Phil Hellmuth wins second straight match over Daniel Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu versus Phil Hellmuth on “High Stakes Duel” on PokerGO proved to be one of the most memorable heads-up matches ever televised as “The Poker Brat” put together an astonishing comeback to win after being down to his last few chips.
They met for Round 2 as Negreanu exercised his rematch option at double stakes, each player posting $100,000 for the 30-minute-level live sit-n-go.
It could hardly be expected to live up to the first match, which went down in the wildest fashion possible. But arguably an even higher level of poker was on display as both players executed daring bluffs and turned up the aggression considerably compared to their prior meeting.
Hellmuth made a big bluff to take the chip lead, then outdrew Negreanu in the final hand to win the second round of their “High Stakes Duel.” The $100,000 buy-in heads-up No-limit Hold’em match was broadcast by the subscription video service PokerGO located by the Aria.
Negreanu has questioned Hellmuth’s poker ability despite his being the all-time leader in World Series of Poker bracelets with 15, but Hellmuth was not “crowing” too much after two straight victories.
“It just blows my mind, but I just never quite get that respect,” Hellmuth told PokerGO. “And that’s OK with me. I just want to keep winning.”
Negreanu will exercise his right to a third match with a buy-in of $200,000. If Hellmuth wins that, he can cash out his winnings. Hellmuth has now won five straight “High Stakes Duel” matches after previously sweeping three showdowns with Antonio Esfandiari.
Negreanu congratulated Hellmuth after the match.
“I thought you played well. This one I thought you played a lot better than the first one,” Negreanu said. “So we’ll have to see you in Round 3.”
Negreanu dominated the start of their first match March 31 before Hellmuth rallied from a 19-1 chip deficit to win. The second match was close throughout and featured 16 lead changes, but Negreanu again held the chip lead for most of the time.
After nearly five hours of play, the end came swiftly. First, Hellmuth bluffed Negreanu on the river.
“I just bombed it, bombed it, bombed it, and bluffed with ten-high on the river all-in, and thank God he folded,” Hellmuth said.
Four hands later, Negreanu raised with a pair of eights, Hellmuth went all-in with ace-four, and Negreanu called. His eights held the lead until the river, when a fourth heart hit to give Hellmuth a winning flush with his ace.
Details on the third match will be announced at a later date.
Hellmuth, 56, has more than $24 million in career tournament earnings, according to the Hendon Mob Poker Database. Negreanu, 46, is a six-time WSOP bracelet winner with $42 million in tournament earnings.