Money, Meebits, and coaching props are on the line in Smith v. Gonzales HU game

Jon Pill
Published by:
Posted on 05/05/2021

Dan Smith and M J Gonzales have kicked off their heads-up match. It has been a while coming, but it is now underway.

Gonzales spent a large chunk of last year training Daniel Negreanu for his ultimately ill-fated showdown with Doug Polk. Smith is no slouch when it comes to poker. He has $37 million in tournament winnings alone. This puts him at #5 in the all-time money rankings.

A photo of Gonzalez’s chip stack from the start of day two of the challenge puts his starting stack at a nice round 1 million U.S. dollars. With that much on the line, he’s gotta be hoping that the master can outperform the student. The game being played is $500-$1,000 no-limit hold ’em. DNegs recently lost $1.2 million at much lower stakes.

Gonzales captioned the picture of his chipstack with the tag line: “GAME TIME! Gonna be a war.”

Where can I watch the game?

Unfortunately, the game is only being broadcast on visible wavelengths to eyeballs in the room. By which I mean: despite the stakes and buzz, no one has picked this up for broadcast.

If you can get into the Aria’s high-stakes lounge, then you can probably watch the match unfold.

But there is hope. Given that the Aria already plays host to the production of High Stakes Poker, things are pretty well aligned for PokerGO to step in and do a little High Stakes Duel style coverage.

Smith raised the point himself. On the first day of action, he found himself asking PokerGO, “how quickly can we get the studio?” So far PokerGO has not replied.

Swings and more swings

The game has already had a full primary school playground’s worth of swings. On day one, Gonzalez found himself stuck for almost $300 grand at one point. He manages to crawl his way out of that hole and finish the day with just $32k in the red.

“Had an absolute blast playing [Dan Smith] today 500/1k HU!!! Was buried early […] Then made a comeback,” wrote Gonzales. “Ended the session down $32k for the day. I LOVE THIS GAME!!!”

The next day saw the needle go firmly the other way, with Gonzales taking $72k off Smith. That puts him $40k in the black. 40 big blinds is nothing in heads-up.

“Booked a small win today ($72k) against [Dan Smith] 2 sessions down, plenty more to come.”

Bill Perkins, who cannot resist trying to play with the cool kids, volunteered to commentate on the game. “I’m going in da booth on this one!!!” he wrote in reply to Gonzales.

Dan Smith tried to remain optimistic after his reversal. “On a positive note,” he wrote, after his day 2 thrashing. “I sold 10% to a friend who auto booked me half of a bunch of meebits.”

Meebits are, for the record, “unique 3D voxel characters, created by a custom generative algorithm, then registered on the Ethereum blockchain.” Yet another non-fungible token to watch.

If Meebits take off, it might not matter how the rest of the challenge pans out. Smith might already have booked his fortune.

Featured image source: Flickr by WPT