Over the weekend, Phil Hellmuth threw down the gauntlet challenging Tom Dwan to a rematch in High Stakes Duel III. This challenge comes less than two weeks after Dwan beat Hellmuth in Round 2 of PokerGO’s high-stakes series.
Previous to this match, Hellmuth had held an overwhelming success in the series-winning seven straight matches. Hellmuth’s last match against Nick Wright, the first non-professional player to participate in the tournament, ended with a victory for Hellmuth.
After this, Nick Wright declined his opportunity for a rematch, clearing the seat for another opponent. This is where Dwan came in and turned the tables on the long-running champion. This earned Dwan an impressive $100,000 for dispatching his opponent in heads-up play and set him to participate in the next round of the tournament.
Hellmuth automatically received the right to a rematch at double the stakes, but for more than a week, it was unclear if the player would accept such a match. Now that the 15-time WSOP bracelet winner is calling the rematch, both players will be risking $200,000. In theory, if the loser of the next match chooses to demand a rematch, this can continue for a total of 8 rounds doubling the stakes each time and put the players on the line for $12.8 million.
So far, at least no duel has continued for more than three rounds. Hellmuth’s first opponent in this series was pro player Antonio Esfandiari, and this duel took place over a total of three rounds, all of which fell to Hellmuth. Next, the player fought the Poker hall of fame great Daniel Negreanu in another three rounds, once again claiming victory in each one.
Following this was Hellmuth’s surprise match against amateur player Nick Wright. This match was a shock to many as it was the first that had a non-professional player face the famous “Poker Brat.” To no one’s surprise, this ended in one round with Hellmuth’s success.
Now with Dwan’s win in round 2 of this series Hellmuth has lost some of his overwhelming profits from the High Stakes Duels but has still come away with quite a lot of winnings to show for it. Should Hellmuth lose again and continue to vie for a rematch, he will be looking at a buy-in of $400,000.
However, there are some doubts as to whether the player will look for another match not only because of the large amount on the line. With the WSOP coming up, Hellmuth may have to miss some of his biggest actions if he chose to play another High Stakes Duel. But we will just have to wait and see to be sure what the poker legend chooses.