Poker fans don’t have to wait long to see the highly anticipated rematch between Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu on High Stakes Duel. The iconic poker stars will square off in Round 2 at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas on May 5 with $200,000 up for grabs.
In the first round, each player bought in for $50,000, creating a $100,000 prize pool. Hellmuth won a grueling marathon match that lasted six hours. During that match, he bounced back from a massive deficit where, at one point, he had just 3,000 of the 100,000 chips in play. But somehow, some way, “White Magic” found a way to come out ahead.
Hellmuth will need some more magic in Round 2 to defeat Negreanu, who is fresh off an extremely costly 25,000-hand lesson in heads-up No-Limit Hold’em from Doug Polk. Of course, this Hellmuth/Negreanu match isn’t the same type of format as we saw in Negreanu/Polk.
High Stakes Duel II, a show on the PokerGO app, uses a sit-n-go style No-Limit Hold’em format, so the blinds increase every half hour, which increases the variance compared to cash game poker. Hellmuth has thrived in this format and is currently unbeaten in four matches on High Stakes Duel, the first three against Antonio Esfandiari.
He also won a similar style tournament in 2005, and has performed well on the NBC National Heads Up Poker Championship (second place in 2013), and in a four-player “King of the Hill” match on Poker Night in America in 2017. So, he’s been through the ringer.
Poker pros ready to battle
Hellmuth and Negreanu both recently appeared on No Gamble, No Future, a PokerGo podcast with Jeff Platt and Brent Hanks, to discuss their previous match, and to announce details for Round 2. Hellmuth didn’t make viewers wait, and quickly disclosed that the rematch will take place on May 5 at 8 pm ET.
Since Hellmuth won the first match, he doesn’t owe a penny to the pot. As per High Stakes Duel rules, only the losing player buys in for the next game, and the stakes are doubled. In this case, Negreanu must pay $100,000 for the rematch, which creates a $200,000 prize pool (the $100,000 from Round 1 remains in the pot).
Neither player can cash out until the other player decides to call it quits, or after three matches. The stakes double in each round and could potentially get as high as $12.8 million if Hellmuth and Negreanu play the full eight rounds.