Bill Perkins Calls Out Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Hellmuth for Tag Team Battle

Nobody loves a challenge more than Bill Perkins, except perhaps for Antonio Esfandiari that is, and now the pair seem set to face off in a tag-team challenge - Phil Hellmuth and LA pro MJ Gonzalez roped into the highstakes action…

By: Andrew Burnett

Perkins interest has been piqued by the ongoing Esfandiari vs Hellmuth heads-up challenge match, the ‘High Stakes Duel’ seeing The Magician lose twice now to Hellmuth’s White Magic.

Esfandiari lost $50k in the first match, and that increased to $100k in the double-or-nothing rematch as he fell again on the sword of the 15-time WSOP champ.

Esfandiari obviously saw Perkins’ challenge as a good way to recoup some of his losses, the good-natured banter on Twitter nice to see for once.

“Sometimes in life, you find yourself on the receiving side of extreme generosity. Looks like you really want to Die With Zero my dear Perk!! Your wish is my command. YumYumSki. SO IN,” posted Antonio, referencing Perkins’ book title.

Gonzalez, the least known of the quartet but a hugely-respected cash game beast, joined in the fun, writing: ‘2 orders of max pain, coming right up! GL boys. Win or lose this is gonna be incredibly fun.. see you soon.’

The unusual format proposed could indeed be incredibly fun, for fans as well, with each player playing a street, swapping roles for pre-flop, flop, turn and river decisions.

Hellmuth is the only one of the quartet yet to respond, but it’s hard to imagine fun-loving Phil would reject such an obviously interesting and potentially lucrative match-up.

Some well-known pros revealed that they’d played similar games before, Justin Smith recalling: ‘We actually had a televised shootout style game like this back in maybe 2010 or 2011 in London. I was partnered with Gus Hansen. Imagine how many insane situations he put me into?’

It brought back some memories for Ben Lamb as well: ‘Played a similar game in Cannes with @JasonMercier Circa 2011. I got dealt aces and raised. Big blind defended and flopped a pair and flush draw.'

Fortunately for Lamb and Mercier: 'This was when we were the two luckiest people in poker. I had to choke back giggling as I slid him AA. Shocker - we held.’

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