Daniel Negreanu Challenges Phi Hellmuth to High Stakes Bet

It is not uncommon for co-workers or friends to place bets amongst themselves on a variety of things, from sports to work tasks. In the poker industry, fellow pros often bet on any and everything, from random stuff to tournaments. Just recently, Daniel Negreanu decided to bet Phil Hellmuth that he can’t compete at the $25,000 buy-in tournaments at the Aria. The events just started back up and Negreanu thinks Hellmuth can’t cut it.

No Profit for You

Negreanu has placed two to one odds that Hellmuth will not provide over a 50 tournament sample size. The pro has placed $400,000 against Hellmuth’s $200,000 on the bet. If Hellmuth is able to best the field over the 50 events, then Negreanu uses and must pay up the $400k. The bet was posted about from Negreanu’s Twitter account, saying that if Hellmuth shows even a $1 profit, he wins the bet.

It appears as though the two players are feuding a bit with their recent back and forth. After Negreanu lost six figures to Doug Polk in a high-stakes heads-up match, Hellmuth was not quiet about his feelings. He criticized him for how he played the matchup.

Negreanu was not happy with Hellmuth’s remarks and said he would take him on anywhere, at any stakes. It seemed that Negreanu wanted to initiate a cash challenge, an area he had been working on for quite some time.

The two finally agreed to play on High Stakes Duel via PokerGO. It will be SNG format and will be the second time that Hellmuth has taken on the challenge on the show. The first time he was featured, he played against Antonio Esfandiari and won $400,000 in three matches.

Backing Up Negreanu’s Challenge

Negreanu actually has support when it comes to his challenge. A few high stakes poker pros have commented via Twitter on how they view the bet. Ali Imsirovic stated that if Hellmuth wants more action, he will bet as much as he wants. Joe Cada said he thinks the challenge won’t even finish out and quested in Hellmuth has ever played 50 $25,000 tournaments in his life.

According to CardPlayer, Sean McCormack, the Director of Poker Operations for the Aria, said in a comment thread that the Aria offers a few $25,000 buy-in events on average each month. So, at a 50 sample size, it is going to take Hellmuth quite some time to complete the challenge.

It will take at least a year or maybe longer depending on how many events take place at the Aria and if live poker is here to stay. Everyone is hoping that the pandemic is slowing down and we won’t see a repeat of poker room and casino shutdowns.

Many poker players think that Hellmuth is overrated, while others see him as highly talented. This challenge may be one way in which he proves just how good he is at the game. No matter how it turns out, the challenge will certainly be interesting to keep up with!

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Conor Stack
Conor is one of our main writers on USGS focusing on a wide range of industry coverage across sports, casino and poker.