Phil Hellmuth and Tom Dwan are set to renew their rivalry in an all-new $400,000 heads-up High Stakes Duel III (Round 3) set to take place at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas on Wednesday, January 26.
Hellmuth, the former champion, had gone 7-0 in the High Stakes Duel heads-up Sit & Go format prior to facing off against Dwan last August. First, he disposed of Antonio Esfandiari three times in a row and shortly after performed the same threepeat against Daniel Negreanu. After a one-and-done vanquishing of Fox Sports commentator Nick Wright, Hellmuth’s next charge was to avenge his 2008 bad beat loss at the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship over fan-favorite high roller Tom Dwan.
However, Hellmuth’s HSD streak came to an end during High Stakes Duel III (Round 2) as Dwan played a more measured match, forsaking many of the high-flying moves that showcased him as a young phenom on poker television. He simply “took care of business”, collected the $200,000 prize pool, and eliminated Hellmuth, putting a stop to the streak.
Even though he was defeated, Hellmuth had the option to rechallenge Dwan at double the stakes and that is exactly what he’s done. And now, nearly five months after he surrendered the High Stakes Duel belt, Hellmuth is back to, once again, try to put that beat on Dwan.
Here’s what’s at stake: No matter who wins the $400,000, Dwan or Hellmuth, according to current High Stakes Duel rules, they can’t simply walk away with the money. The winner will have to face another challenger at double the stakes. If it’s Dwan, he’ll only need to face (and defeat) one more opponent in order to cash out as a player needs to win three matches in a row before Round 4 in order to put that money in the bank. That opponent could be Hellmuth, who would still have one more option to rematch left.
If it’s Hellmuth, he would need to win another three straight, taking this season to a minimum of Round 5. At that point, the buy-in would be $800,000 per player for a total of $1.6 million making it easily one, if not the, largest televised heads-up matches of all time.
All of the action can be caught on January 26 on PokerGO at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT). The first hour of the match will be streamed for free on YouTube.