Hellmuth Versus Dwan, O’Brien Versus Kade – Two Hotly Anticipated Heads-Up Poker Clashes Imminent

  • Hellmuth will take on Dwan in High Stakes Duel, while O’Brien meets Kade on ACR
  • Hellmuth and Dwan will play for $200,000, but both must face further opposition
  • Science writer O’Brien and poker superstar Kade will play for $10,000, courtesy of ACR
  • O’Brien and Kade have both received nominations for GPI Global Poker Awards
Person with poker chips
Two exciting poker clashes will take place next week, with Hellmuth taking on Dwan and O’Brien competing against Kade. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Exciting week ahead

Just like busses, you wait ages for a decent heads-up clash, and then two come along together. 

On January 26, Phil Hellmuth and Tom Dwan will appear on High Stakes Duel. It’s a show that the former has utterly dominated, appearing on every episode since its inception in late 2020.

a fairytale match-up of sorts

Then on January 29, Alex O’Brien and Vanessa Kade will battle it out on Americas Cardroom (ACR), a fairytale match-up of sorts for two of 2021’s break-out poker stars. 

Things can escalate quickly on High Stakes Duel

The next High Stakes Duel will represent Hellmuth’s ninth contest but his first as the challenger after an incredible streak of seven consecutive victories in the first seven shows. Esfandiari lost 3:0, as did a dejected Negreanu. After that came a one-off match against Nick Wright who also succumbed to Hellmuth’s white magic. 

On the last episode in August, Dwan put a halt to the Poker Brat’s gallop, winning the match and $200,000. Hellmuth tanked briefly before accepting the rematch:

In the rematch, Hellmuth and Dwan must play for double the stakes as per the rules, so the winner will bag himself $400,000 this time around. If Dwan triumphs, he must play one more time before he can walk away with the spoils. In that scenario, Hellmuth would again have first refusal on a rematch. 

Should Hellmuth win, it would be the first in a sequence of three so he would have to win two more consecutive bouts before he could take chips off the table. That means he would have to play an $800,000 and $1.6m match. Things can certainly escalate quickly on High Stakes Duel: 

O’Brien versus Kade

Next week will see another high-profile duel with science writer and poker enthusiast Alex O’Brien taking on poker superstar and Americas Cardroom (ACR) ambassador Vanessa Kade. On January 28, O’Brien and Kade will face off online in a winner take all match with the victor receiving $10,000.

she won the $100,000 Bilzerian Birthday Freeroll

Six weeks ago, O’Brien spoke with VegasSlotsOnline News about her much anticipated and long overdue heads-up match versus crybaby misogynist and humorless Insta-grifter Dan Bilzerian. GGPoker had promised O’Brien the match as part of her prize when she won the $100,000 Bilzerian Birthday Freeroll all the way back in December 2020:

Within fifteen minutes of that VSO News article’s release, the shrewd people over at Americas Cardroom (ACR) seized the opportunity to make O’Brien whole, offering her a $10,000 heads-up freeroll against a member of their team: 

O’Brien snap-chose Vanessa Kade, who has also had some unfortunate dealings with Bilzerian. Should she emerge victorious, Kade is giving the $10,000 to charity:

At the time of writing, according to O’Brien, there is still a chance that the match versus Bilzerian could take place. What will certainly take place is her match against Kade and, on January 29, it can be watched exclusively on the ACR Twitch Channel.

A big year for Kade, O’Brien, and Hellmuth 

2021 was a huge year for Kade whose meteoric rise included a famous victory in the biggest Pokerstars Sunday Million ever, three final tables in PokerGO High Rollers, and signing as an ambassador with ACR. She is unsurprisingly nominated for GPI Global Poker Award for Breakout Player of the Year.   

O’Brien is currently in the final stages of writing a poker book

Similarly, O’Brien also had a phenomenal year in 2021. In May, she wrote a brilliant piece about poker for BBC Future. Again unsurprisingly, this has been recognized by the GPI Global Poker Award voting panel in the category of Best Media Content: Written. O’Brien is currently in the final stages of writing a poker book called The Truth Detective which she hopes to release in 2022. 

Needless to say, 2021 was also a big year for Phil Hellmuth who, in addition to extending his run of heads-up victories to seven, also made the same number of WSOP final tables in seven different disciplines, winning his record 16th WSOP bracelet in the process. A self-described counter-puncher, Hellmuth was knocked down by Dwan but will he get up again?

PokerGo subscribers can watch the Hellmuth vs. Dwan showdown in Las Vegas on PokerGo.com at 8pm ET. For those who aren’t subscribed to PokerGo, the first hour will be free to watch on YouTube.