Coming fresh from dropping over $1 million in a heads-up grudge match against Doug Polk, Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu is back at it again – this time taking on 15-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth.
Seeing as how the High Stakes Feud with Polk stemmed from a multi-year online war of words between the two pros, it only seems fitting that a bit of trash talk from Hellmuth on Negreanu’s play in that battle resulted in the gauntlet being thrown down for a High Stakes Duel Part II.
Although action will only kick off March 31 after a Covid related delay pushed the start date, the two have kept fans at home entertained trading barbs online. Never one to let his ego get in the way of things, Hellmuth decided to put out to the Twitter world that he should be considered among the GOATs of poker.
The question is, do YOU think you are the best POKER player in the world today?
Better than all the high stakes pros in any and every format?
You have said “I am the best poker player in the world” do you believe that for real?
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) March 11, 2021
It was an opportunity Negreanu couldn’t pass up and led to a day of back-and-forth shots with the two calling out each other’s lifetime stats and relevance to the poker world today. Sports betting icon and multiple WPT final table maker, Haralabos Voulgaris, summed up it up best in his reply to them both:
You guys come across as such children in all these twitter beef wars…nobody cares guys, just play the match and let the results speak for themselves.
Odds favouring Negreanu in HU battles
Although Hellmuth took down the inaugural High Stakes Duel last summer against Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari in a three-match sweep, betting this time seems to favour Negreanu. Many fellow poker pros feel that Kid Poker’s crushing at the hands of Polk may have been a very expensive Masterclass for Negreanu and feel his knowledge of GTO and heads-up theory will come in handy in this duel.
Unlike the Polk match though, the format this time will be live heads-up poker – an area where both players are known for their live reads and ability to adapt to the game. The format will be the same as the first edition of the duel with each player putting up $50,000 for the first game of heads-up poker. The loser has the option to challenge the winner by matching the prize pool – essentially doubling the stakes each rematch.
Multi million dollar rounds possible
Since the winner can only cash out after three consecutive wins, the prize pools will grow fast and there will be $1.6 million up for grabs by the fifth round. There are also worries about either Negreanu or Hellmuth not deciding to opt for a rematch. Should either decide to back down, any new player has 30 days to take on the winner. With the number of fans – and foes – both these players have in the poker community, there will be plenty of pros on the sidelines waiting to step into the ring. Kid Poker though gave his opinion on how many rounds this duel would last.
My prediction… PAIN!
I’m coming in hot and without mercy.
This match will not be close.
KO in the 5th round.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) March 27, 2021
With PokerStars announcing last week that the Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) has been cancelled for the second straight year (and still no refunds for the qualifiers), live poker will have limited options for the next little while. GGPoker is filling that gap with their $150 million Spring Festival in partnership with Deadmau5 and along with the constant new programming from PokerGO like the High Stakes Duel and Poker After Dark, there’s plenty to keep poker fans entertained.
High Stakes Duel II kicks off with a half-hour “weigh-in” followed by cards hitting the air March 31 at 6 p.m. Las Vegas time.