People News: High Stakes Duel postponed, Vanessa Kade joins ACR Team Pro team and more…

In this column we deliver you the latest and most interesting news and gossip from our favourite poker people.

High Stakes Duel postponed

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Daniel Negreanu (left) and Phil Hellmuth (right)

By now you will be aware of the fact that the High Stakes Duel between Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth has not started on 16th March. The heads-up challenge was supposed to premiere on PokerGo on 16th March, but due to Covid concerns in the production team the Duel was now postponed.

This match between the two most famous poker players in the world is a way for Phil Hellmuth to prove that he indeed is the better heads-up player of the two. He had criticised Daniel Negreanu after his negative result against Doug Polk and promptly got challenged by Negreanu.

There was another bet that was supposedly agreed on between the two. Hellmuth was to prove that he can beat high stakes tournaments by coming out in the black after 50 $25k tournaments at the Aria. It looks like Hellmuth has backed out from this challenge, however.

In the meantime, Phil Hellmuth claims to be an $11 million dollar lifetime winner in cash games which is not unlikely as he does play in pretty big private games. Due to his fame he gets invited to exclusive celebrity games in Las Vegas and also in Los Angeles on a regular basis.

Phil keeps saying he is the best player in the world and Daniel keeps calling him out for this. Where might this feud between these two friends go? Well, for starters to the PokerGo tables and the High Stakes Duel on 31st March at 8pm ET.

Fedor Holz wins Face-Off Challenge

The four matches of a total of 2,000 heads-up hands between Wiktor Malinokwsi and Fedor Holz have concluded. The German Wunderkind Fedor Holz had come out victorious in the first three sessions, but the Polish high stakes cash game legend Wiktor managed to cut some losses in the fourth session.

Fedor Holz
Fedor Holz. Credit:

It wasn’t enough to get out of the red, however, and Fedor Holz was the overall victor for a bit over $90k.

A lot of drama ensued around this heads-up battle as many felt the match was staged. This discussion was driven by Doug Polk who was surprised about the bad quality of play between the two. In the end he seemed to have concluded that they had just been fairly drunk during the first match and so their decision making wasn’t optimal.

Others simply say that over a sample size of 2,000 hands almost anybody could win. Fedor, on the other hand, says that he only really lost the fourth session as his head was already in the next project. He was busy opening Pokemon packs.

Wiktor is now continuing the heads-up challenge against Stefan “Stefan11222” Burakov which had been on hold for the past couple of weeks. The pair played a further 2.6k of 50k hands and Wiktor could bank an $86k victory against Stefan. This still only put a dent in his losses as Stefan is still around $300k ahead.

Vanessa Kade joins ACR Team Pro team

It looked like a conclusion of the Kade vs. GGPoker drama when the poker operator cancelled her affiliate deal. Kade had publicly criticized GGPoker for signing the controversial Dan Bilzerian as an ambassador, but apparently had kept accepting affiliate payments nevertheless.

While she was expecting an apology from GGPoker after Bilzerian had called her a “hoe” on Twitter, all she got was getting thrown out of the affiliate team. GGPoker explained in their message to her that she cannot be representing the company while openly criticizing them for their business decisions.

Vanessa did not have to wait long to be picked up by a different poker company, not as an affiliate, but as a Team Pro. America’s Card Room came to the rescue, promising to help Vanessa’s fight for more inclusive poker and less misogyny.

Apparently, conversations about this Team Pro deal had been ongoing for a year already and the timing was just a little awkward right now as it will look like she only got signed due to the current media hype around her.

Meet the OmahaSquad

But also GGPoker has created a platform for more sponsored poker pros. The so-called OmahaSquad has been called to life during the Omaholic Series this month.

So far the squad is only made up of two members, Fernando “JNandez” Habegger and Sasha “PokerSasha” Liu. Sasha is the first female player to be added to the list of sponsored players at GGPoker. The goal of this new team is to promote the game of Omaha and grow it as much as possible.

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The OmahaSquad is a team that was founded in addition to the general GGTeam, big name pros like Daniel Negreanu and Betrand “ElkY” Grospellier, and the TwitchSquad. The latter includes players such as Kevin Martin or the new hire Hristivoje “AllinPav” Pavlovich.

It is to be expected that in order to grow the already popular variant of Omaha, more 4-card players will be signed in the near future. Who do you think might be a good fit for this team?