Daniel Negreanu warmed up for his busy summer with a victory on High Stakes Duel 4.
The Las Vegas resident defeated Eric Persson on Monday in the PokerGO heads-up event after both players bought in for $50,000.
Persson declined his option for the rematch, which was scheduled to take place Tuesday.
Negreanu had been winless in High Stakes Duel matches, losing to Phil Hellmuth three straight times in 2021. But he picked up pocket aces twice in the first hour against Persson and went on to build a 3-to-1 chip advantage.
Persson, the co-founder and CEO of Maverick Gaming, tried to battle back. But he made a critical mistake when he open-folded after the river with the best hand before Negreanu acted, shipping a sizable pot to the six-time World Series of Poker winner.
On the final hand, both players were all-in before the flop, and Negreanu’s ace-king held up against Persson’s ace-queen when neither player’s hand improved.
This was the first time a High Stakes Duel match did not feature Hellmuth. After losing to Jason Koon in a $1.6 million match of High Stakes Duel III, Hellmuth opted out, allowing two new players to square off.
With Persson’s seat now open, Negreanu and his opponent for Round 2 each will be required to buy in for $100,000.