He can dodge bullets, baby! Phil Hellmuth is the greatest heads-up player in the history of the universe... in his mind... but he's been on a heater on High Stakes Duel with six heads-up victories in a row and snagging two HSD titles totaling a profit of $700,000. The last thing the biggest ego in poker needs is someone stroking his ego, but then again, he picked off Daniel Negreanu who was in peak heads-up form.
Negreanu is still relatively fresh off his epic high stakes feud against Doug Polk, which finished off in February after the two put their online beefs to rest and buried the hatchet playing 25,000 hands of $200/$400 NL. Unfortunately for Kid Poker, he lost $1.2 million in that match but gained experienced against one of the best HUNL from the poker boom era.
If you're counting at home, Kid Poker lost his last two heads-up throwdowns against Polk and Hellmuth for more than $1.5 million in cash. Ouch.
Hellmuth began his run last year with the first installment of High Stakes Duel against Antonio Esfandiari. Hellmuth won the first match for a $50K score, then won the second match for $100K, and completed a three-match sweep with a victory over Esfandiari for $200K more. In all, Hellmuth banked $350,000 and defeated Esfandiari 3-0 as the Heads Up Duel champion.
Kid Poker and Hellmuth battled in the same format. Hellmuth won the first match after coming from behind in redonkulous fashion to defeat Negreanu and bank $50,000. Kid Poker open a 19-to-1 chip lead but blew it all wen the Poker Brat stormed back to secure the insane comeback.
The second match also went Hellmuth's way and he added another $100K to his winnings. Hellmuth admitted he got luck in the second one, especially when he rivered a runner-runner flush to knock out Kid Poker.
The two met in the third match on Wednesday... which was going to be the finale win or lose. Hellmuth emerged the victor for a third time, and Negreanu lost to the Poker Brat for a third-straight match.
Negreanu ran into another brick wall of bad luck. He lost a smaller straight with against Hellmuth's . Both players flopped a gut shot straight draw on the board of . Hellmuth also picked up a flush draw. The spiked on the turn, which gave both players a straight. Fireworks ensued and the two got it all in. Negreanu's nine-high straight was smushed by Hellmuth's ten-high straight. The river did not provide a tie for Negreanu and he hit the rail. Hellmuth won the third match and completed a 3-0 sweep.
Hellmuth added another $200K to his winnings and banked $350,000 in Kid Poker bucks. But most of all, Hellmuth has bragging rights, which he will not be shy about telling the world about his latest exploits at the tables.
No word on a potential future rematch, or if either will take on other players. The WSOP is set for the fall, with an online WSOP series set for this summer, so heads-up battles will probably be put on hold until the end of the year or until the start of 2021 while both Hellmuth and Negreanu chase bracelets and bracelet prop bets.