Daniel Negreanu had victory over Phil Hellmuth in his sight four hours into the High Stakes Duel match between the two poker stars last week. Negreanu slowly built up his chips and held a big advantage after four hours. This left Hellmuth with 4% of the chips left in play.
But, spectacularly, the all-time WSOP champion battled back slowly and eventually cruised to a resounding win against Negreanu.
It was a remarkable turnaround from Hellmuth in the six-hour battle. The American came into the contest as the lesser experienced head-to-head player. As a result, Hellmuth was also the slight underdog, but he caught Negreanu off guard to snatch a big victory.
For Negreanu, it was a bitter defeat to take. Just months after his head-to-head loss against Doug Polk, the Canadian needed to take something from his match against Hellmuth. Instead, he was left to reel from a determined Hellmuth.
Daniel Negreanu vs Phil Hellmuth Rematch?
Although Daniel Negreanu lost to Phil Hellmuth last week, the rules of the High Stakes format allow the two players to arrange a rematch. However, this will come at a cost. The stakes have been doubled for Negreanu to face Hellmuth in round two.
If a player loses the first round, they can buy back in for another $100,000 to start a rematch. With this buy-in, the pool will rise to $200,000. However, following the second match, the losing player can double the pot and raise the stakes.
Hellmuth’s win last week could be the first installment of a back-and-forth tussle between the two poker stars. Straight after the match, Negreanu was eager to set a rematch, and it looks likely that he will get his chance to face Hellmuth again.
A date has not been set for the rematch yet. But with thousands of poker fans tuning in to watch the first head-to-head between the two stars, a second High Stakes clash is likely.
Will Hellmuth Become the Favorite?
Phil Hellmuth entered last week's match as the underdog. Daniel Negreanu’s recent head-to-head experience against Doug Polk, one of the best heads-up players in poker, was believed to give the Canadian the edge.
However, the first match between Hellmuth and Negreanu showed that Hellmuth is never beaten. The serial WSOP winner used all his experience to come back and pressure Negreanu, forcing mistakes from his opponent.
Hellmuth’s win last week also extended his winning run in head-to-heads to four from four. The 15-time WSOP winner beat Antonio Esfandiari in a head-to-head across all three of their matches.
If the rematch takes place, Hellmuth could emerge as the bookie's favorite to make it five from five.