HAND-TO-HAND HISTORY PART 2: Analyzing the Daniel Negreanu-Doug Polk Matchup

Anthony Cicali III January 11, 2021
Doug Polk continued his dominance through the first half of his 25,000-hand heads-up matchup against Daniel Negreanu.

Doug Polk continued his dominance through the first half of his heads-up matchup against Daniel Negreanu. Polk led by almost $1 million after the 18th session.

The two opponents are playing up to 25,000 hands on two tables at blinds of $200/$400. Both players live in the legal regulated state of Nevada and are playing on WSOP.com.

In recent sessions, Negreanu has shown plenty of fight and is working on a Rocky Balboa-style comeback. With the second half of the series underway, here’s a look at some of the biggest moments on the felt so far.

♠♠♠ Follow all the action in the Daniel Negreanu versus Doug Polk High Stakes Feud right here. The USPoker landing page has updates from every session as well as links, details, and videos. For the first part of this series analyzing early hands, click here. ♠♠♠

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1 – Mega punt

In the week of Dec. 12, Negreanu lost a huge pot for six figures. Action began as Polk raised from the button with Q6. Negreanu three-bet to $4,182 with J♣4♣. 

The flop came K22♠ with Polk on a flush draw. Negreanu led with $2,000 into the $8,361 pot and Polk called. 

The turn peeled the A♣ and Negreanu fired a 3/4-pot size bet and Polk called. The pot inflated to $30,907.

The river was a 4which landed Polk his flush. Negreanu over-shoved by making a massive bet 2.5 times the pot. Polk called with his flush and nailed a huge pot worth $146,849.

2 – Suited connectors for the win

On Nov. 30, Polk released a YouTube video giving insight into some hands he played. While not going into too much of his personal strategy, he did review some of the biggest moments.

Polk highlighted a hand where he started on the button by raising with 4♠6♠. Negreanu reraised to $4,182 with A♠K♣ and Polk called.

The board read J♠10♣6 and Negreanu checked his overcard and gut shot straight draw. Polk bet 25% of the pot with bottom pair and Negreanu called. 

The Q♠ showed up on the turn. The Queen helped Negreanu reach Broadway and gave Polk a flush draw. The pot was $13,044 and Negreanu got sneaky and checked the nuts.

Polk took the bait and launched a $12,285 bet, setting up a possible river jam. The river indeed made a flush for Polk when with the 7♠.

Negreanu checked again and Polk went for almost a pot size bet again with $35,426. After Negreanu called, Polk raked in a $108,467 pot. Kid Poker experienced quite a tough cooler.

3 – Negreanu battles back

On Dec. 11 in session 19, Negreanu gained back some of his losses. One notable hand made for a six-figure swing. Polk raised preflop with 77and Negreanu flatted with 63

Negreanu checked the nuts when the board came 5♣42♠ and Polk bet $800.The fireworks started on the turn when the 7♣ showed up – giving Polk a set.

With the second-best straight possible, Negreanu felt confident enough to trap by checking. Polk bet $3,400 and Negreanu just called again

The river brought the J. Negreanu checked and Polk fired a 1.5X pot bet for over $15,000. Negreanu then shoved all in.

Polk called off his last $33,600 and saw the straight at showdown. This hand helped Negreanu rake in over $106,000.

4 – Standard preflop jams

On his YouTube channel, Polk explained that some hands are just standard in heads-up games. Polk highlighted a hand where Negreanu and Polk end up getting it all in preflop for big money.

As the hand started, Negreanu raised from the button with 1010♣ to $1,000. Polk then three-bet his Q♠Q♣ to $3,768. Negreanu responded with a four-bet to $10,336. Polk five-bet shoved all in to $52,988 and Negreanu called.

Negreanu had two outs and didn’t find them with a board runs of J3♣J♠39, rewarding Polk a $105,974 pot.

A popular poker room line from a Dire Straits song applies: “Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug” 

5.) Check, check, check – he tricked me

On Dec. 4 during Session 15, Negreanu found maximum value with pocket Aces to the tune of $114,000. How he raked the pot would have left “Teddy KGB” from Rounders quite frustrated.

The hand started with Polk raising to $900 with K♠4♠ and Negreanu three-betting 4.5X to $4,200. Polk four-bet to $11,300 and Negreanu simply called. 

The board showed J2♠2♣ and Negreanu went into pot control mode by check-calling Polk’s $4,500 flop bet. The turn was a 3♠ and both players checked.

The river brought the Q♣  and Negreanu checked again. Polk tried to steal the pot by shoving. Negreanu snap-called the bluff with his last $40,000. Negreanu scooped a pot worth over $114,000.

The action continues all week and USPoker will have all the highlights and recaps. Follow @USPoker on Twitter for regular updates or visit our Negreanu-Polk Central page.

* Doug Polk photo courtesy WPT

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