PokerGO had scheduled the fourth round of High Stakes Duel III on Thursday, May 12, 2022. However, the match between Tom Dwan and Phil Hellmuth did not occur because Tom could not travel to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, the “Poker Brat” has to wait for the next chosen player to pay $400 to get in the game.
Phil cannot quit the $800,000 match yet. He plans to wait until Tuesday, May 17 at 5 pm PT to compete for the pot against a yet established poker player. As always, the High Stakes Duel will be aired from start to end.
Hellmuth said that Dwan was overseas and could not travel to Las Vegas for the rematch. The two players had battled it out several months ago, becoming the most-watched live-streamed poker match in history. For now, PokerGO is yet to find a replacement but plans to announce the new opponent on May 16 at 4:30 pm PT.
Possible Replacement Opponents
PokerGO has to consider several factors before they choose a replacement. For starters, they must consider viewership.
While Hellmuth attracts many viewers despite playing against any opponent, the event could be more fascinating if he faced popular poker players. For example, PokerGO would get a higher rating if Phil was to play against Phil Ivey or Doyle Brunson. A rematch between Hellmuth and Negreanu would also create good ratings, especially following the recent Twitter feud between the two Hall of Famers.
Other possible replacements include Dan “Jungleman” Cates, Shaun Deeb, and Doug Polk. PokerGO could also go outside the poker world as they did with Nick Wright to attract a new audience. If this was to happen, the poker operator would choose players such as Ninja and MrBeast, popularly known as YouTubers and streamers.
Hellmuth’s Journey to the Top of the High Stakes Duel
The new player will be Phil’s fifth opponent on High Stakes Duel. He is also the third player to face Phil in the High Stakes Duel III.
Hellmuth started by defeating Antonio Esfandiari in three successive games in 2020, earning $350k. He also played against Daniel Negreanu and beat him too.
A novice player, Nick Wright, decided to try his luck by challenging Hellmuth in High Stakes Duel III. He paid $50k to play the first round of the series. Although he played a good game, Wright fell to the Poker Hall of Famer’s white magic hand.
Wright did not want to play another game, leaving an open slot for Dwan to take. Tom hoped to end Hellmuth’s winning streak. He paid $100k to enter the match and won.
As usual, the loser of the match is supposed to double the funds in the pot for a chance at a rematch. So, Hellmuth challenged Dwan to a $400k match after adding $200k to the pot. Fortunately, he took his position back after winning Round 3 of the series.
The two players decided to play Round 4 on May 12, which did not happen because Dwan could not make it to the match. With Dwan backing out, the new player will enter Round 4 by contributing $400.
If the two players agree to play Round 5, the pot will be $1.6 million. Typically, this can continue until the pot is $12.8 million, the highest allowed High Stakes Duel pot.
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