What Happened During The Phil Hellmuth Vs Tom Dwan High Stakes Duel Matches?

By Craig Klinski
June 28, 2022
Phli Hellmuth vs Tom Dwan High Stakes Duel

Phil Hellmuth and Tom Dwan were set to face off in Round 4 of the High Stakes Duel III heads-up match on May 12th, however Tom Dwan had to cancel due to scheduling conflicts.

It would have been the time that Dwan and Hellmuth had met, something that poker fans have been looking forward to since his first loss against Dwan and since they last met in January.

Hellmuth got his revenge when he defeated Dwan during their second match which he won for a $400,000 prize.

The match comes after Phil Hellmuth winning his first seven matches against a variety of opponents — Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu and Fox Sport’s Nick Wright, before splitting the last two matches with Tom Dwan.

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Like Esfandiari and Negreanu, Hellmuth met up with one of poker’s most popular players in Tom Dwan. They most famously battled heads-up during 2008’s National Heads-up Championship. It was during that match that Dwan beat Hellmuth when he cracked the Poker Brat’s aces with pocket tens.

It may not be the 2022 WSOP or the Hustler Live Stream, but the match was another of poker’s dream match-ups. Let’s take a look at what players saw from this porition of the High Stakes Duel III.

When was the Tom Dwan vs Phil Hellmuth High Stakes Duel heads-up match?

The latest version of the Dwan vs Hellmuth heads up match was set to be May 12th with both players battling until there is a winner. However, due a scheduling conflict, Dwan had to bow out and be replaced by Scott Seiver.

Although the length of the match can vary, typically matches have taken four or five hours. The previous match-ups between Dwan and Hellmuth were held in August 2021 and January 2022.

During the January 26th match, a hype show was held on January 25th at 8 PM ET, with interviews and analysis. This will be followed by the “Weigh In” on January 26th at 7:30 PM ET before the start of the match at 8:00 PM ET.

What stakes did Hellmuth vs Dwan play?

Both players bought into the first match for $100,000, where they essentially play a heads-up Sit and Go. For the January 26th match, stakes doubled to $200,000 for a $400,000 prize pool.

The third match between the pair would have been had each player buy-in for $400,000.

How can I watch Tom Dwan vs Phil Hellmuth?

In order to watch the match in its entirety, poker fans will need to tune into PokerGo, available through the PokerGo website or app. A subscription of $14.99 per month or $99 per year is needed to watch.

In addition to being given access to watch the match live, poker fans will also be able to watch previous High Stakes Duel matches as well as PokerGo’s ever-increasing library of poker content, which includes new original shows and content as well as classic tournaments from the World Series of Poker, High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark.

If you are still skeptical about paying to watch the match, PokerGo has been broadcasting 1 hour previews of the match, which you can see below:

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What is the format of High Stakes Duel?

The High Stakes Duel presents some of the best players in head-to-head poker combat. Generally, it will start with a $50,000 buy-in for each player. The winner will advance to Round 2, while the loser will receive the option for challenging the winner for a rematch with the stakes doubling each round.

For a player to automatically win the challenge, they must win three straight matches before Round 6 or two in a row starting at Round 5. If there is a challenger within 30 days — either new or a previous loser — the challenge continues.

Why is this being called High Stakes Duel III Round 2, 3 and 4?

As you may be aware, Hellmuth faced off against Fox Sport’s Nick Wright and defeated him during High Stakes Duel III Round 1. After that match, Wright conceded defeat but because Tom Dwan accepted Hellmuth’s new challenge within 30 days, High Stakes Duel III continues with the first match being referred to as “Round 2” not to mention that the stakes increased to the “Round 2” levels of $100,000.

The stakes for Round 3 of the High Stakes Duel III featured a buy-in of $200,000 apiece, while Round 4 requires that each player buy-in for $400,00

What happens after Round 4 of Hellmuth vs Dwan heads-up?

Now that Dwan has bowed out of the High Stakes Feud and been replaced by Scott Seiver, Tom Dwan’s participation in the heads-up matches will likely stop while Hellmuth focuses on other opponents.

What happened during the first matchup between Phil Hellmuth and Tom Dwan?

The first match of the High Stakes Duel III, Round 2 was held in August of 2021 where Tom Dwan finally beat Phil Hellmuth’s 7-match winning streak. The match lasted six hours with Phil Hellmuth even jumping to an early lead, making it look like he could pull off his eighth win in a row. Dwan ultimately came back and won the match, winning the $200,000 prize in the process.

You can watch highlights of the first Dwan vs Hellmuth High Stakes Duel III here:

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What happened during the second matchup between Tom Dwan vs Phil Hellmuth?

On January 26th, Phil Hellmuth took advantage of his rematch with Tom Dwan by beating him in a feisty High Stakes Duel III Round 3. In taking home the win, he wins the $400,000 winner-take-all prize.

Dwan and Hellmuth agreed to play a Round 4 of the match where $800,000 would be up for grabs ($400,000 buy-in for each player.

What has happened so far in other matches of the High Stakes Duel?

Despite Phil Hellmuth facing criticism from some poker fans that the game has passed him by and new GTO-centered players can defeat his player style, Hellmuth so far has proved everyone wrong.

Last year, Phil Hellmuth defeated Antonio Esfandiari heads-up in three consecutive matches in the second half of 2020. Next up was Daniel Negreanu, who had just finished an epic multi-month heads-up challenge against Doug Polk that he lost by $1.2 million.

Unfortunately for Negreanu, his luck against Hellmuth wasn’t any better with Hellmuth also taking down the first three matches against Kid Poker spanning from March 31st to June 23rd.

Hellmuth’s third opponent was a relative unknown in the poker world, but one recognizable by sports fans. Nick Wright, the host of a Fox Sports 1 talk show, met up against Hellmuth in late July. Despite battling throughout the match, the poker amateur ultimately didn’t fare much better than the seasoned pros that came before him.

Wright lost the first match and decided not to continue, finishing down $50,000, which leads us to Wednesday as Dwan attempts to break the streak. Meanwhile, Hellmuth hoped to make it eight in a row and add to his $750,000 in winnings so far, but that wasn’t meant to be as Dwan pulled off the victory in August 2021. However, Hellmuth got his revenge in January 2022 with a victory over Dwan.

Has Phil Hellmuth played Mr. Beast In High Stakes Duel?

No. While Phil Hellmuth has indeed played poker against Mr. Beast, the pair have not yet played a match during High Stakes Duel. Mr. Beast is also not expected to be one of Hellmuth’s opponents.

The pair also met during a High Stakes Poker live stream through Hustler Casino Live.

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