Two of the most important names in poker clashed in a collection of heads-up matches for High Stakes Duel, an authentic collection on the PokerGO streaming service. The first showdown pitted 15-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth in opposition to the all-time cash chief on the WSOP: Antonio Esfandiari. The two residing legends have greater than $50 million in mixed event earnings between them.
The collection includes a distinctive format the place a pair of gamers every publish a $50,000 buy-in to play an preliminary match for $100,000. The loser in every spherical has the proper to problem the winner to a rematch for double the stakes, with the chance then passing to another potential challenger prepared to step in on the new stakes if the loser of the primary spherical declines to problem.
The format would see the stakes double for every spherical, which might end in a ultimate match for $12.8 million if any participant ever makes it to the eighth spherical of this problem. A victorious participant from spherical 1 cannot money out their winnings till they’ve received three straight matches previous to spherical 6, or two in a row from the fifth spherical on. If no challengers step as much as face a winner from a earlier match inside 30 days, the winner may then money out with their complete earnings so far.
Hellmuth got here out on prime in opposition to Esfandiari in spherical 1 again in late July. Before the playing cards have been even within the air for that match, Esfandiari instructed host Nick Schulman that he would positively problem have been he to lose. “100 percent. I’ll never quit him. No matter how much. No matter what the stake. I’ll never quit him.”
True to his phrase, Esfandiari instantly challenged Hellmuth. The two weren’t capable of play once more till late September. Hellmuth as soon as once more emerged victorious regardless of Esfandiari getting out in entrance throughout their battle. Hellmuth took the lead in opposition to ‘The Magician’ in a wild hand that ended with Esfandiari shoving all-in on a river with eight excessive after a number of bets went on on every of the earlier streets.
The hand started with Esfandiari holding simply over a 2:1 lead. He raised to 1,100 from the button with 85. Hellmuth known as 600 extra from the large blind with A3 and the flop got here down JJ4. Hellmuth checked and Esfandiari guess 600 in place. Hellmuth check-raised to 1,800 and Esfandiari known as. The 7 on the flip noticed Hellmuth guess 3,200 together with his ace-high. Esfandiari raised as a bluff with the gutshot straight draw he picked up on fourth road, making it 11,300 to go. Hellmuth three-bet to 29,000, and Esfandiari determined to make the decision.
Hellmuth checked at nighttime and the A accomplished the board. Esfandiari introduced that he was all-in, placing Hellmuth in danger for his final 34,825. Hellmuth made the decision to reverse their chip positions and was capable of shut out the match from there.
Esfandiari rapidly exercised his choice to problem, establishing a 3rd conflict with Hellmuth for Oct. 21 with $400,000 on the road. Hellmuth introduced earlier than play started that he could be cashing out his winnings if he have been capable of come out on prime, having met the standards to take action by profitable three consecutive rounds.
The two traded the lead a bit within the early going, however a flush-over-flush cooler gave Hellmuth a 3:1 lead that turned out to be decisive. Hellmuth limped in from the button with J9 and Esfandiari checked his large blind holding 82. The QJ4 flop gave each gamers flush attracts. Esfandiari check-raised Hellmuth’s 1,300 guess to 4,300. Hellmuth then three-bet to 10,000. Esfandiari known as and the A hit the flip, giving each gamers a flush. Esfandiari guess 16,200 and Hellmuth made the decision with the second nuts. The 10 on the tip noticed Esfandiari lower out a 33,800 guess. Hellmuth raised to 73,800. Esfandiari made the decision, solely to see he had run right into a superior flush. Hellmuth’s stack grew to 297,000 whereas Esfandiari slipped to 103,000.
The ultimate hand of this matchup noticed Esfandiari limp in from the button for 3,000 with A3. Hellmuth raised to 13,000 from the large blind with A10 and Esfandiari moved all-in for 129,000. Hellmuth made the decision and the board ran out AOkay9J8. Hellmuth’s kicker performed to earn him the pot and the victory within the match for $400,000.
With Hellmuth deciding to financial institution his winnings, the following High Stakes Duel will start with two new gamers battling it out for $100,000 within the first spherical. The identification of these two gamers has but to be introduced.