Ship it to the Poker Brat. Phil Hellmuth continued his run good in high-stakes head up matches. Hellmuth played ten heads-up matches against five different players for High Stakes Duel at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas. His record improved to 9-1 with his lone loss occurring against Tom Dwan.
Hellmuth swept Antonio Esfandiari in the first installment of High Stakes Duel when Hellmuth won three matches in a row and the Poker Brat could not be stopped by the Magician.
Daniel Negreanu was the next opponent, and everyone expected Kid Poker to put Hellmuth in his place. Negreanu was fresh off his own high-stakes battle against Doug Polk to squash an escalating beef the two had over the years. Negreanu fell behind Polk early, but he played much better toward the end. Negreanu coughed up a cool million, but he improved his heads-up skills and more importantly -- he and Polk ended the match on good terms. Respect was earned on both sides of the felt. Despite the loss, everyone expected Negreanu to smoke Hellmuth in High Stakes Duel II.
But the opposite happened. Hellmuth won the first round. Negreanu reloaded. Hellmuth won the second round. Negreanu reloaded again. Hellmuth won the third round. At that point, the Poker Brat vs Kid Poker battle ended. Hellmuth beat Negreanu 3-0 secured another sweep and improved to 6-0 in High Stakes Duel matches.
Fox Sports announcer Nick Wright signed up to play Hellmuth in High Stakes Duel III. Everyone expected Hellmuth to win that one -- which he did and improved to 7-0. Wright did not play in a rematch. Instead, Tom Dwan stepped in to play HSD Round 2. It was a highly-anticipated heads-up joust because the two had history after bad blood was spilled in the now defunct NBC Heads Up Championship.
Much to the delight of the poker world, Dwan defeated Hellmuth and ended his seven-match winning streak. The two met again in a rematch for HSD Round 3. That time, Hellmuth got revenge and evened their score at 1-1. The two were schedule to meet for a rubber match last week in HSD III Round 4. However, Dwan backed out. Scott Seiver agreed to meet Hellmuth with $800,000 on the line knowing that he'd be on the hook for another round at double the stakes.
For High Stakes Duel III, Seiver became the third opponent for Hellmuth inside of four rounds. And Hellmuth prevailed. His record improved to 9-1 overall, including 3-1 in High Stakes Duel III. Hellmuth gave Seiver props calling him a tough opponent.
The fifth round entails both players putting $800,000 each in play. That means the winner will bank $1.6 million. If Hellmuth wins Round 5, he can walk away and HSD III will come to an end. If Seiver wins, things will get really interesting for Round 6 with each player having to show up with $1.6 million each before they even sit down. That's crazy to think that Seiver and Hellmuth could be battling for $3.2 million. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves because the rematch for $1.6 million does not even have a date set.
It's safe to assume that High Stakes Duel III Round 5 between Seiver and Hellmuth will happen after the 2022 World Series of Poker concludes. So, possibly at the end of the summer? Stay tuned.