After Phil disposed of Antonio in resounding fashion, I assumed that the Heads-Up challenge would more or less end there. At the end of the second match, there were a few direct challenges issues to Hellmuth via Twitter from players like Olivier Busquet, but my gut feeling on the situation was that Phil would not likely take them up on the match.
First, his relationship with Antonio was special, and watching them settle the long standing feud was something that poker fans fantasized about. I don’t think he cares enough about what he looks like against a guy like Busquet to play the match, especially considering that the stakes are supposed to carry over, meaning round 4 would be for $800k.
Yet, there hasn’t been an announcement that the challenge is over, which leaves me wondering…what does Hellmuth have to do here to make a compelling claim on G.O.A.T. status? If he were to play heads up against the toughest possible opponents and win 8 straight matches, including a final heads up battle with $12.8 million in the line, it would look pretty gangster on his resume. Which two players would he need to face next? Ivey and Durr? Bonomo and Kenney? Holz and Polk? Jungleman and Galfond? It’s entirely subjective, of course, but if you think about it, if he played out 6 more matches against a combination of these opponents, and won them all, it would be pretty epic.