Phil Hellmuth dropped to 9-2 on PokerGO’s Excessive Stakes Duel present, shedding the $1.6 million spherical to Jason Koon, who outplayed his opponent and in addition ran crimson sizzling.

The primary match between the 2 poker stars Wednesday night lasted lower than three hours, shorter than most Excessive Stakes Duel matches. Koon, making his first look on the heads-up poker present, was dominant and confirmed the poker world why he’ll someday attain the Poker Corridor of Fame.

Hellmuth did not play his greatest in opposition to what some would argue was his hardest Excessive Stakes Duel opponent. However he additionally could not catch a hand if his life trusted it.

Koon stepped into Spherical 5 of Excessive Stakes Duel III, paying $800,000 to enter, rather than Scott Seiver, who misplaced to Hellmuth in Spherical 4 after which backed out of the rematch last-minute again in August.

Nice Early Battle

Proper off the bat, Hellmuth tried to set the tone by displaying some aggression. Each gamers began with 800,000 chips and the 30-minute blind ranges opened at 1,000-2,000. The “Poker Brat” gained a few small pots within the early goings on bluffs, however the match would rapidly flip the opposite approach.

Hellmuth did profit from some early breaks, a number of instances going runner-runner for a straight to win some small pots. After which he discovered absolutely the worst time to get artistic with when he five-bet to 260,000 preflop just for his opponent, who was holding , to maneuver all in. The 16-time World Collection of Poker bracelet winner was pressured to fold and dropped down to just about a 2-1 chip drawback.

Moments later, Hellmuth would river the nut flush to win a vital 270,000-chip pot and transfer again into competition. He would grind away over the following 15-20 minutes and almost pull even earlier than all of it unraveled.

Koon Begins to Pounce

Simply over an hour into the match, Koon picked up pocket aces for the second time. This time, he did not get any motion, however that is type of how the match went. The GGPoker ambassador hit 8-10 premium preflop fingers — (aces twice, ace-king, ace-queen 3 times, ace-jack, pocket 10’s, pocket 9’s, and some small pocket pairs) — whereas Hellmuth could not discover a premium.

However that is heads up poker the place aggression and timing typically pays off, even when the cardboard distribution is not equal. Sadly, for the WSOP bracelet record-holder, his aggression proved expensive as a result of his timing was off.

Take, for instance, the next hand: Koon raised to 10,000 preflop with earlier than his opponent three-bet to 32,000 with , as soon as once more making an attempt to drive the motion with a mediocre hand. The flop would come out and each gamers checked to see the on the flip, giving Koon prime two pair, and Hellmuth would guess it for him (14,000). He made the decision and when the appeared on the river, they every checked and Koon took down a 92,000-chip pot to increase his lead.

Moments later, Hellmuth three-bet with once more however bumped into and ended up shedding a monster pot following a failed bluff try into ace-high on the flip.

Not lengthy after, Hellmuth could not discover a fold on a four-to-a-straight board with a rivered second pair dealing with a 56,000-chip guess. Koon, who flopped center pair, rivered the straight and despatched Hellmuth down to simply 300,000 chips.

Koon would then make a world-class play with pocket deuces on a board of when he guess out 60,000 and compelled his opponent to muck a pair of seven’s to win a pot of 160,000.

Hellmuth Cannot Win a Pot

With Hellmuth’s stack dwindling all the way down to below 50 massive blinds, he was nonetheless in it regardless of a large deficit. However he simply couldn’t construct up any momentum. Each time it appeared he might need been slowly chipping away, he’d lose one other sizable pot.

He did, nonetheless, get by way of one strong bluff with queen-high on a board of , firing out a guess of fifty,000 to drive the 2021 WSOP bracelet winner off pocket 9’s.

That was just about the final of it for the “Poker Brat,” nonetheless. Shortly after, he bumped into some extra unhealthy timing when he referred to as a preflop elevate with after which would check-raise the flip to 60,000 on a board of earlier than shutting it down on the river. Koon guess out massive with for journeys and jumped into almost a 10-1 chip lead.

Hellmuth added a small quantity to his stack earlier than calling a guess with on a flop. Each gamers checked the flip and noticed the on the river, which paired up Koon’s . Koon guess 36,000 and was referred to as by king-high, sending Hellmuth into full tilt mode.

“Come on, what the f**ok?” a annoyed and card-dead Hellmuth screamed. “What number of playing cards are you going to get? He tried to bluff it off and double me up identical to I knew he would.”

Not lengthy after, the match led to a becoming method. Koon raised to 12,000 with and was three-bet to 35,000 from . Koon determined it was time to bop so he jammed all in and was snap-called for 103,000 complete.

The board would run out , giving Koon prime pair and the most effective hand. That formally ended what was a one-sided heads up poker match.

What’s Subsequent for Excessive Stakes Duel?

Will Dan Smith be up subsequent to compete on Excessive Stakes Duel?

Had Hellmuth gained, he might have cashed out on account of profitable three consecutive matches. In complete, he would have profited $1,350,000 as he was in for $250,000 complete. Excessive Stakes Duel contests start with every participant paying $50,000 to enter Spherical 1 after which the prize pool doubles every spherical, however solely the shedding participant or new challenger is on the hook to extend the pot every spherical.

Within the case of Spherical 5, Koon paid $800,000 to double the pot, however he can not money out but. Hellmuth now has the choice to problem him to a rematch, however he’d be required to pay $1.6 million to get again within the recreation, making a pot of an unthinkable $3.2 million.

If Hellmuth drops out, Koon will face another person in Spherical 6. Throughout Wednesday’s present, PokerGO commentators Ali Nejad and Nick Schulman mentioned potential opponents, which included Hellmuth (he will get first dibs), Wiktor “limitless” Malinowski, and Dan Smith.

Excessive Stakes Duel III started in July 2021 with Hellmuth coming from behind to defeat FS1 sports activities speak blowhard Nick Wright, who declined a rematch. Tom “durrrr” Dwan then stepped into the field for Spherical 2 ($200,000 pot), and dealt the 1989 world champion his first loss in eight matches on the present.

Hellmuth would get revenge in Spherical 3, beating Dwan for the $400,000 pot in January 2022. After “durrrr” was unable to make it to Las Vegas in time for Spherical 4 in Might, Scott Seiver served because the alternative and promptly misplaced.

It is now as much as Hellmuth to resolve if he needs to provide it one other shot. If not, it is going to be the primary time he does not compete in a Excessive Stakes Duel match.

Learn a Full Historical past of Excessive Stakes Duel

*Photographs courtesy of PokerGO.

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