In 2008, Phil Hellmuth said he was not sure Tom Dwan would spend five years in the poker world.
Thirteen years later, Hellmuth puts his winning streak on the line against Dwan in the latest High Stakes Duel on the subscription video service PokerGO. The $ 100,000 buy-in heads-up No-Limit Hold’em game airs Wednesday at 5:00 pm.
Hellmuth and Dwan are now friends, but they faced each other in a memorable way at the 2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, when Dwan hit Hellmuth’s pair of aces with a pair of tens.
Hellmuth called Dwan a “sucker” at the table and said he had made a “terrible game”.
Dwan, then fresh on the scene and part of the new online squad challenging the old guard of the live pros, told Hellmuth that going all-in with dozens of pocket was the right “standard” game.
“Learn to play heads-up with no limits,” said Dwan.
“We’ll see if you’re still here in five years,” Hellmuth replied.
Dwan and Hellmuth were unavailable for pre-match interviews.
Hellmuth is 7-0 on “High Stakes Duel”, sweeping three games apiece against Antonio Esfandiari and Daniel Negreanu, then beating FS1 host Nick Wright, who turned down a rematch.
Hellmuth, 57, is the all-time leader with 15 World Series of Poker tournament wins, and he has nearly $ 25 million in career tournament earnings, according to the Hendon Mob Poker database.
Dwan, 35, has nearly $ 5 million in career tournament earnings, but is best known for his appearances on “High Stakes Poker,” where he played several pots approaching $ 1 million. In recent years, he has been a staple of high-stakes matches in Macau.
Dwan is the -128 favorite to win the match on Pokershares.com (Hellmuth +110), but Hellmuth won as an underdog in all three matches against Negreanu.