Poker King produced a new video featuring one of their ambassadors, Tom Dwan. Dwan sat down with pro Nick Shulman to discuss how he was able to stay ahead of the curve in the high stakes realm with PLO and Short Deck poker. Many pros regard Dwan as one of the Top 5 Short Deck players in the world, but he's been playing and studying the games much longer during his time playing nose bleed stakes in Macau and Asia.
It's time to listen to what Durrrrr has to say. Anything Tom Dwan can share tips and advice on how to play better poker, then you should listen. Ivey and Dwan recently joined a new site, Poker King, as their brand ambassadors. They both played high-stakes games in Asia in recent years because that's where the whales and action was located. In a short time, Dwan became one of the top Short Deck players in the world. The game has been a huge rage and hit in Asia, because there's a slight more gambling element to it. Many different new games and formats pop up every few years, but Short Deck is here to stay. The WSOP finally added Short Deck to its schedule of events and it looks like it's here to stay.
Short Deck has taken a little while longer to take root in the Americas, but high stakes pros have been playing it overseas for many years. Dwan was one of the first Americans to sample the derivative of Texas Hold'em minus the low cards (2-3-4-5 pulled out of the deck). His prowess as a PLO guru helped him accelerate the learning curve.
"Any time you change the game, some neat stuff will happen," said Dwan. "Short deck has a lot of cool stuff."
According to Nick Shulman, Dwan became one of the "Top 3 to 5 short deck players in the world People talk about you like you're a savant."
"I was playing short-deck before a lot of people," explained Dwan. "There was a time when I was way ahead of everyone because no pros were playing it. I have been working on it for two years and at high-stakes."
Shulman wondered if Dwan's exquisite PLO background helped him become one of the premier short-deck players in the world. "You have to get it more all-in with PLO. You have to accept that that needs to happen sometimes," commented Shulman.
"Up until a year ago, lot of people where thinking about the game wrong," explained Dwan. "A few had an idea, but not a lot of people. There's intuitive spots that people missed because they were new to the game and they'd miss high-value spots."
Dwan observed that many pros clearly did their Short Deck homework with solver work, but they wouldn't be able to execute in cash games because pros were folding too much in spots were they had to take a risk in a high-leverage pot.
"That's most of your (potential) earning in this game, what are you doing?!"
There's a gamboool aspect of Short Deck, which appealed to high-stakes gamblers in Asia, much like how PLO became a huge hit in Europe during the online poker boom. Omaha, especially PLO, had been an action game for many gamblers in the Southern USA. While most live card rooms and casinos focused on Texas Hold'em, Omaha8 or Stud... PLO quickly spread via the internet.
PokerStars added Short Deck to their platform, but called it 6+ Holdem. More Europeans and South Americans are warming up to Short Deck.
"It's not that hard to be a moderate dog in Short Deck. That's important because it makes for a good gambling game. It's already big in Asia, but it's starting to pick up."
Shulman commented that Dwan is still sort of a mystery because he's never easy to read, which has been true for over a decade, and he tries to do "crazy or unconventional stuff."
Dwan admitted he did goofy things every once in a while, but it didn't always work. But he was willing to admit when he went wrong and adjusted accordingly. When things went right, it gave him more leeway to keep trying new things with an outside the box approach.
When Dwan first crashed the scene and the 20-something took on the old guard, he felt he had an edge in some spots with his high-stakes approach. He had more room to work with against older players that were slow to adjust to the modern game (circa 2010). Dwan also chalked up his success to "lucky timing" during this adjustment period in the wake of the glorious poker boom. It took Doyle Brunson 20 years to develop his style and gain experience, whereas in less than two years of grinding high-volume online, Dwan reached the highest level.
These days, the best high-stakes players are polished, so there's no as much room to operate and do crazy stuff.
"I had a sick run in short-deck when I was ready to get away with murder just because people didn't understand the game," said Dwan. He had a similar experience when he took his first shots at nosebleed games a decade earlier.
Check out the Poker King video featuring Nick Shulman interviewing Tom Dwan about short deck and other high stakes approaches...