Tom Dwan backed out of Round 4 of High Stakes Duel III, leaving the seat open in the $800,000 match for a new challenger to face Phil Hellmuth. That individual, as PokerGO revealed on Friday, will be high-stakes legend Scott Seiver, who specializes in cash game poker but also has an impressive tournament resume.
The game will take place at 5 p.m. PT on Tuesday and will air exclusively on PokerGO. Dwan was original slated to compete in what would have been the rubber match of a three-game series. Instead, "durrrr" had a scheduling conflict and couldn't make it to Las Vegas in time for Round 4, originally scheduled for May 12. But, apparently, he wasn't too thrilled to find out he was bumped from the game.
The scheduling conflict is the Triton High Roller Series Madrid, taking place May 13-25. Dwan promotes the Triton brand and couldn't make it to the United States during the series.
Toughest Opponent to Date?
Seiver will be responsible for contributing $400,000 to the pot, doubling it to $800,000. The current series of High Stakes Duel games began with Hellmuth defeating Nick Wright, a sports talk show personality, in the first round, a $50,000 buy in.
The "Poker Brat" then lost for the first time in seven matches against Dwan in Round 2 after Wright declined a rematch. Dwan paid $100,000 to enter, building the pot to $200,000. Hellmuth, due to losing the first match against "durrrr" was on the hook to contribute $200,000 to double the pot for Round 3, a contest he won.
The losing player agreed to a second rematch, but inevitably backed out at the last minute. Seiver will instead take a crack at stopping the 16-time WSOP bracelet winner, who has been highly successful in the heads-up sit n' go format, not only on High Stakes Duel, but also in the older NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship back in the day where he won the 64-player tournament in 2005 and finished runner-up to Mike Matusow in 2013.
Seiver, however, is no pushover and has many years of experience playing at these stakes. The $400,000 buy in isn't likely to cause much stress for a player who regularly competes in the biggest games in Las Vegas inside Legends Room (formerly Bobby's Room) at Bellagio, and all around the world.
As a tournament player, he has over $24 million in live cashes according to Hendon Mob. That includes three World Series of Poker bracelets and 58 cashes in bracelet events.
In 2015, he finished runner-up to Brian Rast in the $500,000 buy-in inaugural Super High Roller Bowl for $5,160,000.
What's at Stake?
Beyond the six-figure pot involved, there are reputations and more on the line for both players, starting with Hellmuth who is 7-1 all-time on High Stakes Duel. Despite his impressive record on the show, his first six came against Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari, two great professionals but players that aren't known for heads-up prowess.
Victory number six was against an amateur (Wright) and he went 1-1 against Dwan, who had great heads-up success a decade ago on Full Tilt Poker. In Round 4, he very well could be facing his toughest opponent to date in the heads-up SNG format. With a strong showing, it could silence some of his detractors.
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As for Seiver, his poker resume is tough to critique. At age 37, he's just three years away from Poker Hall of Fame eligibility. The New York native who resides in Las Vegas would certainly help that HOF candidacy by defeating a mainstream poker pro in front of a large audience.
“This program has been a must-watch event each episode so far and I wanted an opportunity to be a part of the action and hopefully add my own mark on it,” Seiver told PokerGO.
Seiver isn't the type to let Hellmuth's bratty behavior get the best of him. He's too experienced and accustomed to playing at these stakes to allow the "Poker Brat" to get under his skin. So, it should be an entertaining battle between two of the most accomplished poker pros ever.
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