Visitors to the Full Tilt Poker website, which once featured Dwan alongside his “Professionals” teammates Gus Hansen and Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom, are now graced with only the visages of Hansen and Blom on the site. According to PokerListing’s Matthew Showell, there was little fanfare over the separation between Dwan and FTP. “Full Tilt Poker and Tom Dwan have agreed to part ways following the recent expiration of Dwan’s contract,” Showell quotes a Full Tilt spokesman as saying. “To have one of the most respected names in poker on our team has been a great pleasure. We will continue to watch Tom at the tables and wish him every success in the future.”
Hansen, Blom and Dwan were brought onboard Full Tilt Poker as “The Professionals” in November 2012 following the rebirth of the site under the auspices of the Rational Group (also the owners of PokerStars). Hansen and Blom have been very active on the new site, with Hansen having a difficult time (according to High Stakes Database, Hansen is down $8.53 million this year alone) and Blom very slightly up (roughly $650,000). The situation for Dwan is much different, however.
Over the past year, Dwan has been moderately active on Full Tilt Poker, scoring roughly $750,000 in profits. High Stakes Database shows, however, that Dwan has had lengthy periods of inactivity; from June through September, there was no movement in his bankroll graph and, following a spurt of activity in September and October, Dwan hasn’t been back since. This could be one of the reasons for the dismissal of Dwan from “The Professionals.”
Another reason for the parting of the ways between Dwan and Full Tilt Poker could be the lack of success that Dwan has had on the live tournament poker circuit over the past year. Over the past year, Dwan has only one official cash (according to the Hendon Mob database) at the NBC Heads-Up Championship in January of 2013. Prior to that, Dwan’s 2012 stats were compiled in one listing, a sixth place finish in the PartyPoker.com Premier League V in April 2012. Since 2011, Dwan has only garnered eight cashes in worldwide tournaments, with four of those in “invitational” events (such as the NBC Heads Up tournament) and three at the 2011 World Series of Poker.
The final reason for Dwan’s departure from Full Tilt Poker could be his passion for high stakes live games. It is well known in the poker community that Dwan has been spending a considerable amount of time in Macau, playing the whales that frequent the Asian version of Las Vegas. Dwan admitted in September that he had “my biggest loss ever” after a junket to Macau, leaving some in the poker world speculating that Dwan’s bank account may be tapped out.
The separation of Dwan and Full Tilt Poker has also cast a shadow over the rebirth of the ‘durrrr’ Challenge. In October, Dwan and Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates were to resume their heads up match with new conditions, according to Cates. After a spat that occurred earlier in the year, Dwan and Cates set out a schedule for play with significant financial penalties should either side not meet the expectations set. In an interview, Cates specifically said, “With the deal we have now, I’ll make money either way.” Now that Dwan is no longer a member of Full Tilt Poker, the ‘durrrr’ Challenge may have hit another roadblock that could prevent its conclusion (for the record, Cates was ahead by approximately $1.5 million after half of the 50,000 hands were played).
Options for Dwan in picking up another sponsorship deal are minimal. PokerStars is unlikely because of its “sister site” situation with Full Tilt. The powerful European rooms, such as partypoker, 888 or Winamax, might be interested, but just how much interest would there be in an American player that (currently) isn’t very invested in the online game (or live tournament poker, for that matter)? Where Dwan will land (or IF he will) might be a question on everybody’s minds as the calendar turns to 2014.