In the first-ever High Stakes Duel match, Daniel Negreanu suffered a clean sweep at the hands of Phil Hellmuth, losing all three rounds. However, Negreanu managed to secure a victory in the first round of High Stakes Duel 4 against Eric Persson on PokerGO’s heads-up no-limit hold’em show.
The match took place at the PokerGO Studio, located in the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Prior to the game, Ali Nejad hosted The Weigh-In, during which Negreanu sported a costume mimicking Persson’s appearance from his controversial streaming debut on the PokerGO Heads-Up Showdown last spring. Negreanu donned a blue muscle shirt and giant bird-flipping hands, reminiscent of the outfit Persson wore when he defeated Hellmuth in a heated first-round match.
During the match, Negreanu made a wardrobe change and switched to more conventional attire. In the initial stages, Negreanu held a slight lead, and after an hour of intense one-on-one battle, he began to gain momentum with a significant pot.
Negreanu achieved a middle set with 5♥5♣, while Persson’s 4♦2♣, which he raised from the button, turned into an open-ended straight draw on a J♦5♦2♦ flop. Negreanu opted to check-call a continuation bet, and the turn revealed the 2♦, giving Persson a pair and a low flush draw to complement his straight possibilities. Negreanu checked again, and Persson bet 5,000 into the pot of 8,800. Negreanu called, and the 4♥ completed the board, creating a two-pair scenario for Persson while introducing the possibility of a straight. No more bets were made, and Negreanu’s set earned him the pot, increasing his stack to 63,200, while Persson’s chips diminished to 36,800.
Negreanu maintained his lead over the next hour and extended it further by winning a substantial pot with pocket sevens, successfully withstanding a bluff raise from Persson on the turn. The river saw no further action, and Negreanu’s pocket pair secured him the pot, giving him a nearly 4:1 chip advantage.
Shortly after that, all the chips went into the middle with Negreanu holding A♠K♦ and Persson holding A♦Q♦. Negreanu initiated the betting from the button and then went all-in after Persson’s three-bet. Persson called, and the community cards revealed J♥10♥7♠J♦6♠, granting Negreanu the victory with his high card combination of Ace and King.
Initially, it was planned for Persson and Negreanu to face each other again the following day for the second round. However, Persson later posted a video on social media indicating his refusal to participate in the rematch. Consequently, any potential challenger now has 30 days to step in and provide the $100,000 buy-in for a second-round match against Negreanu. The new contender will then compete against the renowned Poker Hall of Famer, who boasts a remarkable $49.9 million in tournament earnings, vying for the $200,000 prize on a date yet to be determined.