Hellmuth scoops up impressive victory in first round of High Stakes Duel against Negreanu

The first round of 15-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth against fellow poker icon Daniel Negreanu’s High Stakes Duel finally came into action yesterday after weeks of social media banter leading up to the game. After 6 long hours of heads-up play, Hellmuth emerged victorious following a successful comeback from a 19:1 chip deficit, banking in $50,000 in profits along with his first win.

Phil Hellmuth (left) and Daniel Negreanu (right) shaking hands after the match. Credit: PokerGO

The match began with the two conversing in an entertaining friendly banter over Hellmuth’s questionable pre-flop plays in his duel against Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari in the previous season. Hellmuth won this previous challenge earning roughly $350,000 for his triumph and a glorious belt to prove it. Getting riled up as usual, the Poker BratHellmuth started the current duel on the losing end and eventually crippled down to his 5,000 chip stack to Negreanu’s 95,000.

The first big action seen on the match was Hellmuth’s losing pocket pair of Jacks to Negreanu’s Kh9h for a 20k pot. Not a surprise to anyone, the Poker Brat can be seen muttering to himself and obviously getting annoyed by the bad beat.

Cards however, started falling his way soon after as he managed to pull an insane comeback straight into victory. Having recovered from his 19:1 chip disadvantage, Hellmuth scooped up the last of Negreanu’s chips with his pocket nines vs Negreanu’s 7-high combo draw, ultimately securing his title for the first round.

“I think he affected me mentally by attacking my legacy a little bit,” Hellmuth told PokerGO. “I felt like I had been under attack all month.”

Having defended his legacy for now, it seems Hellmuth will once again have to battle Negreanu for a second round at double the stakes. Six-time bracelet champion Negreanu was seen as a huge favorite among the two despite losing his last heads up duel with Doug Polk.

“There will be a rematch. You can guarantee that,” Negreanu noted following the defeat.

While the second round has been confirmed, no set date has been revealed for now, with players yet again given the chance to exclusively stream the anticipated match on PokerGO. Additionally, Negreanu revealed on Twitter that he will be taking up another challenger for a third series of High Stakes Duel. The identity of this Hollywood legend remains to be unknown with more information to follow soon after. An exciting time for televised poker, it appears more heads-up challenges will likely be on the way as the trend continues.

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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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