An official date and time have finally been announced for the largest High Stakes Duel match ever. The heads-up showdown will see 16-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth square off against high-stakes tournament crusher Jason Koon, who has more than $41.4 million in cashes to his name. The pair will each be putting up $800,000 for a $1.6 million clash that is set to air exclusively on PokerGO on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).
Hellmuth was originally scheduled to play a rematch with Scott Seiver, with the two set for a winner-take-all showdown worth $1.6 million. Seiver backed out in August, at which point several of the biggest names in the game offered to take his spot, including Dan Smith, Chris Brewer, Wiktor ‘Limitless’ Malinowski, Ben Lamb, Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates, Bryn Kenney, Dan Zack, and reigning WSOP main event champion Espen Jorstad. In the end, it was Koon who locked up the chance to battle with the all-time bracelet leader.
Hellmuth has put on a dominant display so far in High Stakes Duel competition. Since the show first premiered in July of 2020, he has earned a 9-1 record facing some of the top talents in the game. The show pits two players against each other with an initial heads-up match costing $50,000. The loser can then challenge the winner in a double-or-nothing match for $100,000, and then $200,000. After three wins, a player can cash out and refuse the rematch and start the entire process again.
Hellmuth kicked things off with three straight wins over Antonio Esfandiari to secure $350,000 in profits. He then swept Daniel Negreanu to add another $350,000 to his totals.
After those two straightforward victories for Hellmuth over a pair of fellow poker superstars, High Stakes Duel 3 has been more of a wild ride. Hellmuth has won three of the four rounds played so far, starting off by beating sports commentator Nick Wright in the initial round.
When Wright decided not to continue, high-stakes cash game star Tom Dwan stepped in and delivered Hellmuth his first, and so far only, loss on the show. Hellmuth and Dwan met again in round 3, and Hellmuth was able to get back on track. with a victory in that $200,000 showdown. At that point, Dwan stepped aside and Scott Seiver entered the ring for round 4. Hellmuth came out on top in that $400,000 buy-in affair to give him $550,000 in profit so far in this series.
If Hellmuth emerges from his showdown with Koon with a win, he will have the option to walk away with his third High Stakes Duel championship belt. If instead, Koon came away the victor, it would set up an unprecedented round 6 with $3,200,000 on the line and Hellmuth having the first right to challenge Koon.
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