Time to Remove Underdog Tag From Phil Hellmuth After Winning High Stakes Duel II

Phil Hellmuth

For a long time, Phil Hellmuth has been considered an underdog amongst other poker players. This is because of his unique style of playing that is now game theory optimal (GTO) among professional poker players. Even with 15 bracelets from the World Series of Poker, Hellmuth is still considered an underdog.

But, it is time to release that status, especially with him winning High Stakes Duel II against Daniel Negreanu. Phil started by completing three matches earlier this year against Antonio Esfandiari and winning the High Stakes Duel I. He has also won High Stakes Duel II, hosted at the PokerGO Studio at the ARIA Resort & Casino.

Official betting odds considered Hellmuth as an underdog. But, this did not stop Phil from playing six matches, three with Antonio and three with Negreanu, and winning $350,000 for each contest.

Hellmuth and Negreanu entered the June 23, 2021 match with a buy-in of $200,000. Before that, Hellmuth had participated and won a match with a buy-in of $50,000 in April and another with $100,000 in May.

Hellmuth’s gameplay was much better compared to Negreanu’s. But, Negreanu could occasionally mount comebacks, especially during the last round.

How It Went Down

The match started with 200,000 in chips. Negreanu had an early chip lead, but Hellmuth later took over with barely a premium hand.

Negreanu’s hand comprised a 2 diamond and a 2 flower with blinds at 150/300. Hellmuth had a three-bet 8 flower and 3 flower.

But, neither of these two players connected with the 10 diamond, 6 spades, and J flower flop. After several exchanges, Hellmuth went for chips by betting 42,000 following the 6 flower paired the board.

Kid Poker Regained Chip Lead But Lost Again

Negreanu, also known as Kid Poker, remained calm after coming second with chip leads. He even came back top. However, Hellmuth was not about to back down as he took the 4:1 chip, gaining an advantage over Negreanu.

Eventually, Negreanu regained the chip lead until Hellmuth gained a better chip advantage before the final hand was dealt. While Kid Poker staggered for 6,000 from the button with 6 and 5 spades, Hellmuth did not contribute to the pot from the blind with 10 and 6 diamonds.

After, Phil check-called on 2 diamonds, 7 spades, and 9 diamond flop. With an 8 heart coming out, the two players improved to a straight.

With a ten-high straight, Hellmuth called. Negreanu’s response showed his excitement for Hellmuth’s win. He complimented Hellmuth’s gameplay, saying it was a good match. Even before the river was dealt, the two stood up, shook hands, and Negreanu told Hellmuth that he deserved the win.

Phil also had something to say. Besides complimenting Negreanu, he told him that he thought he was the best of all-time greats. With river completing the board, Phil got his second three-round win against yet another formidable player.

High Stake Duel is a poker match requiring three rounds of play. The head-up match requires the participating players to meet three times and show their prowess before betting the high stake duel belt and cash.

After hours of entertaining battle, Negreanu picked up his jacket, confirmed to Phil that the game was good. Hellmuth also exclaimed the same.


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