Jason Koon has officially been crowned the champion of High Stakes Duel 3. The 37-year-old poker pro unseated 16-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, who had an incredible 9-1 winning record when the pair squared off for the unique heads-up poker series from PokerGO. Koon defeated Hellmuth in a $1,600,000 match but was not yet able to walk away with his winnings. The rules of the show dictated that in order to be declared the latest HSD champion, Koon would either need to win again in the $3,200,000 round or have no challengers step up within a 30-day window after Hellmuth declined to rematch against him.
Despite winning, he wasn’t permitted to immediately cash out. Per High Stakes Duel rules, it takes three consecutive wins before a player can take the money and run. Had Hellmuth won the match, he would have been eligible to quit the series of games with what would have been a $1,250,000 profit.
Koon, however, only played in one match, so he was required to allow Hellmuth an opportunity to challenge him to a rematch. The “Poker Brat” declined to pay $1.6 million to enter Round 6, which left the door open for another player. But there wasn’t anyone willing to pony up the cash to face one of the best players in the world. Thus, Koon will take home the $1.6 million prize pool, an $800,000 overall profit.
This isn’t the end of High Stakes Duel on PokerGO, however. It just means that the current series of games has concluded. High Stakes Duel IV will start with two players buying in for $50,000 each, and then the prize pool doubling in the ensuing rounds, potentially all the way up to $12.8 million.