Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari to battle it out in High Stakes Duel rematch
By Bob Garcia
The two poker greats are ready to determine who really is the ultimate champion
During the first inaugural show of PokerGo’s “High Stakes Duel,” pro players Phil Hellmuth and Antonio Esfandiari battled each other in a game of poker that was broadcasted live. After Hellmuth won the initial match while playing for a $100,000 prize, Esfandiari had to deal with the frustration of not being able to defeat his opponent, who he wanted to play against, and defeat, for a long time. Now, the same show is giving them the opportunity of a rematch thanks to the established rules where the loser reserves the right to challenge the winner to a rematch. The showdown will be aired exclusively on PokerGo on September 23.
For this rematch, the prize pool looks even more appealing given that both players need to put in another $50,000, so the second heads-up match will be worth $200,000. This is the last attempt for Esfandiari according to the show’s rules. So, if he loses, he has no right to challenge the Poker Brat again. If Hellmuth wins then he can move on to face a new opponent, someone who will be announced later; however, if Esfandiari wins, then Hellmuth can challenge Esfandiari for another rubber match, which will take place in the following weeks.
Lately, setting up poker heads-up matches has become a trend among the community, not only for what’s happening on this show but also on other sites, like the current challenge Phil Galfond is running at his own site and that he already has scheduled to play against Chance Kornuth in a few weeks. Hellmuth and Esfandiari are already scheduled to sit down and play today, and it will be broadcasted on Twitch. In addition, there is another heads-up match that has been drawing a lot of attention from other players and fans; the feuding rivals Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk will face each other in a virtual match; however, the official date hasn’t been decided yet.