Hellmuth Beats Negreanu Again in High Stakes Duel II
It happened again. Phil Hellmuth won another round of High Stakes Duel, the second one against Daniel Negreanu.
Hellmuth took on Antonio Esfandiari in the first edition of High Stakes Duel on PokerGO. He beat Esfandiari in the first round, which cost each player $50K to play. Esfandiari put in another $100K to play again, and he lost. He did it one more time – that time for $200K – and lost again. Hellmuth was the undisputed champion of the first set of duels.
Negreanu wanted a piece of Hellmuth, feeling sure that he could pull off a win after everything he learned from losing to Doug Polk. While Polk did win overall (for $1.2M), Negreanu said he learned a lot about heads-up play from the experience. So, he bought in to play Hellmuth for $50K. And he lost.
But vowing to avenge that loss, Negreanu quickly said he would put up $100K for another shot at Hellmuth. Let’s see how that went.
It Didn’t Go Well
The pre-match discussion for PokerGO on May 5 presented opportunities for both players to comment before the action began.
Hellmuth started by complimenting Negreanu but then stepped back into how he felt he needed to win to constantly prove himself. Negreanu argued that his legacy doesn’t depend upon the outcomes of these heads-up matches.
Host Nick Schulman pointed out the piñatas of both players faces, handed them sticks to hit the piñatas at will, and the match began.
Play started with friendly banter but serious poker. About 15 minutes into play, Hellmuth had the lead after taking a sizeable pot with J-4 against 7-3 on a 5-J-T-8-6 board. That put Hellmuth up to 113K from the original 100K stack.
Negreanu evened it back up within the next 30 minutes. But he went a big step further. The two got involved in a pot that started reasonably. Hellmuth started it with 6-4 of hearts, and Negreanu got into it with pocket jacks. The flop of 6-T-3 brought a bet from Negreanu and call from Hellmuth. The jack on the turn brought another bet and call. The river of the 4 prompted another bet from Negreanu, but that time, Hellmuth raised to create a 50K pot. Negreanu reraised to kick the pot up to 81K, and Hellmuth finally called. That put Negreanu up to 144K.
Hellmuth stayed steady, winning a few pots over the next hour. He got back to even more than two hours into play, though, when he rivered a flush with 10-9 of spades to beat Negreanu’s Q-T that had flopped top pair. That pot soared to more than 70K, putting Hellmuth in the slight lead.
Negreanu chipped up again, while Hellmuth struggled over the next hour.
Four hours into play. Negreanu led with a stack of 135K. Hellmuth mounted a comeback, and the two spent the next half hour trading the lead. Negreanu did jump ahead by the 4.5-hour mark, but Hellmuth took over with pocket kings that beat Negreanu’s missed straight draw.
A huge pot developed when Hellmuth played with his 10-2 of diamonds against Negreanu’s 9-7 of diamonds. The pot grew to 110K with the board showing 6-K-6-8, two of which (6 and 8) were diamonds. The river brought a nine of spades, but Hellmuth snap-bluffed all-in for his last 31K. Negreanu folded, and Hellmuth stacked his 141K.
Negreanu didn’t seem fazed at first, but Hellmuth got aggressive to try to close it out. It didn’t take long for Negreanu to raise with pocket eights, but Hellmuth pushed all-in to put his opponent to the test. Negreanu called and felt good about his chance against Hellmuth’s ace of hearts and 4 of clubs. The dealer put out J-9-9 with two hearts, then a 6 of hearts on the turn. The king of hearts on the river gave it to Hellmuth.
Negreanu complimented Hellmuth’s play and quickly talked about a third round, indicating that he is willing to go again. Hellmuth praised his luck and seemed to accept the challenge.
Hellmuth discounted his fifth straight High Stakes Duel win by saying that he got lucky and was disappointed in his own play. “My reads weren’t perfect today,” he said, “even though I got away with a ton of bluffs.”
He went on, “I played some hands very poorly. I lost too much money with sixes and fours when he had a set of jacks. It was just poor form on my behalf there. I was just not pleased with the last hand, either. I’m used to being sharper… I’m going to have a better strategy for next time.”
Us when @phil_hellmuth took home the belt… 2 matches, 11 hours, and 2 pre-match BRÈINFÚEL’S later… CONGRATS PHIL🥳💥🙌 #positivity #philhellmuth #breinfuel #poker #highstakesduel pic.twitter.com/YsQFp0nT7k
— Breinfuel: Mental Performance Drink (@Breinfuel) May 6, 2021
Bring on the haterade I’m thirsty!
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Such is life.
Acting like a classless asshole to the guy who just lost is optional.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) May 6, 2021