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Hellmuth vs. Koon: Battle for HU Poker Dominance - $1.6 Million Winner Take All

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Phil Hellmuth has found his next opponent to battle for heads-up supremacy. Jason Koon will step up to challenge Hellmuth on PokerGo's popular series, High Stakes Duel. The two will battle it out in a winner-take-all grudge match for $1.6 million.

Phil Hellmuth will Battle Against Jason Koon on High Stakes Duel for $1.6 Million

High Stakes Duel is a popular heads-up poker series offered by PokerGo. The upcoming event is the fifth round of the third duel in the series. You can watch the event only on PokerGo on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. It is set to begin at 8 p.m. EST.

Hellmuth was originally slated to play against Scott Seiver in a rematch scheduled for Aug. 22, 2022. Seiver backed out of the event citing "personal reasons" less than two weeks prior to the scheduled date.

People have been wondering and speculating as to who might step up and take Seiver's place, and we finally have our answer and a date scheduled for the largest High Stakes Duel to date. Jason Koon has stepped up and embraced this exciting challenge.

Phil Hellmuth has seen incredible recent success in his appearances on High Stakes Duel. This will be his 11th consecutive appearance, and he has only lost one of the prior ten matches.

Recent High Stakes Duel Results

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Phil Hellmuth has been on a truly incredible run. Hellmuth has emerged victorious in nine out of his ten appearances on High Stakes Duel with his only loss coming against Tom Dwan. Hellmuth immediately opted for a rematch and avenged his only defeat.

Below, we have included all of the results from Hellmuth's previous appearances on High Stakes Duel:

MatchResultPrize Money
Duel 1
Round 1
Phil Hellmuth defeated Antonio Esfandiari$100,000
Duel 1
Round 2
Phil Hellmuth defeated Antonio Esfandiari$200,000
Duel 1
Round 3
Phil Hellmuth defeated Antonio Esfandiari$400,000
Duel 2
Round 1
Phil Hellmuth defeated Daniel Negreanu$100,000
Duel 2
Round 2
Phil Hellmuth defeated Daniel Negreanu$200,000
Duel 2
Round 3
Phil Hellmuth defeated Daniel Negreanu$400,000
Duel 3
Round 1
Phil Hellmuth defeated Nick Wright$100,000
Duel 3
Round 2
Tom Dwan defeated Phil Hellmuth$200,000
Duel 3
Round 3
Phil Hellmuth defeated Tom Dwan$400,000
Duel 3
Round 4
Phil Hellmuth defeated Scott Seiver$800,000

What Exactly is at Stake?

The rules of the High Stakes Duel articulate that a player must win three matches consecutively prior to cashing out any winnings. This means that although this upcoming heads-up match is a winner-take-all format with $1.6 million at stake, only Hellmuth will be able to cash out the winnings if he is victorious.

This format means that only Koon will have to buy in for $800,000 as Hellmuth's previous winnings will remain in play. This will be the largest prize pool in the history of High Stakes Duel at $1.6 million.

Should Koon emerge victorious, Hellmuth will have the opportunity to request a rematch which would feature an enormous $3.2 million prize pool. The prize pool is doubled each round with the loser needing to buy into the following match.

Who Will Emerge Victorious?

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Although "the Poker Brat" has an excellent record recently in winning 9 out of his 10 matches, Koon is a highly formidable opponent. Koon has over $40 million in tournament winnings, and he has amassed a reputation as an excellent high-stakes cash game player. Koon also won his first WSOP bracelet in 2021 at the $25,000 heads-up event.

Hellmuth has been playing professionally for more than 30 years and has seen most of his success on the tournament circuit. Hellmuth first stepped into prominence by winning the 1989 WSOP Main Event at the age of 24. He was the youngest player to ever win the Main Event at the time, and his record would remain intact until Peter Eastgate won at the age of 22 in 2009. Hellmuth has earned a record-setting 16 WSOP bracelets and has amassed career tournament winnings of more than $28 million.

Phil Hellmuth Can Dodge Bullets BabyCan Hellmuth Summon "White Magic" to Emerge Victorious This Time?

We would have to imagine that Koon is at least a small favorite against Hellmuth, at least in theory, although Phil's recent record and the current odds certainly do not reflect this sentiment. Hellmuth is listed as a -150 favorite at the time of this writing.

Although Hellmuth's career earnings and successes are quite impressive, there has always been a bit of doubt across the poker community regarding Hellmuth's poker skills. Hellmuth has implemented a number of unique and somewhat abstract strategies, and his success at the highest stakes against other professionals is somewhat questionable.

Jason Koon is quite comfortable at the nosebleed stakes, and he has plenty of heads-up experience. Koon is widely respected throughout the community as an excellent cash game and tournament player with many in the community believing that Koon will enter this match with a significant strategic advantage. Hellmuth's recent success will certainly see him enter this match with confidence, and perhaps he will be able to silence his critics once again by claiming victory against a very formidable foe in Koon.

[UPDATE: December 8, 2022]

On Wednesday, December 7th, Hellmuth and Koon squared off. The action began fairly slowly until about 45 minutes into the action when Koon looked down at A♠️ A♣️. The blinds were $1,500/$3,000 and Hellmuth opened the action by calling with Q 6♠️.

Koon decided to raise to $10,500, and this is where the hand takes an incredible turn. Hellmuth then raises it up to $32,000 with his Q 6♠️. Koon considers his options with Aces and decides to raise to $120,000. Hellmuth then inexplicably raises it up to $260,000 with a complete bluff. Koon then shoves all in, and Hellmuth folds. This pot seemed to set the table for the rest of the event as it seemed as though Hellmuth had a difficult time getting over his poor play as he started to swear and ramble out of frustration in a classic Phill Hellmuth-like manner.

There were a couple of other somewhat notable hands, but Hellmuth simply couldn't gain any momentum as the match progressed. The final hand came at the $2,000/$4,000 blind level with Koon looking down at Q♣️ 8♦️ and raising it up to $12,000. Hellmuth looked down at A♦️ K♣️ and then raised it up to $35,000. Hellmuth only had another $68,000 behind. Koon jams all in, and Hellmuth quickly calls.

The flop came down 4♠️ T♣️ Q♠️ to give Koon top pair. Hellmuth would not catch up as the turn came down the 10♦️ and the river was a 3♠️.

The event was under 3 hours in total which is one of the shortest High Stakes Duels to date. Hellmuth will now have the opportunity to force a rematch which would be for a record-breaking $3.2 million. It seems quite likely that Hellmuth will look to activate the rematch in hopes of getting revenge and continuing his impressive recent run. This loss brings his record down to 9-2 on High Stakes Duel.

Where to Bet on This Event

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You can bet on the Phil Hellmuth vs Jason Koon grudge match only at BetOnline or We highly recommend both of these sites as they maintain excellent reputations and offer some of the fastest cashouts in the industry.

Currently, Hellmuth is listed as a -150 favorite with Koon coming in as a small underdog at +110. A $100 wager on Koon would yield $110 in profit while the same wager on Hellmuth would only yield $66.67.

BetOnline odds for Hellmuth vs Koon poker matchThe odds listed at BetOnline for the Phil Hellmuth vs Jason Koon poker grudge match

Plenty of Sites to Play Online


Although most of us certainly won't be playing for $1.6 million anytime soon, there are plenty of opportunities to play online poker safely if you wish to do so. Watching professionals play at the nosebleed stakes can be a very enjoyable and educational experience, and you may feel like jumping into the action yourself!

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