BetOnline had to shut down their book on the upcoming Phil Hellmuth v. Daniel Negreanu heads-up match after posting a Tweet listing Hellmuth as the favorite. With long odds on Negreanu, the poker community couldn’t give BetOnline their money fast enough.
Within two hours they had locked the Negreanu line. They just couldn’t keep up with the volume of money people put down on DNegs to win. This isn’t surprising. The Fed doesn’t print enough money to keep up with the demand for a bet that good.
BetOnline’s odds were Hellmuth at -150 (or 1.67) and Negreanu at +110 (or 2.1). By the time they pulled the plug on Negreanu’s side of the bet, he was the -225 favorite.
Whether the confidence in Daniel is justified or not, it shouldn’t have been hard to guess which way the market would bet. We just watched Daniel Negreanu spend six months honing his heads-up game to a razor-sharp edge. Hellmuth’s big heads-up success, on the other hand, was taking down three heads-up sit-and-goes against Antonio Esfandiari.
When the bet went down, BetOnline were hit up quickly with a number of scathing tweets including: “What is this, Robinhood?”
As yet, BetOnline hasn’t responded.
The next big bet
All this is even more impressive when we note that the details of the heads-up match were still very much up in the air at the time.
The match — should it come to pass — owes its genesis to the Poker Brat’s mouthing off about Negreanu’s play. Hellmuth lost a fair chunk of change betting on his frenemy and seemed a little miffed.
“I was betting on Daniel’s talent,” said Hellmuth in an interview for PokerGO. “I think if Daniel is going to try to play Doug playing pure G.T.O. or next-level G.T.O., then I think that Doug has a lot of fire. So Daniel is going to fight fire with fire. And I think Daniel should’ve fought fire with Daniel.”
The result was an almost instant clap-back from DNegs on twitter. “Yo @phil_hellmuth,” the Canadian pro wrote. “You said you watched “zero” of the match but seem to have strong opinions on the play. I’ll play you a heads up match live, online, at any stakes you feel comfortable with for as many hands as you would like. Wanna play big guy?”
One can almost feel the tension between wallet and ego in the moment’s silence from Phil Hellmuth.
Brat v. Kid
The Poker Brat v Kid Poker — both middle-aged men — seems likely to happen now. Hellmuth has tweeted that the match will be on PokerGO’s High Stakes Duel so win or lose, Hellmuth will be getting his fee.
The format of that show will cut Negreanu’s edge if he has one. Deep stack cash games are a wildly different beast to the Heads Up Duel format.
“Happy to play anyone on @PokerGo App’s “High Stakes Duel.” Looks like they are bringing me the GREAT Daniel Negreanu, the guy that studied heads up for months w coaches I respect, so be it.”
Despite Hellmuth seeming to hedge his own bragging from the start, the bookies still took his side at first. But if anyone needed any clue as to who the poker community thinks the best man is, -225 is a pretty powerful message.
It might still be too early to count Phil out though. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated.
Image source: Twitter