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Hellmuth and Dwan Face Off in $800k High Stakes Clash on May 12

The High Stakes Duel between Tom Dwan and Phil Hellmuth goes into the fourth round on May 12. After Hellmuth won the last round and $400,000, the stakes will be doubled again and the two will play for $800,000.

In two weeks Phil Hellmuth and Tom Dwan will play for the $800,000 in a single game of heads-up hold'em inside the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. It will be the first time the High Stakes Duel is reaching those stakes. The full match will be played on Thursday, May 12, at 8 p.m. ET (2 a.m. in Europe) and will be broadcast exclusively on The first hour of the match can be watched for free on PokerGO's YouTube channel.

Victory for Hellmuth in previous round

Phil Hellmuth and Tom Dwan played a grueling match in the last round of their High Stakes Duel. Hellmuth had shown some unusually aggressive moves on several occasions an had the necessary luck on his side during the crucial moments. The following hand is an example of Hellmuths unusually aggressive pre-flop play:

All Highstakes Duel matches so far

There have been three highstakes duels so far. Hellmuth won the first two outright after three matches. The current third Highstakes duel is the first to go into a fourth match.

MatchResultPrize Money
Duel I - Match 1Phil Hellmuth wins against Antonio Esfandiari$100,000
Duel I - Match 2Phil Hellmuth wins against Antonio Esfandiari$200,000
Duel I - Match 3Phil Hellmuth wins against Antonio Esfandiari$400,000
-Hellmuth wins Duel I after three victories in a row.-
Duel II - Match 1Phil Hellmuth wins against Daniel Negreanu$100,000
Duel II - Match 2Phil Hellmuth wins against Daniel Negreanu$200,000
Duel II - Match 3Phil Hellmuth wins against Daniel Negreanu$400,000
- Hellmuth wins Duel I after three victories in a row. -
Duel III - Match 1Phil Hellmuth wins against Nick Wright (Wright waives the re-match)$100,000
Duel III - Match 2Tom Dwan wins against Phil Hellmuth$200,000
Duel III - Match 3 Phil Hellmuth wins against Tom Dwan$400,000
Duel III - Match 4May 12: Phil Hellmuth vs. Tom Dwan$800,000

How the High Stakes Duel works

Hellmuth and Dwan in the third round of the High Stakes Duel
Hellmuth and Dwan in the last round of the High Stakes Duel

The rules of High Stakes Duel sound a bit complicated at first. After all, the match between Dwan and Hellmuth is already the fourth in the current season.

Exactly one heads-up no-limit hold'em match is played in each round of a season. Both players start with 200,000 chips each with blinds at 300 / 600. The blinds are increased only slowly and the dual usually takes several hours.

The stakes start at $50,000 in the first round for each player in each season. After the first round, the loser has the option for a rematch. If they don't exercise this option, another challenger can take their place within a month and continue the duel. In each subsequent round, the stakes are doubled.

The winner of a round cannot drop out before the end of the season. They must - if an opponent is found - play the next round. The season is over when a player wins three games in a row. If the season goes to the 5th round, two wins in a row are enough to end it.

In the current third season of High Stakes Duel, Phil Hellmuth defeated sports commentator Nick Wright in the first round with $50,000 stakes. Wright declined a rematch, whereupon Tom Dwan stepped in. Although the match that now followed was Dwan's first, it was still the second round. The season continued where Wright left off. Dwan won this second round with $100,000 stakes and Hellmuth won the third round with $200,000 stakes.

The fourth round of the season will now be played on May 12. To win the entire season, Hellmuth would need to win two more rounds. According to the High Stakes Duel rules, the stakes double with each round. A prize pool of $12,800,000 would be played out in the eighth round. Should it come down to an eighth round, the winner of that match would be deemed the overall winner of the season.

All Highstakes Duels can be watched on For a payment of $99.99, you can watch all broadcast events live for 12 months. Alternatively, you can watch all events for one month for $14.99. New PokerGO subscribers receive $20 off an annual subscription to when they use the code "HSD3R4" when signing up.


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