Jason Koon Makes Easy Work of Phil Hellmuth in ‘High Stakes Duel’ Poker Match

Daniel Negreanu, Tom Dwan and Antonio Esfandiari are just a few of the poker pros to have faced Phil Hellmuth on PokerGo’s High Stakes Duel and fallen. However, the Poker Brat was kicked off his perch Wednesday night by first-timer Jason Koon.

Jason Koon
Jason Koon
Jason Koon shows his excitement after beating Phil Hellmuth in an episode of High Stakes Duel. He upset the reigning champ, who could now seek a rematch worth around $3.6 million (Image: PokerGO)

Hellmuth has repeatedly used his Jedi mind tricks to outmaneuver his opponents in the heads-up poker battles, but not this time. Going into last night’s battle, he was 9-1, with the only loss coming against Tom Dwan in August of last year.

As the stakes have increased, so has the level of play. Now going for a pot of $1.6 million last night, Koon, a WSOP bracelet holder worth over $40M in live poker, outran Hellmuth with little problems.

Cards Fall Wrong

Hellmuth had difficulty finding favorable cards last night, but that wasn’t the only problem. Koon, who offered to take Scott Seiver’s place after he backed out in August, picked up on his opponent’s style quickly and never let go.

The defending champion came out aggressive and was able to clear a couple of smaller pots through bluffs, but Koon adapted and took command. When Hellmuth tried to bully his way through a pot while holding a Q-6, his stack and ego were both deflated.

Koon was holding pocket rockets, and Hellmuth was suddenly down 2-1 in chips. As the Poker Brat tried to fight back, he found a few minor victories, but could never get back on track.

After just an hour after they began sweating it out, Hellmuth had a horrible run that would have had Wild Bill Hickok shooting up the saloon. Koon repeatedly started down at A-high hole cards, while Hellmuth couldn’t get anything.

The repeated blows took their toll, and Hellmuth became more frustrated as he couldn’t find a pot. He tried to bluff his way through a couple, which also failed miserably.

The coup de grâce for Koon was when he forced his 16-time WSOP winner to fold with a better hand. Holding pocket deuces against Hellmuth’s 7-7, Koon got Hellmuth to back out, a sign that he was on the ropes.

After just three hours, the shortest High Stakes Duel episode yet, Koon finished Hellmuth off. The eventual winner had a 10-to-1 chip lead when Hellmuth thought he hit pay dirt. Sitting on A-K against Q-8, they went all-in. However, Lady Luck returned once more for Koon, who scored a Q on the flop for the win.

Time For a Rematch

If Hellmuth wants, he can seek a rematch against Koon, but it will cost him. He would now have to put in $1.6 million for a game worth twice that much. His loss last night cost him $1.35 million, which he had accumulated until that point through back-to-back wins.


If he doesn’t want to continue, Hellmuth walks away empty-handed. However, that’s not the temper-tantrum-throwing Poker Brat poker fans love to hate.

After Hellmuth lost to Dwan, the two returned to the felt this past January for a rematch. Hellmuth came out on top that time and he hasn’t faltered since.

He’s not likely to go down without a fight. With over $26 million in lifetime poker earnings, he might be willing to open the wallet to save his reputation. If not, there will be others willing to grab his spot at the table.

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