The $1.6 million match checks in with the largest stakes for the series so far. Hellmuth has been quite the competitor on the show, amassing a record of 9-1.
Koon knows he’ll have his work cut out for him when the cards get in the air in the PokerGO Studio. But he’s worked on studying his opponent in recent weeks and is excited about the challenge.
“I feel great, it’s a fun format and getting to play versus Hellmuth will be very entertaining, not just for the viewers but for me as well,” Koon told USPoker.
Hellmuth looks to cash in, extend big series run
Hellmuth returns to the High Stakes Duel table as the man to beat. While the Poker Brat may face criticism for his antics at the tables, he’s been highly successful in dispatching opponents.
Since the show debuted in July 2020, the 16-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner has defeated:
- Antonio Esfandiari (three wins)
- Daniel Negreanu (three wins)
- Nick Wright (one win)
- Tom Dwan (one win)
- Scott Seiver (one win)
Dwan handed Hellmuth his only loss of the series, but that was later avenged with another victory. For Hellmuth, a win in this round means he can walk away with his third High Stakes Duel championship belt.
Stakes could rise even higher with a Koon win. The show’s rules stipulate that the stakes double with each round. A player can walk away victorious if they win three consecutive matches prior to Round 4 or two consecutive matches starting with Round 4.
A win in this round for Koon would push the competition to Round 6 with $3.2 million at stake and Hellmuth having the first right to a rematch.
With the match approaching, Hellmuth knows he faces a tough customer in this duel. Koon brings a stellar record to the table. The defending champ recently humorously Tweeted about his longing for perhaps some lighter competition.
Dear @PokerGO Staff, I thought you would bring me “big time businessman” for my biggest matches in the studio: like my upcoming $1.6M High Stakes Duel Heads Up Match! Not top top players like @JasonKoon! pic.twitter.com/YZtBAC1rRQ
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) December 3, 2022
Tale of the tape
High Stakes Duel brings together two of the most accomplished players in poker. Here’s a look at at their poker records.
- Age: 58
- Total live tournament winnings: $28.4 million
- Career highlights: 1989 WSOP Main Event winner, 16 WSOP bracelets, four World Poker Tour final table appearances
- What to expect: an unorthodox style mixing aggression with timely folds and bluffs
- Age: 37
- Total live tournament winnings: $40.3 million
- Career highlights: one WSOP bracelet, millions in winnings from high roller events, considerable online poker winnings
- What to expect: look for a calm, measured approach with GTO analysis
PokerGO is available worldwide on Android, Apple iOS, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, or web browser. The beginning of the match will be available for free on the PokerGO YouTube channel. The action begins Dec. 7 at 8 pm ET.
* lead image courtesy PokerGO