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Antonius gains early lead in poker challenge

23/2/2009
With the highly-anticipated “Durrr Heads-up Challenge” finally getting underway between Tom Dwan and Patrik Antonius last weekend, the opening 2,915 hands of the marathon confrontation certainly didn’t disappoint in terms of excitement.

In the early stages of the 50,000-hand multi-table clash it was Antonius who scored first blood, with the Finn mounting a storming $228,069 comeback to finish the opening session $56,178 to the good after Dwan had dominated the first two hours of play.

Dwan got off to a stormer when the first major confrontation of the day’s $500/$1,000 PLO game saw him drag a pot worth a staggering $114,000 after the young internet phenomenon hit a full-house on the river to crack Antonius’ flopped trips and a straight draw – much to the delight of his on-looking fan-base.

However, despite the early set-back, Antonius rallied well and over the course of the day managed to successfully erode Dwan’s initial lead. The last major pot of the session ensured that the Finn successfully completed his comeback after his flopped king-high flush proved too strong for Dwan, who called bets on every street before shipping the $102,387 pot Antonius’ way.

The opening signs then are good for Antonius, who will earn himself $1.5 million in addition to any other profits won should he finish ahead of his opponent after crossing the 50,000 hand finishing line – but if the rest of the action proves to be as unpredictable as the challenge’s opening stages, expect to see a lot more blood and tears shed before then.

Poker fans wishing to watch the carnage unfold first hand can log on to the Full Tilt client and select the special Dwan challenge table from the tournament lobby.

Duncan Wilkie
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