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Phil Hellmuth won three consecutive matches against Antonio Esfandiari and collected $400,000 in prize money to be crowned the inaugural High Stakes Duel champion.

Hellmuth has since made appearances on High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark, but now he’s ready to open High Stakes Duel II. The challenger that is stepping up to the plate is Daniel Negreanu who recently completed the 25,000-hand challenge against Doug Polk in High Stakes Feud where he lost over $1.2 million.

“This series is different than anything we’ve created before in poker,” said Mori Eskandani, President at Poker Central. “If you’re a fan of the game, you definitely don’t want to miss this. The stakes and rivalries will be on another level.”

High Stakes Duel is a PokerGO.com original series that begins with each player posting the $50,000 buy-in. The winner progresses through to Round 2 where the loser has the first option to challenge. If the loser declines, the challenger seat is open for 30 days. The stakes will double each round where a potential $12.8 million prize pool would be reached by Round 8.

Hellmuth and Negreanu have always been considered rivals on the poker felt, but everything recently boiled over as Hellmuth criticized Negreanu’s play in High Stakes Feud. This led to some banter between the two as both players made appearances on episodes of No Gamble, No Future. Eventually, High Stakes Duel II would be announced on No Gamble, No Future as both Hellmuth and Negreanu appeared together and hosts Jeff Platt and Brent Hanks struggled to get any words in while Hellmuth and Negreanu continued to trade blows back-and-forth.

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Looking at each player’s poker careers, it’s hard to pick who has the edge over the other. Hellmuth has nine more WSOP bracelets than Negreanu, but Kid Poker has two WPT titles, two WSOP Player of the Year awards, and a WPT Player of the Year award – all of which The Poker Brat doesn’t have. Both players have amassed an astonishing amount of lifetime tournament winnings with Negreanu having won over $42 million to Hellmuth’s $24.1 million, as the tale of the tape falls as follows:

Phil Hellmuth Tale of the Tape Daniel Negreanu
56 Age 46
The Poker Brat Nickname Kid Poker
15 WSOP Bracelets 6
0 WPT Titles 2
$24,117,333 Winnings $42,053,305
21st All Time Money List 3rd

The WSOP bracelets, WPT titles, and Player of the Year awards will be put aside next Wednesday, March 31, as both Hellmuth and Negreanu square off in Round 1 of High Stakes Duel II.

Hellmuth looks to continue his High Stakes Duel winning streak after winning $400,000 against Esfandiari, but Negreanu is hoping to etch a new name on the High Stakes Duel championship belt. Will we see an instant rematch announced by the loser, or will there be some possum being played? The only way to find out is to watch the High Stakes Duel II | Round 1 exclusively on PokerGO.com at 8 p.m. ET this Tuesday!

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Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Ali Nejad, Nick Schulman, High Stakes Duel

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