Phil Hellmuth strikes again. The second round of the uber-hyped High Stakes Duel, which was broadcast exclusively on PokerGO and broadcast live from the Aria, featured Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth squaring off in the battle of two of the biggest egos, two of the biggest mouths, and two of the biggest stars in the poker world.
Negreanu made headlines at the end of 2020 and the start of 2021 during his intense high-stake feud with Doug Polk in a fight to the death that would squash all their online beefs. In one sense, the heads-up match worked and the two developed a mutual respect for one another in something that only happens in Disney movies or after-school TV specials. On the other hand, Kid Poker donked off over a million bucks to get Polk and his minions to stop taking cheap shots at him and his lovely wife.
Negreanu played much better in the second-half of his battle with Polk, which made him the favorite against Hellmuth, even though Phil Galfond gave Hellmuth props on his heads-up skills during the inaugural High Stakes Duel against Antonio Esfandiari in which the Brat swept Antonio in three-straight matches.
In Negreanu and Hellmuth's initial foray into High Stakes Duel, Kid Poker had the Poker Brat on the ropes with a 19-to-1 chip lead but Negreanu could not land the cup de grace and put away Hellmuth. Alas, Hellmuth rallied back in an epic comeback that I'm sure he'll brag about for the rest of his life (and even in the afterlife). Yep, Kid Poker squandered a massive lead and let the Brat sneak in the back door.
That's why Negreanu was a big favorite once again in the rematch against Hellmuth. KidPoker was booking action at -150, whereas PokerShares listed him at -160 odds and Hellmuth as an underdog at +140.
The two each brought $100,000 to the mix in the second round. Once again, Hellmuth defeated Negreanu. In round #2, Negreanu seized the early lead but Hellmuth only trailed 3-to-1 at his lowest point before turning the tables. Hellmuth won a big pot with and flopped a straight flush draw but rivered a baby flush to draft the pot.
After playing for 4 hours and 20 minutes, fireworks finally happened. Hellmuth bluffed Negreanu in a pot when all he has was ten-high and a bust flush draw. He got Negreanu to fold a better hand and he seized the chip lead.
On the final hand, Negreanu went to battle with against Hellmuth Ace-rag. Hellmuth rivered a runner-runner flush while holding the . The Brat dragged the pot and won the match.
"I got lucky in this one," admitted Hellmuth.
Hellmuth banked another $100,000 and now he's up $200,000. If you count the first match against Esfandiari, Hellmuth is up a half-million in the High Stakes Duel.
Negreanu felt that Hellmuth played much better in the second round whereas he luckboxed his ass off in the opening round. He has not officially agreed to a rematch, but it's safe to assume the two will throw down for a third round in June where Kid Poker will get a chance to wipe out the losses and break even with $200,000 at stake. If Hellmuth wins, he'll add another $200K to his bankroll. If Helmuth loses the third round, he'll only be on the hook for $50,000 or his initial buy-in.
The two can also continue to play more matches after the third round, but stakes will continue to double. Stay tuned for official word on the HSD third round with Negreanu vs Hellmuth.