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Antonius dishes on durrrr Challenge
The first durrrr Challenge is nearly 25% complete and challenger Patrik Antonius is very pleased with where he stands.
"I'm very happy with how I've played so far," Antonius told PokerListings.com from the rail at PokerStars.com EPT San Remo.
"Before it started, I thought there was a very good chance that I would lose at the beginning, but I ended up winning at first and I'm now up $80,000 over 12,000 hands."
The challenge will ultimately see Antonius face-off against Tom "durrrr" Dwan over 50,000 hands of four-tabled heads-up Pot-Limit Omaha at $200/$400 stakes on Full Tilt.
durrrr has offered Antonius (and all comers) 3:1 odds that he won't make a profit.
As befits a high-stakes battle between two of the poker world's biggest names, the challenge has proved incredibly popular amongst the railbirds, but Antonius said he tries to stay out of that side of the game.
"Honestly, I don't keep the chat on very much when I play," he said. "It can get very disturbing when you're trying to play four tables, and some of the people who are watching can get annoying."
Whether he likes it or not, however, he's an icon, beloved by legions of fanboys on forums around the world.
"It's probably because I've been around so long," he said. "I've been winning online for five years and I play the big games live as well.
"I guess everyone - Ivey, durrrr - who has been doing good in high-stakes online, people follow."
Though Antonius jumped at the chance to face off against his young rival, he told PokerListings he believed Dwan's edge would be too much to overcome - at least at first.
"I'd almost never played three tables heads-up before," he said.
"I started practicing three-table HU in January, not only against durrrr but against other players as well, and it went well, but I really haven't had much time four-tabling."
He came into the match expecting that his inexperience would cause an early downswing.
Though Dwan did jump out to an early lead, "Mantonius" clawed back and was able to draw even as his comfort level with four-handed play increased.
"Now I don't think Tom has too much of an edge," Antonius said. "He still has a small edge, because he's used to four-tabling and he's played a lot more of it."
"We'll see if it's going to be very close. Nobody's going to lose $5 million, at least."
The biggest challenge thus far has been time.
The two rivals have only logged 38 hours of play since the challenge began in mid-February, though the Finn indicated he'd gladly have played more.
"I had a lot of time to play earlier in the year," he said. "I was frustrated on days when I was at home and had nothing to do and it was daytime in the United States, but Tom went to Mexico and we could have used that time to play."
The window of time for more action is rapidly coming to a close.
"Neither of us is going to want to play during the WSOP," said Antonius. "There's too much good action.
"The thing is, other people wanted to get a chance to play the challenge also. There's a line-up of people waiting, but if they're all going to play it will be a long year."
However long it takes, Antonius said he's looking forward to seeing how the end game plays out.
"It's going to be interesting," he said. "The person who's winning - if he's up $1 million with 5,000 hands left he'll be really trying to do everything to keep pots small and the other one will have to try to really gamble.
"It will be funny. With 2k hands left we'll probably stop every 100 hands or so just to check on the proper strategy."
Antonius went tournament-broke just before the dinner break at Casino San Remo while wife Maya Geller-Antonius remained in contention.
Antonius was sweating wifey on the rail when PokerListings caught up to him, but don't be surprised if he uses this newfound free time to make another date with Dwan.
You can catch PokerListings' continuing coverage of the durrrr Challenge in the Poker News section.
And check out our coverage of EPT San Remo all week under the Live Tournaments tab.