Phil Hellmuth takes down High Stakes Duel rematch against Daniel Negreanu

Phil Hellmuth takes down High Stakes Duel rematch against Daniel Negreanu
Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: May 06, 2021 08:19 PDT

Hellmuth wins $200,000 match; Negreanu challenges to another rematch

Phil Hellmuth seemingly can’t lose when the spotlight shines the brightest. The second chapter of the Phil Hellmuth vs. Daniel Negreanu heads-up challenge played out on PokerGO’sHigh Stakes Duel II Wednesday night, and the match finished up with a familiar result.

Hellmuth won again, running his record to 5-0 on High Stakes Duel. The 15-time WSOP bracelet winner downed Negreanu for the second straight match, taking the victory in a $200,000 winner-take-all sit & go against his fellow Poker Hall of Famer.

The first installment of High Stakes Duel II saw Hellmuth pushed to the brink of elimination, only to put on an improbable comeback and take the win out from under Negreanu. Wednesday’s rematch didn’t include any epic comebacks, instead featuring a back-and-forth battle between the two poker legends.

While the match played out much differently this time around, the result ended up the same. After a battle that saw 16 lead changes, Hellmuth came away with the win.

Hellmuth got lucky in the session-clinching hand, effectively shoving over the top of Negreanu’s min-raise and getting a call from Negreanu. Negreanu committed his 26-big-blind stack with pocket eights, with Hellmuth turning over ace-four offsuit.

Negreanu went into the hand as a 70 percent favorite, but Hellmuth found four hearts on the board to end up with a match-winning ace-high flush.

“The ace-four I’m really disappointed,” Hellmuth told PokerGO after the match. “I just don’t (think) I had my best stuff today. I certainly bluffed Daniel 50 or 60 times, but that’s not how I normally win. I usually win with a different style.

“I’m (going) to have to go back and watch this as I’m disappointed. Disappointed with the last hand although I did move in and made him call. I should have had a better read, but my reads weren’t perfect today even though I got away with a ton of bluffs.”

Big bluff puts Hellmuth in the lead for good

Hellmuth trailed slightly after four-and-a-half hours of play, but bluffed his way back into the chip advantage and stayed in that position through the end of the match.

The match-turning hand began with the blinds at 1,000/2,000. Negreanu opened to 4,000 with 9♦️7♦️, and Hellmuth three-bet to 14,000 with T♦️2♦️.

Negreanu called, and the flop came 6♦️K♠6♠. Hellmuth bet 13,000 into the 28,000 pot and got a call from Negreanu.

The turn came 8♦️, bringing in an open-ended straight flush draw for Negreanu. Hellmuth put out around a half-pot bet, dropping 28,000 more in the pot. Negreanu called again.

The river fell 9♠, giving Negreanu the superior hand with a pair of nines. Hellmuth immediately went all-in when fifth street hit the board, committing his last 31,000. Negreanu snap folded, and Hellmuth took a nearly 2.5-to-1 chip advantage.

Round 3 to come for Hellmuth and Negreanu

As per the rules of High Stakes Duel, Negreanu gets one more shot at taking down Hellmuth if he wants it. The GGPoker Ambassador invoked his rematch clause, and the next round of High Stakes Duel II will play as a winner-take-all, $400,000 match.

Each player will put in $200,000. Hellmuth is already up $150,000 on Negreanu after the first two matches.

Hellmuth’s High Stakes Duel record now stands at 5-0, including three wins over Antonio Esfandiari and two over Negreanu. After Wednesday’s match, PokerGO asked Hellmuth if Negreanu is one of the toughest heads-up opponents he’s faced.

“After the third match I’ll tell you that,” Hellmuth said. “But I’ve given Daniel credit the whole way from start to finish and I haven’t said one negative word about him. He was pretty condescending in the first match. I felt it was super condescending, and this match he handled himself much better.”

Featured image source: PokerGO