Get ready for yet another rematch between two of poker’s most polarizing and entertaining players – Phil Hellmuth and Antonio Esfandiari.
Esfandiari just can’t quit his friend and long-time rival. He’s already lost to him twice on PokerGO’s heads-up show, High Stakes Duel, and is down $100,000 to the “Poker Brat.” But he isn’t ready to take his ball and go home. The “Magician” wants another crack at Hellmuth and will get that opportunity October 21 at 7:30 pm ET.
In the first match, more than a month ago, Hellmuth pulled off a couple of big bluffs and also got extremely lucky in a few crucial hands. Per the rules of the show, Esfandiari had the option to challenge his opponent to a rematch and immediately did so.
The second game didn’t go any better for him though. In fact, it was an even quicker defeat as he simply couldn’t get paid off on his big hands and lost a crucial race to end the match.
High Stakes Duel is a new show on PokerGO that gives popular players an opportunity to show off their heads-up no-limit Texas hold’em skills.
How it works is the two competitors each pony up $50,000, creating a $100,000 prize pool for the first match. The loser then has the option to challenge the winner to a rematch, which Esfandiari did, and then both players are required to each put up another $50,000, bringing the prize pool to $200,000. Hellmuth again won, but he isn’t permitted to cash out until Esfandiari either gives up or he wins three matches in a row.
Had Esfandiari decided to quit, which no one expected he would, Hellmuth would have then moved on to another competitor. Future players on High Stakes Duel haven’t been announced, but we do know they’re all big names and accomplished poker pros.
New match, same competitors
The third match will again take place at the PokerGO Studio on the Las Vegas Strip. You’ll get to see every hand on the PokerGO app beginning October 21. The stakes have been raised, as both players must now put in another $100,000, creating a new prize pool of $400,000.
If Hellmuth wins this time around, he can opt to call it quits and take his money. He would then face a different, undisclosed opponent. But that’s a big if. It’s difficult to beat a quality opponent three times in a row. And Esfandiari is certainly no slouch on the felt.
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