In poker, there are a number of standout players that tend to dominate the airwaves more than others. Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth are two of them. As their final duel aired on June 23rd, all eyes and ears were fixed on the duo as they went head-to-head in front of millions of spectators around the globe. Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about their final High Stakes Duel match.
Hellmuth takes the lead
Round 1 of the High Stakes Duel took place on March 31st. Phil Hellmuth dominated the match and walked away with $100,000. The prize money was comprised of $50,000 of his buy-in fee and $50,000 of his competitor’s. As per the rules laid out by Daniel Negreanu himself, he challenged this win and invited his opponent to a rematch. Each player then contributed $100,000 to the final cash prize amount. Round 2 kicked off on May 5th with Phil Hellmuth once again claiming victory against Daniel Negreanu. This came as a surprise as Negreanu appeared to be in the lead for a large majority of both games. He even held a 3:1 chip lead at one point during the second match.
Third time lucky for Hellmuth
June 23rd was the final date for the third and final match between the two poker pros in Las Vegas. It was held after the completion of the US Poker Open which ran from June 3rd until June 15th. The stakes were once again raised with the final cash prize amount now equalling $350,000. After a five-and-a-half-hour battle, Phil Hellmuth beat Daniel Negreanu for the third time and cashed out his entire winnings from the tournament so far. This was his sixth straight High Stakes Duel win.
He held a narrow chip lead and called with his own gutshot and flush draw with ten-six. Daniel Negreanu held six-five and bet a gutshot straight draw on a flop of nine-seven-deuce. He could have split the pot with a ten on the river, but he succumbed to his fate with a three of spades. Responding to his defeat, Daniel Negreanu criticised his opponent’s poker playing ability but ultimately applauded him on his win. Fans took to a number of online platforms, such as GGPoker.com, to keep up to date with their progress and find out everything they needed to know about the coveted match.
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Predictions leading up to the match
With Phil Hellmuth securing victory at both initial rounds, the odds were always in his favour. However, a number of fans have argued that Daniel Negreanu’s strategy and gameplay were far superior throughout the entire tournament. He also recently won a number of high-profile matches as well as No Limit Hold ‘Em so was poised to continue his winning streak. Both players were pretty confident that they could claim the victory but in a high stakes game of poker, such as this one, it was always going to be almost impossible to predict a winner ahead of time.
Raising the stakes
The final prize fund ended up accumulating to an impressive $350,000. Because Negreanu lost the first two rounds, he was required to contribute $200,000 to the final prize pot. Negreanu, however, has been particularly critical of Hellmuth’s poker playing skills throughout the entire tournament and has previously criticised his ability to match the excellence of a number of younger, less-experienced players. By losing the final match against his rival, is it not just money he has lost but a sense of pride too.