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Gossip Column: Phil Hellmuth Sweeps Round 2 of High Stakes Duel Against Daniel Negreanu

Gossip Column: Phil Hellmuth Sweeps Round 2 of High Stakes Duel Against Daniel Negreanu
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis May 6, 2021
  • 4 Minutes Read

The self-proclaimed ‘GOAT’ of poker, Phil Hellmuth, is now on a five-match heater after winning Round 2 of his High Stakes Duel II against Daniel Negreanu just hours ago.

The 15-time WSOP bracelet winner got the last word on Negreanu once again. In Round 1, the GGPoker Ambassador had dominated much of the proceedings, even working up a commanding 19:1 chip lead over Hellmuth at one point. However, the Poker Brat made an incredible comeback to win the round for $100,000.

Having lost Round 1, Negreanu had to add $100,000 to the pot for Round 2, which adding the Round 1 collection, created a $200,000 prize pool. The match ran for nearly five hours and was streamed exclusively on PokerGo.

Hellmuth notably made a big bluff to take the chip lead in the latter stages of the match before outdrawing Negreanu on the final hand to win Round 2.


Hellmuth vs. Negreanu: High Stakes Duel II Round 2

The PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino played host to Round 2 of the High Stakes Duel II on May 5. Both players were interviewed before the match.

When asked if he felt Negreanu would play differently in Round 2, Hellmuth said, “I don’t think he’s going to adjust much. I’m guessing he won’t adjust, but I’m ready for whatever. I’m guessing he won’t adjust too much because he had me a little low playing his game plan, and I think he likes his game plan.”

Phil Hellmuth from High Stakes Duel II on PokerGO.com
Phil Hellmuth from High Stakes Duel II on PokerGO.com


On the other hand, Negreanu believed that while Hellmuth would try to change his gameplay, it would still be in a predictable way. “I expect him to do things differently. I just think he’s going to do things differently in very transparent ways. I think I am so in his head that I already know, from what he saw, that what he thinks the right move is. But it isn’t. I was playing exploitative big time, and he could exploit that. He just doesn’t know exactly how. He thinks he does, but I already know what he’s going to do in terms of how he’s going to adjust his play, and I’m going to make a small adjustment to exploit that even more.”

Daniel Negreanu from High Stakes Duel II on PokerGO.com
Daniel Negreanu from High Stakes Duel II on PokerGO.com


Even after losing Round 1, Negreanu was still a strong favorite to win Round 2. According to the PokerShares betting platform, Negreanu was a -161 favorite (bet 161 to win 100), while Hellmuth was a +142 (bet 100 to win 142) underdog.

Negreanu had dominated the majority of Round 1 on March 31 before Hellmuth rallied from a 19-1 chip deficit to win the match. The second match was close throughout and featured 16 lead changes, but Negreanu again held the chip lead for most of the time.

After nearly five hours of play, the end came swiftly. First, Hellmuth bluffed Negreanu on the river with a busted flush draw to take a chip lead of about 141,500 against Kid Poker’s 58,500.

Four hands later, Negreanu raised with a pair of eights, Hellmuth went all-in with ace-four, and Negreanu called. His eights held the lead until the river when a fourth heart hit to give Hellmuth a winning flush with his ace.

Immediately after the match, Negreanu congratulated Hellmuth and confirmed that there will be a Round 3.

“I thought you played well. This one I thought you played a lot better than the first one. So we’ll have to see you in Round 3.”

In the post-match interview, Hellmuth shared his views on his win, claiming that he was disappointed with the final hand. “It doesn’t matter because I have to win number six. I know the way it works, and I have accomplished nothing so far, and I got lucky. I went for some crazy bluff on that hand there to take the chip lead. I had a ten and a deuce, and I just bombed it, bombed it, bombed it, and bluffed with ten-high on the river all-in, and thank God he folded. I was out in no man’s land. The ace-four I’m really disappointed. I just don’t I had my best stuff today. I certainly bluffed Daniel 50 or 60 times, but that’s not how I normally win. I usually win with a different style. I’m to have to go back and watch this as I’m disappointed. Disappointed with the last hand, although I did move in and made him call. I should have had a better read, but my reads weren’t perfect today even though I got away with a ton of bluffs.”

When asked if Negreanu was one of the most formidable opponents he has ever faced, Hellmuth said, “After the third match, I’ll tell you that. But I’ve given Daniel credit the whole way from start to finish, and I haven’t said one negative word about him. He was pretty condescending in the first match. I felt it was super condescending, and in this match, he handled himself much better. But even still, he’s preaching down to me about ranges, and I’m thinking to myself, I’ve just won 24 out of 26 heads-up matches against pros, and they have me rated as a fucking underdog every match. It just blows my mind, but I just never quite get that respect, and that’s ok with me. I just want to keep winning.”

You can watch the first 45 minutes of the match below.


Negreanu took to Twitter to congratulate Hellmuth on his victory.


Hellmuth is now 5-0 on High Stakes Duel, which includes two wins over Negreanu and three against Antonio Esfandiari in the High Stakes Duel last year.

To play Round 3, Negreanu will have to pay another $200,000, and he has to win that match, or Hellmuth will have a right to cash out and move on to another challenger.

Now that Negreanu has confirmed that a Round 3 will be happening, the match details should be made public soon.

Cover Image Courtesy: PokerGO.com

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