Tom Dwan Backs Out of $800,000 High Stakes Duel Rematch with Phil Hellmuth

May 12, 2022
Andrew Burnett

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The much-hyped High Stakes Duel III rematch between Phil Hellmuth and Tom Dwan has been cancelled at the last minute, with Dwan apparently facing a “schedule conflict”. The Poker Brat is now due to face an as yet unannounced replacement in the PokerGO studios next week instead...

News of Dwan’s withdrawal was a blow to poker fans who had been looking forward to the $800,000 heads-up, live poker battle – the score at one apiece after Hellmuth avenged his opening match loss to his long-time rival.

According to the PokerGO Tour website announcement, “The scheduled match between Phil Hellmuth and Tom Dwan for $800,000 has been cancelled following Dwan’s withdrawal due to a schedule conflict.”

There has been no information as to whether that conflict is a personal or poker one for Dwan, although poker Twitter was quick to share their thoughts...

“Yup. @TomDwan has the knife and the fork but no steak. I was thinking last week that maybe Dwan and Hellmuth cut a private deal to rebate the loser b/c I didn’t think Tom had the funds to risk 400k on this match. Crypto and markets down big. Tom does not have the money obv.”

Dwan is so far the only player to have defeated Hellmuth in the format, having stepped in for HSD III round 2 after TV sports host Nick Wright decided losing $50k was enough.

Hellmuth had already whitewashed both Antonio Esfandiari and Daniel Negreanu 3-0, taking $350,000 from each of them in the SNG-format matches.

When Dwan toppled the Poker Brat, he took $100k form his old nemesis, cracking Phil’s aces to win the match, just as he did back in 2008 to end Hellmuth’s run in the NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship.

Their rematch saw the stakes rise to $200k each, and it didn’t take long before Hellmuth was throwing f-bombs around the PokerGO studio in the Aria casino.

Phil bounced back, however, and took down the sequel and the $400k pot, describing Dwan as “one of the greatest players in the world.”

He also stated: “I know you’re rematching. This time for $800K,” but those plans have now been scuppered, and the big question now is who will replace Tom Dwan as his challenger?

According to PokerGO, we will find out on Monday May 16th, when “Hellmuth will return to the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada, where his new opponent will be revealed at 7:30 p.m. ET (4:30 p.m. PT) on The Weigh-In.”

They add: “Once that opponent is revealed, Hellmuth will face his new opponent in the $800,000 match – the first time High Stakes Duel will be played at those stakes – on Tuesday, May 17, beginning at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT).”

The PGT news article brings up the possibility of Eric Persson taking on Hellmuth, the duo clashing recently in the PGT Heads-Up Showdown. Persson defeated Hellmuth in an ill-tempered match which saw the Poker Brat facing his own verbal medicine for once.

Another possibility is one of the YouTube or Twitch content creators Phil faced off against last week in the Hustler Casino live show. Phil, accused of angleshooting and being a bad sport, might fancy taking on chess streamer Alexandra Botez, one of the HCL livestreams biggest winners.

Whoever it is that Phil faces off against in HighStakesDuel III, round 3, we’ll bring you all the best of the build-up and action right here!

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