Who will Phil Hellmuth face in the next game on PokerGO High Stakes Duel III?

That’s the question many poker fans are asking after his slated opponent, Scott Seiver pulled out of the rematch due to take place on August 22 due to ‘personal reasons’?

Three months following his defeat in Round 4 of High Stakes Duel III, which saw Hellmuth pocket $800,000, doubling his $400,000 buy in, Seiver’s decision to pull out means that the seat is open for another high stakes player to pay the $800,000 buy in and take on the Poker Brat.

However, they’d better bring their ‘A’ game as Hellmuth has an enviable 9-1 record on the show.

Phil Hellmuth Madison Kid screenplay

Hellmuth’s Fine Run In High Stakes Duels

Having comfortably beaten Antonio Esfandiari and Daniel Negreanu in the first two High Stakes Duel tournaments, earning a profit of $1.25m in the process, Hellmuth began Series III with a game against FS1 talk show host Nick Wright.

Hellmuth duly defeated Wright, earning $50,000 profit in the process and then next to challenge him was Tom Dwan, after Wright declined the option to ante up against Hellmuth for a second game.

In that $100,000 buy in game, Dwan inflicted Hellmuth’s first and only defeat in the tournament but Hellmuth then avenged that defeat in the third game in the series in a $200,000 buy in face off.

A decisive third game between the two had been planned to take place at some point during the summer, but Dwan was forced to pull out of the planned May 12 rematch due to a scheduling conflict meaning he would not be able to be in Las Vegas at that time.

Phli Hellmuth vs Tom Dwan High Stakes Duel

Scott Seiver stepped in to face Hellmuth in Round 4 at the last moment and in a tight game, Hellmuth managed to land a very well-judged bluff to beat Seiver in a key hand that led the Poker Brat to his ninth victory in the TV tournament.

Hellmuth received $800,000 for his win in that game and Seiver initially exercised his right to a rematch in game 5, with an $800,000 buy in for each player.

Had Hellmuth won that game, he would be allowed to walk away with the profit from the tournament after winning three matches, but a week or so before the rematch on was slated to start on August 22, Seiver was forced to pull out.

So now the race is on to find out which High Stakes star will be the player to take on the all-conquering Hellmuth in that $800,000 buy in event.

Who Could Step In To Face The Poker Brat?

PokerGO are now looking for a player to step in and face off against Hellmuth for a $1.6m prize pool and it seems that a number of big names have been linked with filling that void.

Using their Twitter account, PokerGO advertised to interested players that Seiver had pulled out of the rematch and that there was now a vacancy for a top player to step in and face off against Hellmuth.

The deadline had been set at August 15 3pm PT, but as yet there has been no official announcement from PokerGO as to who will come in and take that seat.

However, a number of high profile players did intimate that they would be interested in taking the seat by commenting on the tweet.

One of those was the current WSOP Main Event Champion Espen Jorstad, who has “Idiot from Northern Europe” on his Twitter bio, a reference to a famous Poker Brat comment made during a televised WSOP tournament when Hellmuth referred to people from Scandinavia as “idiots”.

Phil Hellmuth 16th bracelet

Another big name that commented on the post was Dan “Jungleman” Cates who responded:

“I’ve been BEGGING to bat! WHERE’S MY REMATCH! What % do I need to donate to charity or positive causes to play!?! Macho man Dan is in an uproar!”

Other names that put themselves forward as potential opponents include Dan Zack, who won the 2022 WSOP Player of the Year, as well as Ben Lamb, Bryn Kenney, Julien Martini and Dan Smith.

However, one name that has been mentioned is Phil Ivey, who had a strong performance at the recent 2022 WSOP and who is certainly an elite player that would give Hellmuth a run for his money.

Ivey hasn’t expressed any interest in the tournament as yet, but a PokerNews poll revealed that 32% of the people that responded wanted Ivey to be Hellmuth’s next opponent, second only to Dan Cates who amassed the lion’s share of the votes with 48%.

One can only assume that the PokerGO executives are now busy following up on some of these interested parties to solidify that interest and finalise the next game in the tournament.

Hellmuth’s Live At The Bike Sees Viewership Surge For Final Day

Phil Hellmuth Positivity

In the meantime, Phil Hellmuth was busy at the end of August playing host at his Live At The Bike tournament, which was streamed online as a direct rival to the all-conquering Hustler Casino Live.

Low numbers of viewers across the first two nights didn’t bode well for the event, but with a high quality line up for the third and final night which included Hellmuth, Eric Hicks, Garrett Adelstein, Eli Elezra and Eric Persson, viewership figures more than doubled.

They certainly got the pick of the action across the three days as the players engaged in some exciting hands, none more so than the Persson v Hicks showdown, which saw Persson lose $290,000 to his opponent.

With Hicks on a pair of aces, and Persson holding suited K2, both players moved to the flop when the three and four of spades, plus the ace of hearts were revealed.

Persson then hit his flush on the turn and committed heavily to the pot, when the ace of spades was revealed. However, while that gave him an ace high flush, he was always behind as Hicks now held Quad aces.

It’s a pity there was no Bad Beat jackpot in play on the hand!

Despite that, Persson wasn’t drawing dead. He needed the five of spades to complete a straight flush and take the win. However, the poker gods failed to shine as the river revealed the seven of hearts, allowing Hicks to take the big pot.

Persson did battle back later on in the game to finish the night just under $100k down, whereas Hicks ended up $34,000 better off.

Despite the improved viewership figures, Hellmuth and the Live At The Bike team may well need to refine their event if they want it to become a genuine challenger to Hustler Casino Live’s dominance.

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