The much-awaited heads-up match between Phil “The Poker Brat” Hellmuth and Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari was finally aired on Poker GO on July 31. Both players were the first guests of Poker Central’s brand-new poker show “High Stakes Duel” – a series of heads-up matches between poker’s most prominent figures.
While the delayed airing of the show irked some fans (it was supposed to hit the screens a day before), the highly-anticipated match still attracted significant attention, and the momentum is expected to grow further during the forthcoming rematch, as Esfandiari aims for redemption.
Over on social media, everybody’s talking about a possible “grudge” match between Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu. The idea was initially put forward by Joe Ingram on Twitter which quickly picked up steam and sparked a fresh bickering between both players. Initially hesitant, Negreanu eventually agreed in principle to the proposed match which could take place this fall, livestreamed on Twitch.
Speaking of which, we’ve compiled a list of other possible heads-up duels that the world of poker will absolutely enjoy. The industry should find a way to make these huge matches happen!
Daniel Negreanu vs. Shaun Deeb
Daniel Negreanu is unquestionably one of the most highly-accomplished poker players in the world. But with huge success and popularity comes great controversy. At numerous points, the Canadian poker pro has been controversial, often due to his stance on relevant subjects in and outside of poker.
Negreanu has attracted a number of critics, among them is Deeb. Both have been involved in several nasty disputes on social media, and like the proposed match against Polk, it would also be interesting to see Negreanu take on Deeb in another grudge heads-up battle to settle their long-standing feud.
Stephen Chidwick vs. Fedor Holz     
Both Holz and Chidwick are two very popular names in the high roller circuit. Holz, at a young age, managed to amass over $16 million in poker winnings in a single year.
Equally successful is Chidwick who is currently the number 1 poker player in his home country of England. Each has more than $30,000,000 in live tournament earnings. If these two players go head to head, it would become one of the best moments in poker history.
Andrew Neeme vs Brad Owen
A clash between two of the world’s most popular poker vloggers, why not? They may lack the outstanding resume owned by the majority of the players on this list, but a potential heads-up match between these two make for great entertainment, especially as both have a massive following.
Daniel “Jungleman” Cates vs. Phil Galfond
Another interesting heads-up match we’d want to see happen is that between Dan Cates and Phil Galfond. As we all know, they are two of the world’s best online poker players. Both will actually face each other in a PLO match as part of the Galfond Challenge, but no final schedule has been released yet.
Jason Mercier vs. Doug Polk
As we can remember, Polk had also been involved in a dispute with PokerStars ambassador Jason Mercier. Polk once called Mercier a “bad reg” but Mercier later proved him wrong after the Florida native went on to win five WSOP bracelets, and one WSOP POY title. With Mercier’s impressive record, we doubt if Polk would still call him a bad reg, but both can actually settle their feud in a heads-up battle to see who’s the superior player.
Daniel Negreanu vs. Phil Hellmuth
Two poker icons, in one table, playing heads-up poker! This would probably become one of the greatest sights in poker history. Both are legends, consistent performers at the WSOP, and inductees to the prestigious Poker Hall of Fame. We’ll look at it as a battle between the best of the best! Whose side are you on?
Kristen Bicknell vs. Alex Foxen
This poker couple have enjoyed career highs over the past few years. Both are back-to-back GPI POY winners. It will be very interesting to see them pit their skills against each other (they were the last two remaining players during the $5,000 MSPT Venetian in 2018, with Foxen ultimately emerging as the winner).

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