Despite going through what many would think about an insurmountable chip lead early on within the heads-up match, Phil Hellmuth accomplished an epic comeback to win his first high-stakes heads-up match towards Daniel Negreanu Wednesday night in Las Vegas.
The 15-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner received $100,000 after observing a greater than 9:1 chip deficit midway by means of the match, which was aired as a part of the High Stakes Duel collection on PokerGO.
At the top of the six-hour match, when Hellmuth’s 9-9 light Negreanu’s open-ended straight flush draw, Negreanu mentioned that he would take the choice to play Hellmuth once more. Per the principles of collection, the dropping participant has the choice to problem the winner for double the stakes. The winner can’t decline a rematch till he has received three straight matches previous to spherical 6 or two consecutive matches after spherical 5.
“Good match, buddy,” Negreanu mentioned to Hellmuth after the ultimate card was dealt. “There will be a rematch. You can guarantee that.”
The second match could have a $100,000 buy-in, in distinction to Wednesday’s $50,000 entry charge. During Hellmuth’s first go-around on the collection towards Antonio Esfandiari, he received the primary three matches and profited $350,000.
Negreanu dominated the early portion of the match. Without any palms of significance going to showdown, he opened up a 2:1 lead within the blink of a watch. The GGPoker Ambassador and six-time WSOP bracelet winner prolonged it to three:1 about an hour into the match.
The Canadian professional had a chief alternative to place Hellmuth away when Hellmuth limped in on the button with 99 and Negreanu raised to 1,500 out of the large blind with 64. Hellmuth three-bet to three,700 and Negeranu known as.
The flop was 443 and Negreanu checked. Hellmuth wager 4,000 and Negreanu known as. Both gamers checked the 8 flip card and the 5 got here on the river. With 15,400 within the pot and simply 12,000 left in Hellmuth’s stack, Negreanu wager 5,000 and Hellmuth known as. Negreanu tabled his journey fours and dragged the pot.
Hellmuth was down to only 7,000 of the 100,000 in play and bled off one other few thousand chips, leaving himself with simply 5% of the chips in play, whereas Negreanu held the opposite 95%. But as a substitute of opting to go for all of it with journeys, Negreanu gave Hellmuth the chance to mount a comeback.
It was a chance Hellmuth took full benefit of.
Hellmuth picked off a bluff to get again to 10,000, bluffed Negreanu off pocket queens on an ace-high flop, after which scored a double up with Q6 towards 105 on a 432 flop to get again into the match. Just half-hour after he was all the way down to nearly nothing, Hellmuth was again as much as about 40 large blinds and lower Negreanu’s lead again to a 3:1 benefit.
From there, every thing began going Hellmuth’s method. He rivered center two pair towards Negreanu’s high pair and the match was nearly even. About 4 and a half hours into the match, Hellmuth rivered a flush towards Negreanu’s high pair to take the chip lead for the primary time.
Negreanu by no means recovered and ultimately was in the identical gap Hellmuth dug out of some hours earlier.
Hellmuth limped in on the button and Negreanu shoved his final 15 large blinds into the center with 76. Hellmuth snap-called with 99. There was an enormous sweat for Negreanu on a J85 flop, however the Ok on the flip and the 8 on river failed to enhance his open-ended straight flush draw and despatched the match to Hellmuth.
The cause for the match stems from controversy sparked by Hellmuth’s feedback within the aftermath of Negreanu’s loss to Doug Polk a number of months in the past. Over 25,000 palms of $200-$400 heads-up no-limit maintain’em on WSOP.com, Negreanu ended up dropping a seven-figure sum.
“I was disappointed in the way that Daniel played,” mentioned Hellmuth in February.
He went on to say that he thought Negreanu ought to’ve caught to the technique that he used to win for greater than 20 years, as a substitute of switching to a extra recreation principle optimum method to the sport.
Negreanu heard the feedback and took the chance to problem Hellmuth to a match of their very own, ultimately agreeing to battle on High Stakes Duel.
On Twitter, the 2 went back-and-forth over the perceived expertise degree of their opponent. It shortly grew to become private as Hellmuth was clearly upset about Negreanu and others locally criticizing his play. During the pre-match interview, Hellmuth defended all of his performs from his final match towards Esfandiari, calling it “apex predator shit.”
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Hellmuth’s skill has been a lightning rod matter amongst high-stakes event execs for fairly some time. Last October, high-stakes legend Phil Galfond tweeted reward for the Palo Alto native and was met pushback on his opinion from different well-respected execs.
The banter culminated in a Negreanu providing a $400,000 wager that Hellmuth wouldn’t be a winner within the $25,000 buy-in tournaments on the Aria over a 50-tournament pattern. That wager will seemingly begin this summer season and end in early 2022.