Jason Koon Dominates in $1.6 Million High Stakes Duel Against Phil Hellmuth 08 Dec

A long anticipated High Stakes Duel match between Jason Koon and Phil Hellmuth worth $1,600,000 finally happened and it was Koon who emerged unscathed from the battle.

High stakes poker pro denied Hellmuth his third win in a row and thus a $1.6 million cashout that would come with it. This means High Stakes Duel 3 continues with a round 6 and a possible $3.2 million heads up battle, if someone challenges Jason in the next 30 days – and of course brings up $1,600,000 along with it. Phil has a right to rematch, but if he passes then another competitor could emerge.

Phil Hellmuth is now 9-2 in his eleven appearances on High Stakes Duel and Jason Koon was probably his toughest opponent so far and it really felt he had no chance of winning. Koon didn’t just play well, he also ran incredibly well.

"I had great hands," Koon told PokerGO after the match. "Even the hands that I bluffed, almost all of them kind of presented themselves in a natural way, so it was just one of those days where almost anybody in my seat is going to win."

It didn’t help that Phil made an unsuccessful 5-bet bluff with Q6o against Jason’s Aces, just to fold to a 6-bet all-in which put him behind 1:2 in chips. He did crawl back to even stacks, but never really managed to hold up his ground. We’ve also seen some of his famous tilts and blowups.

Per the house rules, a player must win "only" two consecutive matches in order to win the championship belt and cashing out the money prize, once the competition reaches 4th round. This means that if Jason does face a challenge in the next round, he could already become the High Stakes Duel 3 champions.

"My preparation for this match was not only Phil-specific but it was also - I assumed it was going to go two ways," Koon said. "One, there’s going to be some very rich recreational player who wants a sweat, which is great. Or there’s going to be some super alpha person who comes from Russia or somewhere who wants to play me, but I doubt it. I just can’t really see anyone that will play me. I’m not trying to be arrogant, it’s just that it’s a lot of money to move for a one-percent or two-percent edge that you’re going to have at most against me, but my preparation was to be ready to play an optimal player. I did not play an optimal strategy today. I played a very Phil-specific strategy. But if I play another player, I will be ready to play them if they play the way that a solver would play."