It was apparent from the beginning that it would go at least this long. The date has been set for Part III of the battle between 15-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth and fellow Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu. Mark your calendars for June 23, when the duo will square off for the third time in the last three months.
Stakes Going Up Again
The battle has been the exclusive property of PokerGO and its featured program High Stakes Duel, which will once again stream this battle over its outlet “plausibly live” (AKA on a 30-minute delay) from the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas. Beginning at 5PM (Pacific Time) on June 23, Hellmuth and Negreanu will continue the battle for…well, ego and a few dollars. This time around, the stakes are beginning to reach levels that might start to hurt a bit for the loser.
Per the rules, the stakes for this third installment of High Stakes Duel will be doubled over previous matchups. In Round I, both Hellmuth and Negreanu put up $50,000 for basically a heads up sit and go. Round II upped the stakes to $100,000, with the victor walking away with the spoils. Round III will double it up again, this time to $200,000 and the winner once again takes home the cash.
“Underdog” Hellmuth On a Run
Two things have been evident from the first two rounds of the High Stakes Duel between Hellmuth and Negreanu. First, Hellmuth has been the underdog in the event and will find himself in that position again, a +126 bet against Negreanu’s -145. Second, Hellmuth has played some outstanding poker against Negreanu in winning each of the first two installments.
In Round I back in April, Hellmuth fell victim to a run of bad beats and found himself literally right down to the felt. He held only a 5000 chip to the 95,000 that Negreanu had in front of him before making a comeback for the ages. Over what would be a six-plus hour battle, Hellmuth finally was able to climb out of the hole and win the matchup, taking down Negreanu’s $50K along with the $50K that he had provided.
In Round II earlier this month, Hellmuth had a much easier time of it. It was more of a back-and-forth affair with Negreanu bringing a fresh $100,000 for the festivities (Hellmuth was playing with Negreanu’s $50K from Round I added to his $50K). The ending did not change, however, as Hellmuth emerged as the victor and another $100,000 richer.
The victory by Hellmuth also extended his streak under the High Stakes Duel format. Last fall, the “Poker Brat” took Antonio Esfandiari to task and beat him in three consecutive matches before “The Magician” waved the white flag. In that match, Hellmuth won a net $350,000 and, along with his winnings against Negreanu, has rung up a total of $500,000 during this program alone.
Can Hellmuth keep the streak going? Can Negreanu find a way to claw back into the match, at least financially, with a singular victory? These questions and many others will be answered, but it will not be until June 23 that those details will be revealed.