The epic heads-up match the poker world has long been waiting for is finally happening. Phil Hellmuth is set to face Tom Dwan on August 25 at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas for High Stakes Duel III Round 2. Dwan takes the seat left vacant by sports broadcaster Nick Wright who chose not to request a rematch after losing to Hellmuth during Round 1.
The upcoming battle features $200,000 in total prize pool, with Dwan adding $100,000 to enter the game. As per the rules, the losing player can call for a rematch and he will be required to shell out another $200K to proceed to Round 3. The stakes will continue to double each round unless one player quits. The battle could go as far as Round 8, with the prize pool potentially reaching $12.8 million.
Hellmuth is undefeated on High Stakes Duel. Despite coming in as the underdog, he managed to sweep both Antonio Esfandiari and Daniel Negreanu, two of the world’s best poker players. Hellmuth’s victory against Wright was a complete no-brainer, given the sports broadcaster’s lack of experience in the game.
Could Dwan Put A Dent In Hellmuth’s 7-0 Record?
The Poker Brat is 7-0 on the show and many believe the Tom Dwan could very well put an end to Hellmuth’s winning streak.
Dwan made a name for himself during the poker boom era for conquering high stakes online poker games primarily on Full Tilt Poker, using the screen name “durrrr”. He competed with some of the biggest names in the game, including Phil Ivey, Patrick Antonius, Daniel Cates, Brian Townsend, and Viktor Blom.
But Dwan’s skills aren’t limited to the virtual felts, as he also has a decent record in the live poker arena, with over $4.8 million in total live earnings throughout his career, most of that he won by competing in high roller tournaments.
However, Dwan has yet to capture any major title but did score huge cashes in the European Poker Tour, World Poker Tour, and the World Series of Poker (WSOP).
Nevertheless, Dwan has gained the respect of the poker community because of his smart and fearless play style, which was usually on showcase when he competed in televised poker shows back in the day, including Poker After Dark, High Stakes Poker, as well as the NBC National Heads Up Poker Championship.
Dwan could be Hellmuth’s toughest opponent yet, but the latter always has a way of stunning his challengers, regardless of their level of skills. While many players remain unimpressed with Hellmuth’s game style, he has proven time and again that he’s still got it and his strategy works. The 15-time WSOP bracelet winner isn’t one of the best heads-up poker players out there, but he has a strong background in the live sit-n-go format.
Hellmuth won the inaugural NBC National Heads Up Poker Championship in 2005 after defeating Chris Ferguson, and in 2013, during the show’s final year, he finished runner-up to Mike Matusow.
The Most Intriguing HU Battle
Overall, it would be an epic match between Hellmuth and Dwan, probably the most intriguing heads-up battle to date, which poker players and fans would closely follow.
This won’t be the first time that Hellmuth and Tom Dwan will cross paths in a heads-up tournament. Both players took on each other during the 2008 edition of the NBC National Heads Up Poker Championship. During that time, Dwan had just embarked on a live poker career, while Hellmuth was already a Poker Hall of Famer.
The younger pro managed to upset his veteran opponent during the first round by cracking his aces with pocket tens. This resulted in one of Hellmuth’s most memorable meltdowns, prompting Dwan to challenge him to a rematch that never happened.
After 13 years, the long-awaited match is finally taking place. Dwan is a -128 favorite to win the battle, with Hellmuth once again coming in as the underdog.