Phil Hellmuth Beats Mike Matusow Heads-Up in L.A. Poker Classic $1,100 Omaha 8/Stud 8 or Better

Phil Hellmuth emerged victorious over Mike Matusow in what came to be the latest clash between two of poker’s greatest minds. They were the last men standing in a side event on the schedule of the ongoing L.A. Poker Classic festival. The two players have faced each other multiple times over the years, but clearly odds were in Hellmuth’s favor in their most recent heads-up confrontation.

The Commerce Casino in Los Angeles has become the arena for some quality poker action within this year’s L.A. Poker Classic. As usual, the festival features a schedule rich in events and the two-day $1,100 buy-in Omaha 8/Stud 8 or Better was the one to have caught the above-mentioned poker pros’ attention.

The tournament attracted a total of 72 players to generate a prize pool of $72,000. The participation of two world famous players in a side event with such a low buy-in fee would probably surprise many. However, it was probably a matter of pride and prestige for Hellmuth and Matusow – a matter of demonstrating proficiency in a poker variant different from the globally popular Texas Hold’em.

When the 72-strong field was reduced to the final nine, Hellmuth was among the survivors with the largest stacks and Matusow was the short stack. Hellmuth emerged as the chip leader, while Matusow was gradually building his stack. The heads-up match was set after George Rechnitzer busted in 3rd place after failing to hold up against Hellmuth.

It then became clear that two-handed action would feature two of the most entertaining poker personalities, players who have been engaged in a long-running rivalry and were probably very happy with the opportunity to once again lock horns in an epic live poker battle. And it was Hellmuth to emerge winner this time. The holder of a record number of 14 WSOP gold bracelets collected $25,200 for his triumph. Matusow received $14,400 for his runner-up finish.

Televised poker was a big thing back in the days, and Hellmuth and Matusow were two of the stars of America’s televised poker. In 2013, Matusow famously beat Hellmuth in an NBC $20,000 Heads-Up Championship to scoop a first-place prize of $750,000.

As already mentioned, the two players have clashed not once or twice over the course of their impressive careers. They have starred in the High Stakes Poker television program to face each other in contention for thousand-dollar-worth pots. During one of the episodes, Hellmuth bluffed Matusow into folding his pocket Kings, while he himself was holding the seven-deuce, which is generally not the best hand one could get. However, despite their rivalry on the felt, the two players are known to be long-time buddies.

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