It'll be five months in between matches, so Phil Hellmuth had plenty of time to think and meditate about his loss. Hellmuth unleashed one heck of a winning streak with seven-straight victories in heads-up, high stakes battles. His opponents were no slouches either and even Phil Galfond gave the Poker Brat props for his heads-up prowess.
On High Stakes Duel, a made-for-streaming event by the folks at PokerGo, Hellmuth defeated Antonio Esfandiari in the first-ever High Stakes Duel in the summer of 2020. It was the height of the pandemic and there was no WSOP or live poker going down, so poker fans had nothing to sweat until this heads-up bout between a popular pro and one of the most loathed players in the world.
Hellmuth conjured up his “white magic” and defeated Esfandiari three matches in a row. The Magician didn't know what hit him and he was down 3-0.
Then Hellmuth picked off Daniel Negreanu in High Stakes Duel II in 2021 right after Negreanu finished his highly-publicized High Stakes Feud against Doug Polk. At the time of HSD II, Negreanu was in prime shape too after a marathon (losing) battle against Polk. When they threw down, but the Poker Brat bested Kid Poker in three straight rounds. It was another shutout and sweep with Hellmuth prevailing 3-0.
Nick Wright took a shot at Hellmuth in HSD III, but the run good continued for Hellmuth and he won the first match. Wright declined a rematch, which opened the door to Tom Dwan stepping in for the next round in late August. That's when Hellmuth's tremendous run at High Stakes Duel ended at seven in a row when he dropped HSD III Round 2 to Dwan and Dwan banked $200,000.
High Stakes Duel III continues with the third round on January 26 at 5pm local time in Las Vegas. That's exactly two weeks from now at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas, when Hellmuth and Dwan joust for a second time in PokerGo's studio.
In HSD III, Hellmuth seeks revenge in Round 3 after he missed a chance at the $200,000 pool in the last match, while Dwan has a chance to bury the Poker Brat for a second time. Round 3 has $400,000 on the line along with a mountain of pride because Hellmuth would lose his mud if Dwan beat him a second time in a six-month stretch.
High Stakes Duel III will be exclusively broadcast over at PokerGo. Let's hope the two will battle it out as the stakes escalate. Would love to see a couple million on the line for some serious nosebleed heads-up action.