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Poker Legend Phil Hellmuth Defeats Daniel Negreanu In Second Round Of High Stakes Duel

Dating Back To His 3-0 Sweep Of Antonio Esfandiari, Hellmuth Has Won Five Straight Heads-Up Matches And Profited $500,000


Phil Hellmuth defeated Daniel Negreanu for the second consecutive match in the second round of their high-stakes heads-up battle on PokerGO’s High Stakes Duel.

The 15-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner won the entire $200,000 prize pool, profiting half of it, as the second round doubled the stakes and required a $100,000 buy-in.

At the end of March, during their first-round match, Hellmuth mounted an epic comeback after Negreanu jumped out to a 19:1 chip lead. Hellmuth’s victory prompted Negreanu to take his rematch option with double the stakes, which took place Wednesday evening in Las Vegas at the PokerGO studio in Aria.

With his victory, Hellmuth has five straight wins in the High Stakes Duel series after he swept Antonio Esfandiari in three matches, netting a profit $350,000 in the process. Over his last five matches, Hellmuth is in the black $500,000.

There will be a third and possibly final match between Negreanu and Hellmuth, likely in early June. It will have a $200,000 buy-in.

While it wasn’t the monster comeback he completed in the previous match, Negreanu did hold the chip lead for a significant portion of the match and held as large as a 3:1 chip advantage at one point in the match.

But a key bluff and a bad beat eventually swung the match in Hellmuth’s favor.

During the first level of play, Hellmuth got out to a small chip lead simply by check-calling and picking off several of Negreanu’s bluffs. Negreanu drew first blood, however, when he got three bets in the middle on the river with top set.

With blinds of 150-300, Hellmuth limped with 6Heart Suit4Heart Suit and Negreanu raised out of the big blind with JDiamond SuitJClub Suit. The flop was 10Club Suit6Diamond Suit3Club Suit and Negreanu bet 1,200. Hellmuth called. The turn was the JHeart Suit and Negreanu bet 3,100. Hellmuth called.

The river was the 4Diamond Suit and Negreanu bet for a third time, this time 13,000. Hellmuth thought for a bit before raising to 28,000 with his two pair. Negreanu eventually clicked it back and made it 43,000. Hellmuth hemmed and hawed before calling.

The pot was pushed in Negreanu’s direction and he held 144,000 of the 200,000 chips in play.

A few levels later, with blinds of 400-800, Hellmuth rivered a flush and brought the match back in his favor. Negreanu raised to 2,000 on the button with QDiamond Suit10Diamond Suit and Hellmuth three-bet to 8,000 out of the big blind with 10Spade Suit9Spade Suit.

The flop was QSpade Suit8Spade Suit2Diamond Suit and both players checked to the 9Club Suit turn. Hellmuth bet 9,000 and Negreanu called. The river was the 4Spade Suit, giving Hellmuth his flush, and he bet 18,000. Negreanu mulled it over for a bit before calling.

Hellmuth regained the lead, but it was short lived. Negreanu’s KDiamond Suit4Diamond Suit bested Hellmuth’s 10Diamond Suit8Diamond Suit on a board of 6Club Suit5Diamond Suit2Diamond SuitQDiamond Suit6Spade Suit to put him back into the lead. Hellmuth check-called down, so Negrenu’s chip lead was still rather small.

The two players basically traded jabs for quite some time. Hellmuth picked off a few bluffs to pick up a 4:3 advantage in chips. And then Negreanu won some pots to flip the score.

After more than four and a half hours of play, however, fireworks finally began to fly and the match ended in a series of three hands. With blinds of 1,000-2,000, and Hellmuth holding 114,000 of the 200,000 chips in play, Hellmuth raised on the button to 4,000 with QDiamond Suit4Spade Suit. Negreanu defended his blind with QHeart Suit6Heart Suit.

Both players chcked a flop of QSpade Suit7Heart Suit2Diamond Suit and the 6Spade Suit came on the turn. Negreanu bet 5,500 and Hellmuth raised to 12,500. Negreanu three-bet to 28,000 and Hellmuth called. Negreanu shoved on the 10Club Suit river and Hellmuth folded.

That pot gave Negreanu the small advantage, but on the very next hand, Hellmuth regained the lead with a massive bluff.

Negreanu raised to 4,000 on the button with 9Diamond Suit7Diamond Suit and Hellmuth three-bet to 14,000 with 10Diamond Suit2Diamond Suit. Negreanu called. The flop was KSpade Suit6Spade Suit6Diamond Suit and Hellmuth bet 13,000. Negreanu called. The turn was the 8Diamond Suit, giving both players a flush draw.

Hellmuth bet 28,000 and Negreanu called. Hellmuth moved all in on the 9Spade Suit river, which gave Negreanu the best hand, but he couldn’t pull the trigger for the rest of Hellmuth’s chips. Hellmuth opened up a 3:1 chip lead.

Just a few hands later, with Negreanu sitting on a stack of about 50,000, he raised to 4,000 on the button with 8Spade Suit8Club Suit and Hellmuth moved all in out of the big blind with AHeart Suit4Club Suit. Negreanu called.

The board ran out JHeart Suit9Heart Suit9Club Suit6Heart SuitKHeart Suit, giving Hellmuth a flush, the pot and the match.

“Good job, buddy,” said Negreanu. “You played well. I thought you played well. This one, I thought you played a lot better than the first one. I guess we’ll have to see you again in round three.”

“So it’s an official challenge,” said Hellmuth about the eventual rematch. “I got lucky in this one."

If Hellmuth wins the third match, he has the option to cash out his winnings and book a $700,000 profit over his last six heads-up matches. If Negreanu wins, on the other hand, any further matches would have to continue to double in stakes. Hellmuth does have the option to quit, however.