Down Goes Hellmuth! Tom Dwan Breaks 7-Match Streak During High Stakes Duel

By Craig Klinski
January 28, 2022

Tom Dwan High Stakes Duel

It had to happen eventually, right? Last week, Tom Dwan finally put an end to Phil Hellmuth’s improbable seven-match winning streak during the High Stakes Duel.

Hellmuth jumped out an early lead but was unable to hold on after six hours, ultimately losing with Pocket Aces during the final hand to win the $200,000 prize. Hellmuth must now decide whether he wishes for a rematch against Dwan.

During Phil Hellmuth’s run of seven victories, he defeated Antonio Esfandiari (three times), Daniel Negreanu (also three times) and Nick Wright. Hellmuth has profited a total of $650,000, meaning his loss to Dwan only knocked $100,000 off his overall winnings.

Here are a couple of clips from the session:

The last hand

The last hand put Phil Hellmuth’s pocket aces up against Dwan’s 93o.

Hellmuth limped preflop before a three landed on the flop. Hellmuth pushed all-in and Dwan called. The turn was a nine, giving Tom Dwan two pair and the victory after a blank on the river. It was the second time that Dwan had beat Hellmuth while he held pocket aces during a high-profile match. The previous time came during the 2008 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Championship, which was seen as a precursor to the rematch.

What happens next?

With Tom Dwan the winner of the match, Phil Hellmuth must now decide whether he wants to continue. After the match was over, Hellmuth wasn’t sure if he would request to challenge Tom Dwan again. “I need to go watch the match and then I’ll decide.”

Should Hellmuth decide to bow out and take his $650,000 in profits with him, Dwan could get another challenger. The stakes for the next match will be a $200,000 buy-in for Round 3. Should no challengers present themselves, Dwan would win the High Stakes Duel III title and a new challenge would begin.

Hellmuth ultimately accepted the rematch and actually won his Round 3 match on January 26th.

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