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Phil Hellmuth’s opponent set for ‘High Stakes Duel’ match

Phil Hellmuth has his next opponent for “High Stakes Duel III.”

Professional poker player Jason Koon will face Hellmuth on Dec. 7 in the No-limit Hold ’em match at the PokerGO studio at Aria for a $1.6 million winner-take-all prize, the largest on the show to date.

Subscription video service PokerGO will broadcast the heads-up battle starting at 5 p.m., with the beginning of the match shown free on PokerGO’s YouTube channel.

Koon, 37, replaced high-stakes pro Scott Seiver, who lost to Hellmuth in Round 4 of “High Stakes Duel” in May and backed out of their rematch in August for personal reasons.

Hellmuth has won nine of 10 matches on “High Stakes Duel,” going a combined 6-0 against well-known poker pros Antonio Esfandiari and Daniel Negreanu before defeating FS1 talk show host Nick Wright in a $50,000 buy-in match.

The only loss the “Poker Brat” has endured in this format came in August 2021 when high-stakes pro Tom Dwan beat Hellmuth in a $100,000 buy-in game during Round 2 of “High Stakes Duel III.” Hellmuth avenged that loss and used a well-timed bluff en route to a victory over Seiver during their Round 4 match May 17.

Hellmuth has profited $1.25 million from the “High Stakes Duel III” matches.

Hellmuth and Koon will each buy in for $800,000 during Round 5, and Hellmuth can leave with his profit from the show if he wins this match. According to the rules of “High Stakes Duel III,” a player may walk away with their earnings if they win two consecutive matches starting with Round 4.

Should Koon win, Round 6 would take place with $3.2 million at stake. Hellmuth would have the first right to a rematch, or the seat would open up for a new opponent to pay the $1.6 million entry fee to face Koon.

Hellmuth, 58, is the all-time leader with 16 World Series of Poker tournament victories and has more than $28 million in career live earnings, according to HendonMob.com.

Koon ranks seventh on the all-time money list with more than $40 million in live earnings.

Koon earned his first WSOP bracelet in 2021 when he took down the $25,000 buy-in Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship. He recently teamed with other poker pros to start a Poker Integrity Council to combat live and online cheating.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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