nd period, and so on).”

–          “Requirements to fulfill this agreement: At a minimum, this should mean being out of the US and available to play for 14 days out of every 2 month period. If you do not make it known you are out of the country, or are unwilling to play during these days, then they do not count. The arbitrators will be responsible for judging what counts as “available to play”. No penalty will likely be given for 12 days out of the country with 24 hour a day availability and impeccable communication, but a penalty might be given for a 20 day period out of the country during which the player is unable to be reached or is online playing other people and avoiding the other member of the challenge.” 

–          The agreement and the requirement are really important, because it gives us a really good idea of how things are going to go down. The disappointing thing for most people, though, is going to be the very small number of hands that the two are required to play every two months. While they will be able to get the challenge done in a year, it’s going to be much closer to that than potentially a month or two. Also, the terms are a little fuzzy, and that has the potential to cause something bad to happen overall. It’s important to keep an eye on this.

–          “Penalties: Each two month period where the arbitrators determine a player is not fulfilling this agreement he will be subject to a penalty.The base penalty is $40k per period. Added to this will be 10k for each subsequent offense. Penalties do not affect the challenge total.

–          “Half Penalty: If a player is available to play for 7-13 days in a 2 month period, his penalty for that period will be divided in half.”

–          The penalties are pretty straightforward, but are rather small when you consider the stakes that Dwan is playing for in live cash games. The reason that is important is because it seems like he is the one who has been dodging the match, so making sure it hurts for him is really important. This won’t, though, and it’s something that could really be an issue. Also, making half of an effort really makes it a small penalty, so if he doesn’t feel like playing, that option is there. One would hope that he wouldn’t actually do that and would play his required hands, but making that assumption could be pretty dangerous considering how the challenge has gone to this point.

These new rules and penalties are going to hopefully provide a way for this challenge to get done so that we as poker fans can move on to something else, and so bettors can also move onto something else by completing long-standing bets. Douglas “WCGRider” Polk, who is currently in his own challenge, thinks that Dwan is no better than a 100:1 shot to win the challenge. This statement is very bold and could spur a lot of action if he is willing to back that up with bets.

Viffer, a well-known high-stakes player, however, is trying to get out of his bets now. He is arguing that since it has been so long that the bets should be nullified and calls betting courtesy to his defense for thinking that these bets should be abandoned. The major bet in question is with Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo, who predictably takes the other side as he bet on Cates to win. This disagreement is apparently going to go in front of some arbiters soon and that will set a precedent for what will happen with other bets between players.

The bet in question is over $150k and has spurred a lot of discussion among players. Many people on the forums seem to agree with Bonomo that these bets should not be null and void, but some of that most likely stems from Viffer being a very unpopular player on the forums. Either way, it’s an interesting side story that provides something new for people interested in the challenge to consider. Stay tuned to PokerUpdate for more details of the challenge and the decisions regarding any of the side bets. 

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Andrew Schupick