Hellmuth vs Negreanu is in the books after Phil Hellmuth swept Negreanu for for a third time. In dominating Negreanu over three matches, Hellmuth wins the High Stakes Duel II championship and a total of $350,000 in cash.
Some didn’t think that Hellmuth vs Negreanu would get off the ground but the first concrete confirmation came during the No Gamble, No Future podcast, where Brent Hanks said that the pair would play through High Stakes Duel on PokerGo.
Phil Hellmuth subsequently confirmed that he would be playing Negreanu on the Stake Center podcast while saying that he is also ready to play Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan in the High Stakes Duel.
With Hellmuth clinching the win, we take a look at what happened during the match:
When did Round 1 of the Hellmuth Vs Negreanu match take place?
The match was originally set to begin on March 16th but has been rescheduled to kick off on March 31st beginning at 8 PM ET
Who is winning Hellmuth vs Negreanu High Stakes Feud so far?
Phil Hellmuth won round 1 of the High Stakes Feud match on March 31st, despite being down by a margin of 95k to 5k at one point during the match. For his win, Phil Hellmuth took down the $100,000 prize, which included his $50,000 buy-in and $50,000 from Negreanu.
Per the rules of the Daniel Negreanu High Stakes Feud match, Negreanu challenged Hellmuth to a rematch. Each player bought in during the second round for $100,000.
On May 5th, Phil Hellmuth once again was victorious in Round 2. Although Hellmuth wasn’t behind by an overwhelming amount like he was for Round 1, Negreanu has ahead for a majority of Round 2, holding a 3:1 chip lead at one point during the match.
|March 31st||Phil Hellmuth||$100,000 ($50,000 profit)||Hellmuth stages epic comeback|
|May 5th||Phil Hellmuth||$200,000 ($150,000 total profit)||Hellmuth wins again|
|June 23rd||Phil Hellmuth||$400,000 ($350,000 total profit)||Hellmuth sweeps|
When was Round 2?
Shortly after Negreanu lost the Round 1 of the Hellmuth vs Negreanu High Stakes Duel match, a date was set for Round 2 on May 5th.
If the Hellmuth vs Esfandiari match is anything to go by, subsequent rounds will likely be weeks apart from each other.
When did Round 3 happen and how did Hellmuth win?
Daniel Negreanu met Phil Hellmuth for a third time on June 23rd. The stakes once again doubled, this time to $200,000.
When Hellmuth beat Negreanu for the third time, Hellmuth decided to “cash out,” which he had the option to do per High Stakes Duel rules after winning three consecutive times. If Hellmuth wanted to play a fourth match, he could have if Negreanu had agreed.
If Negreanu would have pulled out a victory, Negreanu could have chosen to play again, which Hellmuth would have needed to accept.
How did the match come about?
Coming off a big loss in the Negreanu vs Polk heads-up match, Phil Hellmuth had criticized Negreanu’s play, saying that he was not impressed with the strategy that Negreanu used during the match despite calling Negreanu a “great player.” This led to a rebuke from Negreanu who noted that he was keen to play Hellmuth, but that he thought he was “too chicken” to actually go forward with it.
Feeling confident despite coming off the big loss to Polk, Negreanu feels that his skills developed significantly over the last few months and could more than compete with Hellmuth.
“I would love to play Phil Hellmuth. I think he’s chicken. I think he’s scared. I think he knows he’s going to look bad.”
What game did Hellmuth and Negreanu play?
Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu are played No Limit Hold’em. The format was quite a bit different from Negreanu vs Polk and instead take on the form of other High Stakes Duel matches, where players buy-in for a predetermined figure for each round.
Each player put up $50,000 in the first round of the game. The loser will then have the option to challenge the winner for a rematch, where the stakes will double. They will double each round until one player wins three matches in a row, which Hellmuth did during the first three matches against Negreanu.
The stake level increase could result in a potential prize pool of $12.8 million if it reaches 8 rounds.
Negreanu publicly said early on that he would continue to play additional matches as long as Hellmuth still wanted to play.
How can I watch Hellmuth vs Negreanu?
The heads-up match was held through the High Stakes Feud show, which has previously run a match between Hellmuth and Antonio Esfandiari. Hellmuth won all three rounds of his matchups against Esfandiari and collected $400,000 in prizes.
The matchups are streamed on PokerGo, which is available through a subscription. Now that the three matches are complete, you can watch archived footage through PokerGo.
Poker fans were able to watch the first 30 minutes of Round 1 on YouTube, before the match was made exclusively available on PokerGo. In addition, PokerGO will broadcast a Hype Show and a “Weigh-In” during the last two days of March.
PokerGo will also hosted subsequent rematches, with Round 2 set again for PokerGo on May 5th and Round 3 on June 23rd. Thirty minutes before the start of each round, Hellmuth and Negreanu joined the Nick Schulman through a “weigh-in” to discuss the match before hitting the felt.
Who was favored to win the matches?
Once the main terms of the match have been agreed upon, PokerShares has posted odds. On March 1st, Negreanu was around a -164 favorite to win the match, effectively giving Kid Poker a 60% chance of winning.
The poker odds site also has odds posted for the Bill Perkins vs Landon Tice match set for this Spring.
As far as speculation, Negreanu is fresh off a lot of heads-up No Limit Hold’em, which could mean a lot of poker fans will gravitate towards Negreanu winning the match. Indeed, that is just what is happening with some offshore books initially making Negreanu a -240 favorite.
In the days leading up to Round 1, odds on PokerShares stayed relatively steady with Negreanu -164 and Hellmuth +136.
Despite Hellmuth’s epic comeback in Round 1, the odds really didn’t move much in Hellmuth’s favor leading up to Round 2. Negreanu was listed as -169 while Hellmuth can be bet for around +149.
Did Negreanu and Hellmuth bet on the match?
During an interview with the No Gamble, No Future Podcast, Negreanu said that he had bet a significant amount on himself at -150. Negreanu is also betting against Hellmuth in other ways, including this prop bet:
Bet offered and accepted:
If he shows a $1 profit he wins the bet.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) March 2, 2021
Negreanu remained confident in the lead up to the match, predicting an “absolute slaughterhouse victory” against Hellmuth. “I don’t think it’s going to be close. I’m going to bring a towel with me and I’m going to throw it for him.”
Of course, poker players and fans who see value are also betting on the match. Dusk Till Dawn’s Rob Young is among those who likes Phil Hellmuth’s underdog odds, especially after he handily beat Antonio Esfandiari.
After the Round 1 loss, Negreanu continued to look for more action:
Looking for action on the rematch laying -1.50 vs @phil_hellmuth
I’m struggling to find anyone who wants the other side at -1.50 so if I know you, and you want up to $200k let me know!
1.50 is a heavy price for a sit n’ go! Come and get it!
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) April 1, 2021
Watch Hellmuth discuss Negreanu vs Hellmuth match against Negreanu
Hellmuth appeared on the StakeCenter Podcast to talk about the challenge:
Negreanu and Hellmuth weigh in
In the weeks leading up to Round 2, Negreanu and Hellmuth sat down with Brent Hans and Jeff Plattt, to discuss the second match.
How about a match preview?
Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu were both guests on the “No Gamble, No Future” podcast where they sat down with Jeff Platt and Brent Hanks to preview Round 1 of match and how they feel about each other’s games and chances of winning.