Phil Hellmuth asked for it and now he’s got it. On Monday evening, PokerGO announced that the High Stakes Duel III rematch between Hellmuth and Tom Dwan is on, scheduled for January 26 at 8:00pm ET. As one would guess, PokerGO will be streaming the action.
The two last met in August in Round 2 of High Stakes Duel III, when Dwan beat Hellmuth to win $100,000 from his rival. Hellmuth announced less than two weeks later that he had challenged Dwan to a rematch, as the rules of the competition allow.
In the first round of High Stakes Duel, each player puts up $50,000 for the heads-up battle. The loser of the match can request a rematch, but the stakes double. If the loser decides they have had enough, their seat remains empty for 30 days, during which time another challenger can take their place at the new buy-in.
High Stakes Duel can go for a maximum of eight rounds. Because the stakes double each round, each player could end up risking $6.4 million in the final round and that doesn’t count the buy-ins for the previous rounds. It is highly unlikely any will go that long; no edition of High Stakes Duel has gone past three rounds.
Dwan’s victory snapped Hellmuth’s High Stakes Duel winning streak at seven games. In fact, he had been the only person to win a match until this summer.
Hellmuth was unstoppable until facing Dwan
Hellmuth began in late 2020, sweeping Antonio Esfandiari in three rounds, winning $350,000 from the former World Series of Poker Big One for One Drop champ. In the first half of last year, Hellmuth continued his dominance, beating Daniel Negreanu in three straight rounds in High Stakes Duel II, good for another $350,000.
High Stakes Duel III has been the only edition so far in which the loser of a round did not opt for a rematch. Hellmuth’s first round was against sports media personality Nick Wright, decidedly not a pro poker player. Hellmuth won and Wright decided $50,000 was enough to lose. Dwan stepped in for Round 2 and handed Hellmuth his first loss.
Phil Hellmuth is hoping that he not only starts a new High Stakes Duel winning streak, but that he also continues his excellent play of late. This past fall, he had one of the best WSOPs you will ever see, making a record seven final tables, breaking An Tran’s record of six, set back in 1993.
He also continued to dispel the notion that he is only a Hold’em player, as all seven of his final tables were in a different game. And of course, Hellmuth extended his arguably untouchable WSOP bracelet record, winning his 16th in the $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw event. He is probably pained that it wasn’t more, as he finished second three times.