Phil Hellmuth Challenged to Series of Five $100K Heads-Up Matches by Rob Yong

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The legendary Phil Hellmuth will take on Dusk Till Dawn casino owner Rob Yong in a high stakes heads-up series, with $100,000 on the line in each of five planned matches.

Phil Hellmuth Rob Yong
Phil Hellmuth (left) will take on Rob Yong (right) in a series of $100,000 heads-up no limit hold’em matches. (Image: Twitter/Phil Hellmuth)

Hellmuth announced the series in a Twitter post late last week, in which he asked his follower to vote on who they thought would win the match.

Hellmuth Has History of Heads-Up Success

On Twitter, Hellmuth offered some details on the match, saying that the players would start 100 big blinds deep and use a 50-minute level clock. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Hellmuth who got the majority of the votes from his own followers.

Hellmuth’s resume may have something to do with that as well. The 1989 WSOP Main Event winner is best known for his tournament play, but has shown that he is a talented heads-up player on more than a few occasions as well.

In 2005, he won the National Heads Up Poker Championship, beating Chris Ferguson in the final to collect the $500,000 top prize. He nearly repeated that feat in 2013, making a run all the way to the final before being defeated by Mike Matusow. Hellmuth also won the Poker Night in America King of the Hill heads-up title by beating Dan “jungleman12” Cates back in the summer of 2017.

Shorthanded Specialist Yong Confident of Victory

But the 15-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner won’t have an easy time of it, as Yong is an experienced high-stakes player who specializes in shorthanded no limit hold’em cash games.

Yong expressed confidence in his ability to win the match when talking to

I like Phil but I’d be pretty shocked if he won,” Yong told the site. “And I mean that in the nicest way!”

Yong is better known for his work on the business side of the poker industry. Not only is he the owner of Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham, but he is one of the lead figures at Partypoker, and has worked to shape the company’s live tournaments such as the Millions series.

So far, a time and a venue for the heads-up encounter have yet to be announced.

Big Money Can Change Hands Heads-Up

Poker history is riddled with stories of legendary heads-up encounters between dueling gamblers, including the supposed 1949 marathon session between Johnny Moss and Nick the Greek. And while the Hellmuth vs. Yong match may well go on that list, it is far from the biggest clash the poker world has ever seen.

Perhaps the most money that ever changed hands in heads-up play came when businessman Andy Beal took on a group of professional poker players known as “The Corporation” in a series of heads-up limit matches in games with limits of up to $100,000/$200,000 between 2001 and 2006.

Beal was up for much of that time, but Beal would go on to lose a reported $16.6 million to Phil Ivey in February 2006 before finally calling it quits.

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