Friday January 28, 2022 at 10:04 pm

In the latest installment of High Stakes Duel III at the PokerGO Studios at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas, Phil Hellmuth defeated Tom Dwan in Round 3 to win $400,000. Hellmuth beat Nick Wright in Round 1 and Wright declined to continue, so Dwan stepped in beat the Poker Brat in Round 2. Hellmuth triumphantly won their rematch in Round 3 and finally enacted revenge on Dwan from a bad beat dating back to 2008. Expect Dwan and Hellmuth to meet again in the near future for Round 4.

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Ship it to the Poker Brat. Phi Hellmuth is back on top after losing his first high-profile heads up match in a couple of years. Hellmuth had been running good in PokerGo's made-for-streaming series called High Stakes Duel, before his streak ended at the hands of Tom Dwan. For the third version of High Stakes Duel, Hellmuth battled Nick Wright in the first round. Wright had the option to chase his loss by doubling the stakes, but he declined a rematch. Without an opponent for a second round -- remember this is poker entertainment and a series for PokerGo subscribers -- Tom Dwan stepped in to take on the Poker Brat.

That's when a lot of people perked up. Dwan and Hellmuth had a history together and Hellmuth is no stranger to high-stakes drama. At the 2008 NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship, Dwan was most known for his virtual exploits as 'durrrrr' and one of the most feared cash-game players on the internet. Dwan came into the match representing the newest generation of e-pros and a new-wave of players who cut their teeth on the internet during the earliest days of the poker boom. Hellmuth represented the old empire and old-school pros from Vegas who often scoffed at the up and coming hot shots. However, in their heads-up match, Dwan snapped off Hellmuth's pocket Aces in a bad beat that still stings. Hellmuth waited over 13 years to seek out revenge and finally had a chance when Dwan agreed to play in place of Wright for the second match of High Stakes Duel III.

Hellmuth had previously swept both Antonio Esfandiari and Daniel Negreanu to win the first two installments of High Stake Duel. After he picked off Wright, Hellmuth had an undefeated and 7-0 record in HSD heads-up matches. That is, until Dwan stepped back into the spotlight.

In High Stakes Duel III Round 2, Dwan edged out Hellmuth to win $200,000. Of course, Hellmuth was livid that... 1) he lost, 2) had his winning streak snapped, and 3) he failed to enact revenge on the pocket Aces from 2008.

Hellmuth insta-accepted a rematch vs Dwan. The two finally sat down in late January for the third-overall match in High Stakes Duel III.

Hellmuth built up a lead and Dwan could not get anything going to launch a successful counter attack. The final hand came down to a classic race between Dwan's pocket ochos versus Hellmuth's Big Slick. Hellmuth limp-shoved with Ace-King when Dwan raised his initial limp with pocket eights. Hellmuth flopped a King and dragged the pot with a pair of Kings. Dwan busted and lost the rematch for $400K.

If they want to meet again, the two will slug it out for $800K. It's up to Dwan to determine if he wants to continue.

In the first installment of the inaugural High Stakes Duel, Hellmuth defeated Antonio Esfandiari in three-straight matches to bank $400K. No one expected Hellmuth would win one match against the Magician, let alone sweep him in three. Hellmuth played so well against Esfandiari that even Phil Galfond was impressed. Many high stakes regs thought the easy-going Galfond was performing a high-level troll job, yet Galfond was sincere in his analysis of Hellmuth.

Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu sparred in High Stakes Duel II. At the time, Negreanu was the favorite even though he dropped a million in a lengthy High Stakes Feud against Doug Polk. The two patched up their beef and developed a deep respect for each other, but it cost Negreanu a cool million after Polk came out of retirement to school Kid Poker. Despite the loss to Polk, Negreanu had played much better at the tail end of their match but he caught up in the learning curve too late.

Everyone felt that Negreanu was going to smoke Helmuth heading into High Stakes Duel II. After all, no one aside from Galfond was impressed with Hellmuth's 3-0 win over Esfandiari and Negreanu had just battled the premier heads-up cash game player in the world and developed a few new tricks. Alas, the Poker Brat prevailed and Kid Poker's bad run continued. Negreanu lost three-straight matches and coughed up $400K.

Hellmuth improved to 8-1 in High Stakes Duel with a 3-0 record against both Esfandiari and Negreanu, a 1-0 record versus Wright, and a 1-1 record against Dwan. They at least have to meet in a rubber match. Stay tuned!

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