It Looks Like Daniel Negreanu Will Go Into Heads-Up Match With Phil Hellmuth As Favorite

The next big heads-up match looks like it will be Daniel Negreanu vs Phil Hellmuth. With the match expected to get underway sometime this month, some poker fans are busy debating on who has the edge.

Is it Daniel Negreanu, with the experience of playing one of the best No Limit Hold’em players in the world for over 3 months, or the never-count-him-out Phil Hellmuth, who last year convincingly beat Antonio Esfandiari on High Stakes Duel?

Offshore sportsbooks had given Daniel Negreanu the edge against Phil Hellmuth in the highly anticipated Hellmuth vs Negreanu heads-up match. Betting lines recently released by PokerShares tell a similar story.

As of March 1st, Daniel Negreanu is currently a -164 favorite against Phil Hellmuth in the match expected to get underway sometime this month. On the Phil Hellmuth side, you can bet him at the equivalent of +145.

For the layman, this gives Negreanu about a 60% chance to win.

How do the odds compare to other heads-up matches?

For those that enjoyed Negreanu vs Polk but wished it was closer, you might find Hellmuth vs Negreanu more of a sweat. The heads-up match is shaping up to be a much more even match than Negreanu vs Polk, at least according to where the current odds stand.

In Negreanu vs Polk, Polk was a huge favorite the whole way. Even before the cards were dealt in the Negreanu vs Polk heads-up match, the PokerShares betting marketplace had high confidence that Polk was going to win. By the time the first cards were dealt in the match, you could get Negreanu for around +360. Of course, this number would continue to increase as Polk’s wins became more convincing. In fact, even when Negreanu started to threaten in various parts of the match, Polk kept his lead in the betting odds.

The other big match on the radar is the Bill Perkins vs Landon Tice match set to be held this spring. The structure of the match is vastly different from other heads-up matches, at least in how a winner is determined. There seems to be little argument on who is the better heads-up No Limit Hold’em player, so the pair negotiated a handicap for Tice of $720,000.

In order for Tice to win the match, he would need to win by more than $720,000. This is also how the bet is structured. At present time, the market still thinks Tice has the edge even with the $720k heads-start for Perkins. You can get +140 if you think Bill Perkins will lose less than $720k or -164 if you think Landon Tice will win more than $720k.

Coincidently, these odds are almost identical to the Negreanu vs Hellmuth match, indicating that both matches should provide a bit more drama, at least in terms of who the ultimate winner will be.

What does Negreanu think?

In an interview with PokerNews, Daniel Negreanu indicated that he may even be a bigger favorite given Hellmuth’s weakness in a certain area, throwing out a 2:1 to 2.5:1 number. “Deep stack play is not going to be his forte. The most of his mistakes come deep stacked. He can’t win.”


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