Tournaments and cash games
The heavyweight poker rematch between Phil Hellmuth and Scott Seiver will take place on August 22 and, with $1.6 million on the line, the showdown will be the biggest battle in ‘High Stakes Duel’ history.
The two last met in May when Seiver lost to Hellmuth in the $800,000 win-win battle. At the time, each player bought in for $400,000, generating the biggest prize pool in the show’s history.
If Hellmuth wins again, he will lock in the $1.6 million in the prize pool and have the option to walk away without facing a potential rematch. If Seiver wins, Hellmuth will have the chance to reclaim the title in the next round, which would cost each player $1.6 million.
Duel for dollars
The formula behind “High Stakes Duel” is quite simple: the PokerGo show is a one-on-one poker challenge divided into rounds. A player must win three tricks in a row to cash in and walk away. If players advance to the fourth round or later, they can cash out after winning two consecutive times.
Buy-ins start at $50,000 per player and double with every spin. A duel can last up to eight rounds, meaning the final round would have a buy-in of $6.4 million each and a prize pool of $12.8 million.
The loser of each round has 30 days to challenge the winner to a rematch. If the loser refuses to exercise this option, other players can take up the challenge. If no one challenges the winner within 30 days, the contest is over and he wins the money.
Hellmuth ends the competition
Hellmuth was unbeatable throughout the first two seasons of “High Stakes Duel”.
In season 1, he sent Antonio Esfandiari in three straight games, winning the $400,000 prize pool. He did the same to Daniel Negreanu in Season 2, mopping the floor with his longtime rival three times in a row for another $400,000.
After cashing in on all three kills, Hellmuth could have accepted challenges from the others, but he refused and cashed in.
A Rockier Road in Season 3
The third season didn’t go so well for Hellmuth, but he still wins. He had to stage a comeback against F1 race announcer and amateur poker player Nick Wright to win the first round, which took place at the Aria’s PokerGO studios last July.
Wright refused to pay the $100,000 needed to set up a rematch, so Tom Dwan came forward for Round 2, handing Hellmuth their first loss by smashing aces with 9-3.
Hellmuth quickly demanded a $200,000 rematch, which he won.
Dwan withdrew from the competition after his loss, opening the door for Seiver to pay $400,000 to try and bring down Hellmuth.
A new rivalry in sight?
It took Hellmuth over five hours to send Seiver through to the fourth round and set the stage for the next $1.6 million match. The tournament ended when Hellmuth’s bottom two pair held off Seiver’s top pair.
“I had more fun playing with you than anyone else,” Hellmuth said after the game. “You did so well. You could have won easily. It could have gone either way, you know that.
If Seiver wins Round 5 and Hellmuth seeks a rematch, Round 6 would see players return to compete for a $3.2 million prize. If, on the other hand, Hellmuth wins, the season will end and Hellmuth will retain his title.
If Hellmuth loses and doesn’t seek rematch, Seiver will win the title until another big player steps in with $1.6 million burning a hole in his pocket.
The Hellmuth/Seiver rematch live on PokerGo starting at 5pm PT on Monday, August 22.