And another one.
Wednesday night on PokerGO, Phil Hellmuth defeated Daniel Negreanu in Round 2 of High Stakes Duel II to win the $200,000 winner-take-all heads up match. Hellmuth is now 5-0 in the made-for-TV format.
The second meeting between the two poker heavyweights went very differently than the first. In that match, Negreanu jumped out to an early lead and eventually held a 19-1 lead over Hellmuth before eventually losing, Round 2 was more of a back-and-forth with a total of 16 lead changes over the nearly five hours of action.
Hellmuth previously defeated Antonio Esfandiari three consecutive times in High Stakes Duel.
Hellmuth held a slight lead in the first level of play before Negreanu opened up a nearly 3-1 lead over Hellmuth. Over the next four hours, the pair traded the lead multiple times with neither player able to open up a substantial lead on the other before Hellmuth built up a 3-1 lead of his own. The final hand of the night was the first time either player had been all in before the flop during the match.
With blinds of 1,000/2,000 and Negreanu down to 53,500, Negreanu opened to 4,000 with . Hellmuth asked Negreanu how much he had left and after getting an approximate count, Hellmuth moved all in with and Negreanu called. The flop left Negreanu ahead, but the turn gave Hellmuth 14 total outs. The river was the to give Hellmuth runner-runner flush and end the match.
“We’ll have to see you in Round 3,” Negreanu said after the final hand.
Hellmuth’s win sets up a third match with Negreanu and a future date. As per the rules of High Stakes Duel, the next buy-in doubles and each player will put up $200,000 or the third match. While Hellmuth is undefeated in this format, he believes that only the next match matters.
“It doesn’t matter because I have to win number six. I know the way it works, and I have accomplished nothing so far and I got lucky,” Hellmuth said. “I went for some crazy bluff on that hand there to take the chip lead. I had a ten and a deuce and I just bombed it, bombed it, bombed it, and bluffed with ten-high on the river all-in and thank God he folded. I was out in no man’s land.”
The pre-match trash talk for each match has included numerous shots fired from both combatants. Asked after his win if Negreanu was one of the tougher opponents he’s ever faced heads up, Hellmuth was reluctant to give Negreanu that type of compliment given what he see are personal barbs coming from Negreanu.
“I’ve given Daniel credit the whole way from start to finish and I haven’t said one negative word about him. He was pretty condescending in the first match. I felt it was super condescending, and this match he handled himself much better,” Hellmuth said. “But even still, he’s preaching down to me about ranges, and I’m thinking to myself, I’ve just won 24 out of 26 heads-up matches against pros and they have me rated as a fucking underdog every match. It just blows my mind, but I just never quite get that respect, and that’s ok with me. I just want to keep winning.”