Daniel Negreanu set to take Phil Hellmuth as next contender in heads up challenge

After losing $1.2 million in the 25,000-hand heads up challenge vs Doug Polk, Daniel Negreanu is quickly moving forward and is ready to take on his next opponent. While no plans were initially set following the grudge match, talks of another anticipated challenge against 15-time World Series of Poker champion Phil Hellmuth recently blew up in social media.

Coming from a brutal defeat, one might think that Negreanu would opt to take some time off the felt. The GGPoker ambassador however, has taken up another worthy opponent for another round of exciting gameplay, light banter and tons of side bets. With much to look forward to, poker fans have already begun placing their bets on their favored pro with the upcoming sessions likely to be more heated than ever.

Poker legend Phil Hellmuth challenged by Negreanu

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The whole battle ordeal of the two long-time poker icons originally stemmed from an interview Phil Hellmuth did for PokerGO’s No Gamble, No Future segment in which he highlighted his disappointment with Negreanu’s gameplay. While he praised his fellow Poker Hall of Famer’s coaches calling them brilliant, he shared how he thought Daniel should have fought “fire with Daniel” instead of “fighting fire with fire”, utterly disagreeing with how Negreanu countered Polk’s style with “pure GTO or next-level GTO”.

Aside from his criticisms of the past challenge, Hellmuth also revealed how he wanted to play Polk next in a heads up duel, as we know Polk rejected any possible future matches. The Poker Brat was seen full of confidence as he currently stands with an impressive record of having won 29 out of 30 of his previous heads up matches and also having bagged the last heads up tournament he played in.

Not long after, Negreanu replied in combat to his poker buddy’s sentiments through a Twitter post in which he publicly challenged Hellmuth in an interesting heads up challenge. In his post, Negreanu noted that he is willing to give him the ultimate choice of stakes, duration and whether it would be played live or online.

Having defeated poker pro Antonio Esfandiari in three straight matches last year with close to $400K to go along with his win, Hellmuth was up for the challenge to overcome the Canadian pro.

“Happy to play anyone on @PokerGo App’s “High Stakes Duel.” Looks like they are bringing me the GREAT Daniel Negreanu @RealKidPoker, the guy that studied heads up for months w coaches I respect, so be it. It will be a great challenge for me! Hoping I don’t look like THIS photo!!”, captioned Hellmuth.

While Negreanu was much of the underdog in his latest challenge, it seems the tables have turned with odds seeing him as 2.5:1 favorite in the tentative battle against Hellmuth. In a short span of less than an hour, bets favoring Negreanu filled instantly in BetOnline, showing a magnitude of support from the poker community.

Former opponent Doug Polk likewise shared his support for Negreanu after playing sessions with him on months-end and seeing how his gameplay has very much improved since.

With both parties agreeing to play against each other, thousands of poker fans and followers are already on the edge with excitement as to when this exciting match will take place. In an interview with Las Vegas Review-Journal, however, Negreanu is uncertain if the challenge will really play out saying, “I would love to play Phil Hellmuth, I think he’s chicken, to be honest with you. I think he’s scared. I think he knows he’s going to look bad.”

Regardless of his doubts, many are already awaiting further details on the upcoming challenge with hopes to see two of the greatest poker legends battle it out on the felt. Stay tuned as we bring the latest updates on the Negreanu vs Hellmuth challenge on in the weeks to come.

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Janette Dee

Graduated from De La Salle University, Janette works as a full time teacher in Manila, Philippines. She has long joined the local poker community as a recreational player for the last decade. Having a natural love for the game, she decided to branch out into a different avenue of poker. Currently, Janette works for Somuchpoker as a content writer reporting local and international news for the site.

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