Tom Dwan has been on the poker scene for a while now, but I had never really paid too much attention to his offline exploits. I was familiar with his name and had seen reports of the online high stakes cash games for a while. But I’d not seen the guy on TV, so I couldn’t identify too much with him – unlike poker pros like Ivey, Negreanu, Hellmuth, etc, who I’ve watched and admired for many years.
This is the first time I saw a clip of Tom Dwan, at some point last year:
While Hellmuth doesn’t cover himself in glory with his usual antics, my first impression of Dwan wasn’t so great. He looked uncomfortable in the live poker environment, avoiding eye contact and so forth. He was also a bit too cocky for my liking. I thought to myself “stick to online poker kid”.
However, my opinion on Tom Dwan has totally changed since I watched that first clip on YouTube. He’s had a lot more publicity recently due to the Durrrr Challenge (which might finish before Christmas!), but my opinion has been shaped by his recent appearances on High Stakes Poker, Season 5. He has been a joy to watch, and has utterly owned the table.
Here’s a piece of truly world class play from Tom Dwan:
I’m not basing my thoughts on just one or two hands, but his overall play. He has been nothing short of magnificent. It’s funny to look back at the NBC Heads-Up Championship video and seeing a somewhat geeky guy, clearly uncomfortable with the surroundings, and then to see how he has evolved on High Stakes Poker – totally bossing the table. This kid can certainly play poker! I’m a big Tom Dwan fan, that’s for sure.