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Phil Hellmuth wins 2nd straight match over Daniel Negreanu

Phil Hellmuth got the last word on Daniel Negreanu again.

Hellmuth made a big bluff to take the chip lead, then outdrew Negreanu in the final hand to win the second round of their “High Stakes Duel.” The $100,000 buy-in, heads-up No-limit Hold’em match was broadcast Wednesday by the subscription video service PokerGO located by the Aria.

Negreanu has questioned Hellmuth’s poker ability despite his being the all-time leader in World Series of Poker bracelets with 15, but Hellmuth was not crowing too much after two straight victories.

“It just blows my mind, but I just never quite get that respect,” Hellmuth told PokerGO. “And that’s OK with me. I just want to keep winning.”

Negreanu will exercise his right to a third match with a buy-in of $200,000. If Hellmuth wins that, he can cash out his winnings. Hellmuth has now won five straight “High Stakes Duel” matches after previously sweeping three showdowns with Antonio Esfandiari.

Negreanu congratulated Hellmuth after the match.

“I thought you played well. This one I thought you played a lot better than the first one,” Negreanu said. “So we’ll have to see you in Round 3.”

Negreanu dominated the start of their first match March 31 before Hellmuth rallied from a 19-1 chip deficit to win. The second match was close throughout and featured 16 lead changes, but Negreanu again held the chip lead for most of the time.

After nearly five hours of play, the end came swiftly. First, Hellmuth bluffed Negreanu on the river with a busted flush draw to take a chip lead of about 141,500 to 58,500.

“I just bombed it, bombed it, bombed it, and bluffed with ten-high on the river all-in, and thank God he folded,” Hellmuth said.

Four hands later, Negreanu raised with a pair of eights, Hellmuth went all-in with ace-four, and Negreanu called. His eights held the lead until the river, when a fourth heart hit to give Hellmuth a winning flush with his ace.

Hellmuth was a +142 underdog to win the second match on pokershares.com (Negreanu -161).

Details on the third match will be announced at a later date.

Hellmuth, 56, has more than $24 million in career tournament earnings, according to the Hendon Mob Poker Database. Negreanu, 46, is a six-time WSOP bracelet winner with $42 million in tournament earnings.

Contact Jim Barnes at jbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.

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