Phil Hellmuth won the first heads up duel against his old rival Daniel Negreanu. The duel took place live, which gave opportunities for many verbal jabs right from the get go.
Even before the first hand was dealt, KidPoker started making fun of Hellmuth’s conservative old school style and his tendency to limp many hands. Negreanu brought Phil’s book ” Poker Brat”, and sarcastically started reading from it.
The duel began and Daniel started catching all sorts of good hands and with his tendency to over call, managed to hit some good rivers, which allowed him to take the lead early on.
In one of the first hands, Phil had KQ, which he 3 bet pre flop, but Negreanu placed 4bet with AA, to which Phil response was a pre flop fold. Negreanu was quick to inform Phil he had made the right choice, continuing to play mind games.
Duel started off completely one sided with Daniel being in the lead and catching good hands more often than not and Hellmuth being card dead for a long time. That was until Hellmuth decided to use his “white magic”. He made spectacular comeback when people thought he already lost and stopped watching.
Other interesting battles, were those of words. Both players are known for their big ego and this resulted in some heated exchanges, in which they were trying to prove who is the better player.
In terms of gameplay, Daniel won most important pots in first half of the heads up match, with his superior plays and reads. One thing we can say for sure, is that both players were playing extremely cautious as two good boxers, who like to download info in the first rounds, rather than going guns blazing.
In another similarity to the fight game, they did a lot of taunting in the lead up to the match. They exchanged a lot of verbal jabs, hence why duel was very cautious, both players did not want to lose, in maybe the biggest heads up duel ever.
Slowly but surely Negreanu ate away Hellmuth’s chips. Daniel had 4:1 stack advantage for decent amount of time before delivering his fatal blow, leaving Phil with just 3k chips. It came as a shock when Hellmuth turned the tides and took chip lead. This was starting to look as one of the biggest comebacks in high stakes heads ups duels. Unbelievable !
Unfortunately for Negreanu, he could not close the match, when he should have, and Phil Hellmuth ended up winning this thriller heads up. This duel was at times lacking pure gameplay quality, but the final parts delivered a wild ride. Adding to that the funny back and forth exchanges, we could not be more eager to see what happens in round 2. Until then, we wish you happy grinding !