In a Twitter post on Friday, FS1 talk show host and amateur poker player Nick Wright issued his response to whether he would move on in the challenge against former World Champion Phil Hellmuth in the High Stakes Duel III battle. Despite making a good showing for himself and actually taking Hellmuth to task for the first two hours or so of their fight, Wright has waived the white flag and will not move up in stakes to take on Hellmuth. This now leaves the question – who’s next for the 15-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner?
“To Be Totally Candid…”
Wright took the maximum amount of time to make his decision regarding stepping to the plate again against Hellmuth. Players are given 72 hours to decide whether they want to continue or not and Wright, who said right after the event he would take 71 of those hours, hastened his decision. He would announce that decision over Twitter at roughly the 70-hour mark of the clock.
“To be totally candid, I’m still not really over the loss,” Wright admitted in the Tweet. He acknowledged that Hellmuth deserved to win but feels that he “blew it” and strayed from a pre-set plan that he had going into the match. “The question is, after losing that $50,000, am I gonna wrangle up another $100,000 to face him again…regrettably, the answer is no.”
Wright took Hellmuth to task in the early going of their High Stakes Duel III battle, moving out to almost a 2:1 lead before Hellmuth grinded his way back to a slight lead. In their last hand, Wright stated he thought he had Hellmuth beaten (and, if he had, would have moved into a sizeable lead against Hellmuth), but Hellmuth actually had him outpipped with an eight high flush over Wright’s seven high flush.
There’s nothing that Wright has to feel badly about. He played a masterful game and just came up a bit short against someone who has shown against world-class competition that he’s an expert at this format. But the question now arises – who’s next?
Could It Be Ivey? What About Dwan?
There are two big names that could be on tap for Hellmuth, and both have been removed from the U. S. poker scene for some time. Both of the competitors would be serious challenges for Hellmuth, one having accolades almost equal to the former World Champion. The other is one of the all-time greatest online and live poker wunderkinds who has chosen to stay away from the States for some time.
Hellmuth’s fellow Poker Hall of Fame member Phil Ivey is arguably the one who would present the biggest challenge for Hellmuth and would also arguably draw the most eyeballs for PokerGO viewers. A 10-time WSOP bracelet holder, Ivey has long struck fear into the hearts of many a high stakes professional wherever the game may be taking place. For him to step into the High Stakes Duel arena against Hellmuth would certainly be a way of bursting back on the poker scene after a few years away from the U. S. tournament poker scene.
What might present the most interesting generational challenge would be a fight against Tom Dwan. Dwan, who has become poker’s version of Howard Hughes it seems by removing himself to the high stakes world in Macau, would bring the Aughts online mentality to the tables against the veteran Hellmuth. Because of his time away from the tournament grind in the U. S., he might have also learned some tricks that Hellmuth might not be ready to face.
What will be the next step for Hellmuth and High Stakes Duel IV? Whatever it may be, it should be a big one. Hellmuth has already mowed down Antonio Esfandiari and Daniel Negreanu before his one-off with Wright. A seven-match winning streak is on the line and the poker world would like to see who might put that run to an end.