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Found 5 results

  1. Well, 15-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth didn’t get to the top of the heap by giving up, and apparently, he’s not going to start now. Hellmuth announced over the weekend that he was going to ignore our well-intentioned advice and challenge Tom Dwan to a rematch in High Stakes Duel. The decision sets up High Stakes Duel III Round 3, where this time both players will pony up $200,000 for a seat at the table. When you rattle off seven wins in a row, it’s understandable that you can bend the rules a little. Originally, when past players have been ousted in the Duel, they have traditionally had 72-hours to decide if they will call for a rematch (provided they haven’t been beaten three times in a row). For “The Poker Brat” it appears that PokerGO gave him a little more time to figure out his next move. Dwan originally dethroned Hellmuth in a five-and-a-half-hour battle back on August 26 and now, eight days later, just when you thought he was out…Hellmuth pulls you back in. It’s too early to know the details of exactly when Dwan and Hellmuth will face off again but it will for sure take place at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas and when it does, for anyone who follows poker, there will simply be no escaping knowing about it. And why not run it back? Sure, some poker pundits may have predicted that Hellmuth would bow out but that doesn’t mean that seeing these two go at it again isn’t great for poker. There are simply too many unanswered questions that need to be resolved: How will Hellmuth handle entering the arena as the challenger as opposed to the champion? What adjustments might each player make with their experience in the first match? What memes will be created around whatever foods Hellmuth devours tableside? This is what makes this show fun. The stakes are higher with the buy-in doubled to $200,000 (a level Hellmuth hit with both Esfandiari and Negreanu) but arguably so is the entertainment value. And everyone involved seems to know that. So, with the High Stakes Poker belt back up for grabs, prepare yourself for a second helping of Dwan vs. Hellmuth - coming soon (presumably).
  2. “What he has now is real problems,” Ali Nejad said as he called the action on PokerGO's High Stakes Duel III. “Dwan binks the nine on the turn, a demoralizing development…and now, Hellmuth has twelve outs, or the streak is over.” The river was a brick for the defending champion and as soon as Phil Hellmuth and Tom Dwan rose from their seats to share a friendly handshake in the center of the frame, the headlines were already being written: Tom Dwan Dethrones Phil Hellmuth in Round 2 of High Stakes Duel III The entertaining five-and-a-half-hour match gave fans just about everything they could have wanted. There was Dwan back in the poker spotlight, public closure over the duo’s famous 2008 feud, and, of course, peak Hellmuth - jovial and steaming, cursing and eating. (Oh, the eating!) That’s a big part of what makes High Stakes Duel work. Of course, for die-hard fans, the poker is critical. But, for many, it’s the dynamics between the players that make HSD good TV. And sure, by the end of the broadcast the big question of "who will win?" is always answered, but the show is more than just a point tally on a scoreboard. Emerging from this match were plenty of other storylines that were fun to see play out and could also play a big part in the future of the show. That was ‘Durrrr’, this is Dwan. You know the story: Dr. Bruce Banner infused himself with high doses of gamma rays while in the lab altering his DNA so when he becomes angry he transforms into…the Incredible Hulk! Banner is always trying to control his temper, but when the rage comes out the Hulk gets loose, and he destroys everything in his path. Perhaps Tom Dwan is a little like Dr. Banner. In the late 2000s, at the height of the online poker boom, Dwan exposed himself high doses of understanding ranges (before most people understood ranges) while “in the lab” and when he appeared on TV he transformed into “Durrrr”, the incredible online wunderkind who destroyed every bankroll in his path. That was then. His amazing, creative style of play is what Dwan built his reputation on. It's why still today fans are attracted to watching him play, despite him spending the better part of a decade grinding private ultra-stakes behind closed doors. But this is now: “The thing about high stakes poker back then was…a lot of people were missing some pretty core concepts and it gave me a lot of flexibility,” he said on PokerGO’s HSD “Weigh-In” show. “I just played this WPT show a week ago and I couldn’t really get that out of line, everyone’s studied No Limit a ton. I had a lot more options ten years ago.” That showed during his High Stakes Duel with Hellmuth as Dwan played a measured game, never really getting out of line, never really putting Hellmuth to the test with a less than adequate hand. Instead, he settled into the match, taking it seriously (when many thought he wouldn’t), and let the match come to him. Additionally, Dwan had an answer to Hellmuth's antics. Nothing. Whereas all of Hellmuth's previous opponents had a tendency to jaw back-and-forth with "The Poker Brat", Dwan never flinched. He never seemed compelled to answer back. Instead, Dwan kept his cool rather than responding with taunts like he did in his 2008 NBC Heads Up Poker Championship. He soldiered on, a wry smirk or left-looking glance here or there, but in general, he simply took care of business. Certainly, ‘Durrrr’ will emerge at some point in the future, but right now Tom Dwan looked like he was in complete control. Did Hellmuth actually...win? No doubt about it, the streak is over. Hellmuth’s reign as the undisputed king of High Stakes Duel has come to an end. But, honestly, is that a bad thing for Hellmuth? At the time of this writing, Hellmuth has yet to accept a rematch against Dwan and, if he doesn’t, who can blame him? He can credibly claim he has nothing left to prove in the format. He bested Antonio Esfandiari three times. He came back from a 19:1 deficit against Daniel Negreanu and ended up sweeping him in three straight. Finally, he played an experienced amateur in Nick Wright (something Dwan called him one of the best at) and took care of business. Plus, every sponsor of Hellmuth - from energy drinks to altcoins - must be happy with the amount of exposure he’s given them (far more than 24 total hours of screen time) on this show. Whenever the opportunity presented itself Hellmuth (is “shilling” too harsh a word?) took the opportunity to promote those who support him. A loss to Dwan marks the perfect time to exit stage left. Hellmuth, almost notoriously, is averse to stakes that climb too high. Yes, he played the 2012 Big One For One Drop with its $1 million buy-in, but for a player who sometimes has extended stays at the Aria Resort & Casino he’s notably absent in the regularly running $10Ks that take place in the Aria poker room. When it comes to bankroll management and game selection, super high-stakes tournaments are not traditionally where Hellmuth has found his success. So with the next High Stakes Duel, should PokerGO continue down the road they have established, be Round 3 would have a buy-in of $200,000. Win or lose, Hellmuth’s next option would be a $400,000 match. If Hellmuth were to win, he would be forced to defend a title at $400,000 and, in order to walk away, play and win a Round 5 that comes with a $800,000 price tag - legitimately making it among the biggest buy-in tournaments of all time. Losing to Dwan makes it the perfect time for Hellmuth to step aside under the notion that all his focus needs to be on his first love - the World Series of Poker. No one would blame Hellmuth for saving all his #WhiteMagic for chasing bracelet #16. Plus, by saving a $200K buy-in, Hellmuth could play just about every event on the WSOP schedule if he wanted to (provided he can pull himself away from his new bestie Mr. Beast.) All in all, a Round 2 loss to Dwan could end up being an easy exit and the real win for Hellmuth. Will PokerGO push Dwan (and the show) into deep waters? “If no one challenges a winner within 30 days of the previous match, that last winner declares victory.” The original High Stakes Duel rules have the stakes doubling through Round 8 “resulting in a potential prize pool of $12,800,000” and a player needing to win three straight matches before Round Six (or two in a row from Round Five) in order to cash out and win. If that stays true (it’s a TV show so producers can change the rules at will), there could be some incredibly high stakes to fight for in the next few months. As mentioned earlier, Dwan would play again at $200,000 and whoever wins that would need to battle at twice that with only Dwan having the potential to walk away with a victory and an $800,000 prize pool. That seems to be the minimum. So, all eyes will be on how far can the show go and how big is the player pool to help them get there. By the time Round 4 takes place, a $400,000 buy-in is bigger than PokerGO’s marquee event, the Super High Roller Bowl and it’s unlikely that there’s a massive player pool willing to play at those stakes in such a shallow format. Phil Ivey is a natural fit, and fans would love to see it. A rehashing of the “Durrrr Challenge” debate could take place if Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates were to answer the call. Maybe it would be a nosebleed tournament pro like Justin Bonomo, Dan Smith, Andrew Robl or All-Time Money List leader Bryn Kenney. As the rounds go higher, would the wealthiest of businessmen in the poker space need to courted? Players like Paul Phua, Rick Solomon, or perhaps even PokerGO founder Cary Katz himself. This is what is on the horizon for the show itself. It looks like either the initial premise is about to pay off on the promise of astronomical heads-up stakes or a hard reset is right around the corner with two new combatants creating new storylines (in anticipation of a Phil Hellmuth return.) More on the conversation on High Stakes Duel can be heard on The FIVES Poker Podcast below:
  3. Hosted by Lance Bradley and Jeff Walsh, The Fives Poker Podcast runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. This week on The FIVES, Lance and Jeff bring you all of the need-to-know news from this week in the world of poker including Tom Dwan stopping Phil Hellmuth's win streak on High Stakes Duel III, news from the upcoming World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, the latest results from WSOP Online and WCOOP, and Phil Ivey finding his way back to the winner's circle. Plus, a big announcement about the future of The FIVES! Subscribe to The FIVES and never miss an episode - available everywhere you enjoy your favorite podcasts. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts * Google Podcasts * Stitcher
  4. Phil Hellmuth’s High Stakes Duel seven-match winning streak came to an end Wednesday night after nosebleed cash game savant Tom Dwan defeated the reigning champion in an entertaining five-and-a-half-hour, hard-fought heads-up battle for $200,000. Those hoping for Phil Hellmuth and Tom Dwan to reignite their 2008 NBC Heads Up Poker Championship feud may have been disappointed when the pair sat down with commentator Ali Nejad for the High Stakes Duel III (Round 2) “Weigh-In” show. Whereas in boxing or MMA, the combatants posture as to who will have the upper hand, this pre-game hype show saw a pair of players who seemed to genuinely enjoy and respect each other as people, if not each other's poker game. As Nejad peppered both with questions about their past encounters on the felt and their evolution (both as players and people) over the past 13 years, he received mostly replies of the duo slinging compliments at each other. Dwan, adamant that Hellmuth is one of the best at playing against amateurs (even better than Daniel [Negreanu]), while Hellmuth reminisced about how he and Dwan have recently palled around, smoking cigars and talking crypto. Hellmuth even called Dwan at age 35, “already a legend.” The good vibes continued once the cards were in the air. Dwan and Hellmuth kept the conversation going in the early moments with “Durrrr” asking “The Poker Brat” some probing questions about his prior matches and Hellmuth doing his promotional duties for his many sponsors. Dwan got off to a quick start, flopping a flush on the very first hand holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="8c"] on the [poker card="kc"][poker card="qc"][poker card="6c"] flop. But with little to continue with, Hellmuth folded his [poker card="ad"][poker card="2c"] and just two hands later Hellmuth took over a chip lead that he didn’t surrender for the better part of two hours. The first important hand of the match took place in the first hour with Dwan raising the button to 1,200 holding [poker card="9h"][poker card="7d"] and Hellmuth defending his big blind with the [poker card="qc"][poker card="6c"]. Hellmuth checked in the dark as the dealer spread the [poker card="qh"][poker card="8d"][poker card="6h"] flop, giving Hellmuth two pair and Dwan an open-ended straight draw. Dwan continued for 1,500 and Hellmuth made the call. The turn came the [poker card="2s"] and Hellmuth checked again. Dwan fired 4,400 and Hellmuth made the call. The river came the [poker card="ac"] and after Hellmuth checked, Dwan bluffed for 11,000 with nine-high, and Hellmuth snap-called dragging more than 36,000 chips in the middle. As Dwan began climbing back from his lows, Hellmuth picked up another important early pot. From the button, Hellmuth called the 500 chip big blind with the [poker card="kd"][poker card="2d"]. Dwan made it 1,500 more to go holding the [poker card="jh"][poker card="jd"] and Hellmuth came along. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="5c"][poker card="5s"] flop kept Dwan in the lead and he led for 1,600 which Hellmuth called. The turn was the [poker card="4c"] and the action checked through. The [poker card="kh"] hit the river and Dwan led again, this time for 3,000. Hellmuth took a moment and announce a bet of 7,200 and after taking some time, Dwan paid him off, giving Hellmuth a 40,000 chip lead. Despite the things not going his way early, Dwan never showed any real frustration. He chipped away at Hellmuth and took over the chip lead for the first time since the first few minutes. From the button, Hellmuth made the call to 800 with the [poker card="ks"][poker card="9s"] and Dwan checked his option in the big blind holding [poker card="qc"][poker card="th"]. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="td"][poker card="5s"] brought Dwan top two pair and Hellmuth both a flush and straight draw. Dwan checked it over to Hellmuth who bet 800 and Dwan promptly check-raised to 3,000, which Hellmuth called. The turn was the [poker card="6h"] and Dwan bet 4,800 and Hellmuth snap-called. The [poker card="3d"] came on the river and Dwan bet 13,300 and Hellmuth started talking to himself before finally letting it go. By the end of the third hour, Dwan had extended his chip lead and was looking for opportunities to take Hellmuth out. It almost came when Hellmuth, with 72k behind, called 1,000 from the button with [poker card="ah"][poker card="4h"]. Dwan raised it up to 4,000 from the big blind and Hellmuth made the call. The [poker card="9d"][poker card="9s"][poker card="8s"] flop brought an open-ended straight draw for Dwan and he led for 5,000. Hellmuth clicked it back, raising to 10,000 with his ace-high hand. Dwan made the call and the turn came the [poker card="jh"], bringing Dwan a straight. Dwan checked it over to Hellmuth, who bet another 14,000 drawing dead. Dwan considered his options and decided to shove. Hellmuth made the quick fold and Dwan’s lead surged to roughly three-to-one. “This is f***ing ridiculous actually,” Hellmuth fumed. “Noone’s ever beaten me raising every f***ing button before.”   Dwan continued to apply pressure, looking for the knockout blow and moving in with his big draws. But Hellmuth hung around and as he had in matches prior, turned his short stack around. Not only did he draw even with Dwan, but he reclaimed the chip lead for a short amount of time. But eventually, as the fifth hour was coming to a close, Dwan grabbed the lead back as well as a momentum that he wouldn’t let go of. With the blinds at 3,500/7,000, Dwan completed from the button with the [poker card="8h"][poker card="3h"] and Hellmuth checked holding the [poker card="qd"][poker card="7c"]. The flop came [poker card="jc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4h"] and the action checked through. The turn came the [poker card="2h"] and Hellmuth led out for 9,000 from his 83k stack. Dwan considered and opted for a call with his heart flush draw and live eight. The river came the [poker card="8s"], giving Dwan the best hand and when Hellmuth fired 11,000, Dwan found the call, scooped the pot, and built one of his biggest leads of the match. “Motherf***er. Call nine thousand with a dry f***ing flush draw,” Hellmuth rants. “Never getting paid off…He doesn’t know any better.” As Hellmuth paced and ranted, Dwan didn’t reply with the bravado he showed off in 2008. He calmly stacked his chips, like a pro who had been there many times before, unfazed by the antics. While not the final hand, the one that summed up the match came early in the sixth hour of play. Dwan made it 9,000 to go on the button with [poker card="kh"][poker card="2s"] and Hellmuth made the call from the big blind with the [poker card="td"][poker card="8d"]. The flop came [poker card="9c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="2d"], giving Dwan bottom pair. Hellmuth checked to Dwan who checked it back. The turn was the [poker card="5c"] and Hellmuth fired for 11,000 and Dwan made the call. The [poker card="3s"] hit the river and after cutting out some chips, Hellmuth announced a bet of 27,000 - half his remaining stack. Dwan tanked, used a time extension and let out a long sigh. Eventually, Dwan made the call, scooping the pot and grabbing an overwhelming eight-to-one chip lead. Down to his final 20K, Hellmuth picked up [poker card="ah"][poker card="ac"] on the button and limped for 4,000. Dwan checked his [poker card="9s"][poker card="3c"] and the pair saw a flop of [poker card="5c"][poker card="3h"][poker card="2h"]. Dwan led out for 5,000 with his middle pair and Hellmuth sprung the trap, moving all-in with his pocket aces. Dwan called the extra three big blinds and was looking for help. Help arrived for Dwan when the [poker card="9c"] hit the turn, improving him to two pair. Down to his final card, Hellmuth needed help. However, as the [poker card="6c"] arrived on the river, Hellmuth’s High Stakes Duel unbeaten streak was over and Dwan became the show’s new champion. “Good battle,” Hellmuth said shaking Dwan’s hand with a smile on his face. Dwan laughed and replied “Yea, crazy last one.” Hellmuth now has 72 hours from the end of the match in which to declare if he will challenge Dwan for another match. If he declines, a new challenger will be announced for Round 3.
  5. “Pick your stakes heads up…I’ve said it a million times.” The highly-anticipated heads-up match 13 years in the making will finally take place on Wednesday, August 25 when Phil Hellmuth takes on Tom Dwan in High Stakes Duel III (Round 2) at 8 pm ET on PokerGO. Now with an undefeated record of 7-0 in the High Stakes Duel format, Hellmuth most recently vanquished Fox Sports personality Nick Wright in the first round of HSD III. When Wright declined the option for a rematch, the powers at PokerGO filled the open seat with of the most popular personalities to emerge from the early eras of online poker, fan favorite Tom Dwan. Hellmuth and Dwan will pick up where Wright left off, skipping the initial $50,000 buy-in match and jumping straight to Round 2, where both players will put up $100,000. "We're going to play heads up, I told you." Bringing Dwan in to face Hellmuth is more than just a case of fan service, it’s also a nice nod to history. At the 2008 NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship, Hellmuth and Dwan faced off in what is arguably the most memorable match of the events eight-year history. Back then, Hellmuth was just an 11-time WSOP bracelet winner - still the record holder - and as popular as he’d ever been. Dwan was an emerging online poker star in a time when there was still a divide between “real poker” and “internet poker.” The miniature heads-up table was nowhere near big enough for the two egos sitting at either end. Hellmuth, clad in his then signature Ultimate Bet hockey jersey, looked eager to show the kid a lesson or two while Dwan, having trouble getting comfortable, wasn’t interested in old-school ways of thinking. And just when the match was getting started, it was over. Hellmuth and Dwan were both all in, Hellmuth with pocket aces and Dwan with pocket tens. Standard. But when the ten of spades hit the turn and Dwan took the lead, the Poker Brat quickly emerged and the jawing began. “Son, I would tell you this much, son, I’d never put in more than three thousand with two tens before the flop,” Hellmuth chided Dwan. “I was going to say good game, sorry for the suck out but…when you phrase it that way it makes me not wanna.” Dwan replied, with his ever-present skyward side-eye in full effect. “Phil, that’s why you lose money online.” Dwan pushed the envelope telling Hellmuth to pick his stakes, that he’d play Hellmuth as many times as he’d like. As the back-and-forth continued, Hellmuth then uttered what may be the most memorable line from the match. “We’ll see if you’re even around in five years,” Thirteen Years Later Far more than five years later, Dwan is still here and both he and Hellmuth enjoy the perks of being two of the most popular players in the game today. With the clash of thirteen years ago well behind them, the 2008 NBC Heads Up Poker Championship is still the backdrop for what will be an interesting clash of perceived styles when they reunite to finally face off in a televised rematch. The hype for the match will get started on PokerGO on Tuesday, August 24 at 8 pm. ET when Ali Nejad and Nick Schulman are scheduled to break down what can be expected when the two meet face-to-face. Then both Hellmuth and Dwan sit down with Nejad just before cards are in the air during The Weigh-In which starts on Wednesday, August 25 at 7:30 pm ET. Both players will give their thoughts about the match and, very likely, talk about their history together both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes. [caption id="attachment_635969" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Phil Hellmuth, Tom Dwan (and Mr. Beast) play high-stakes cash at the Aria.[/caption] Finally, the action kicks off on August 25 at 8 pm ET as Hellmuth puts his undefeated record on the line while Dwan returns to the poker spotlight, bringing his years of playing in the ultra-high-stakes Macau cash games to the High Stakes Duel felt. Whether Dwan bests Hellmuth to take the HSD belt or if Hellmuth avenges his 2008 NBC Heads-Up loss over Dwan, the loser of the match will have the option to call for a rematch with the stakes doubling to $200,000 a player. High Stakes Duel III, Round 2 - Phil Hellmuth vs. Tom Dwan is available with a subscription to PokerGO.
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