Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth Win Big This Week
If you’re a fan of the world of poker, then you know both Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey. Both were in the news this week after scoring impressive wins. First, Phil Ivey defeated Patrik Antonius in the finals of the $25,000 World Poker Tour Heads-Up Championship. Ivey outlasted a field of 32 players to take the $400,000 top prize.
Meanwhile, Phil Hellmuth came out on top in the final match against Daniel Negreanu in High Stakes Duel II. Hellmuth swept the series 3-0 to win $400,000. He is on a six-match winning streak after defeating Antonio Esfandiari in the first High Stakes Duel.
Phil Ivey Defeats Patrik Antonius in WPT Heads-Up Championship
Phil Ivey has largely been silent in tournament poker over the last few years. Much of this is due to his legal problems in the United States and abroad. Recently, he stated that he will be playing more at online casinos and in live poker rooms and looks forward to getting back to his winning ways.
Ivey made an impressive return this past week by taking down the first-ever $25,000 WPT Heads-Up Championship. The event was played entirely online and was an invitational event featuring 32 players.
[Player of the Week] Last week @philivey took down the $25,000 WPT Heads-Up Championship event for $400,000 on the Asian real money poker app PokerKing. He is SMP's Player of the Week!https://t.co/ZBkILvllSd
— Somuchpoker (@Somuchpoker) June 26, 2021
To get to the finals, Patrik Antonius had to defeat Gakuto Oshiro, Doug Polk, Stefan Burakov, and Sam Greenwood. Phil Ivey had to defeat Manig Loeser, Anthony Zinno, Stephen Chidwick, and Christopher Kruk.
Rounds leading up to the final were the best-of-three format while the finals were the best-of-five format. Players had to play with a webcam so that everyone could see them. The first match was mostly dominated by Ivey with him closing it out when his pocket nines held up against A-8 for Antonius.
The second match was a bit back and forth but Ivey was able to get back into the lead when his K-Q outdrew Antonius’ pocket sevens. Later, Ivey picked off a bluff to take a commanding 2-0 lead.
In the final match, Antonius lead early, but Ivey took the lead in a straight vs. two pair confrontation. Later, Ivey closed out the match when his A-10 held against the Q-J of Antonius.
For his victory, Ivey won $400,000 while Antonius earned $200,000 for second place.
Phil Hellmuth Sweeps Daniel Negreanu In High Stakes Duel II
After losing to Doug Polk in their much-anticipated grudge match, Daniel Negreanu turned his sights onto Phil Hellmuth. He, and many others, assumed that Negreanu would dominate Hellmuth in the match. However, the pair decided to play in a tournament format and televise it as the next High Stakes Duel series.
High Stakes Duel II started with both players putting up $50k each. Hellmuth made an incredible comeback to win the first match. Negreanu came back for Round 2 and lost once against. Now, both players put up $200k each to play in the final match that played out on Wednesday night.
— PocketFives (@PocketFives) June 24, 2021
The final match was definitely worth the hype as Negreanu jumped out early but Hellmuth ran a massive bluff 8c-3c to force Negreanu to drop pocket deuces. The pair went back and forth for hours before Hellmuth finally got the momentum.
In the final hand, both players hit a straight on the turn, but Negreanu had the sucker end of the straight. As such, he ended up losing the final match. Phil Hellmuth won $400,000 and his second straight High Stakes Duel belt.
While many people expected Negreanu to dominate, most people forget that Hellmuth is one of the greatest NL Hold’em tournament players in history. When Negreanu chose to play in a tournament format, he effectively gave up his expected edge. Hellmuth continues to prove that he can win in any era of poker.
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