After 92 days and 36 sessions, the High Stakes Feud between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk came to an end on Wednesday. After another Polk win of almost $256,000, Polk scored $1.2 million in the series.
Polk came into the series as a favorite and there was plenty of drama along the way. In the end however, bth players showed each other some respect and seemed to end on a positive note.
For the rest of the Day 36 action, check out the updates just below the links. This page follows the action of the Daniel Negreanu-Doug Polk matchup as it plays out over the next few weeks.
The High Stakes Feud kicked off on Nov. 4 with live play on PokerGo and then shifted online. Here are all the match details and updates.
Negreanu versus Polk – complete details
- Dates – Began Nov. 4 on PokerGO and ended online on Feb. 3
- Online site – WSOP.com
- Game – Heads-up No Limit Hold’em
- Stakes – Blinds set at $200/$400
- Number of hands – 200 live and 25,000 total with option to quit at 12,500
- Number of tables – 2 (online play)
- Where to watch the live poker – PokerGO app and Youtube, Facebook channels
- Analysis – Click here for insight and picks from several poker pros
- Where to watch online – Polk and Negreanu may be streaming on their own channels as well during online play throughout the series
- Leader – Doug Polk finishes winning $1.2 million
Tracking the action on the felt
Day 36: Feb. 3 – Tensions ease as series ends with Polk win
The High Stakes Feud between Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu came to a close on Wednesday. Polk dominated the second half of the series and the only question remaining is would he officially top $1 million.
That was answered in a big way. When the final hand was dealt, Polk scored another $255,722 over 1,718 hands. The win moved his total to about $1.2 million in a session that lasted just under six hours.
Despite the recent drama, it also seemed like animosity between the two players had melted away. On Tuesday, Polk said he’d actually be willing to sit in with Polk on a podcast and discuss hands.
Yup. I’d do that. Hopefully we can actually get hand histories and compare.
Would love to see some of those early 4x pot river jams in the bet overbet overbet lines.
The ones I called and saw were mostly the nuts!
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) February 2, 2021
The good will carried over to discussing hands played during the series. As he did in Monday’s post match interview, Polk was complimentary of his opponent.
We have talked hands and stuff here and there from the get go, but today we really talked about a bunch of different situations and spots from the challenge.
Some really fun stuff. 1 bluff he ran I cannot fucking believe lol.
Glad we buried the hatchet. A worthy opponent 💪 https://t.co/mELUfjBFwD
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) February 2, 2021
When it came to the action on the felt, there weren’t a ton of early fireworks. The two shifted chips back and forth, staying about even for the first half-hour.
Things then shifted a bit in Kid Poker’s direction. Negreanu caught a nice $37,000 pot after Polk rivered a straight. However, Negreanu rivered a flush and took one of the first major pots.
At the same time on the other table, Negreanu won with a full house for another $26,000. Shortly afterward, Negrenau won a $45,000 pot with a river jam all-in on a board of 7♦3♠8♠8♦7♠. Polk went into the tank before eventually folding.
Polk battles back again to close the show
It looked as if Negreanu might find a nice day to close the series. After the first hour, Negreanu found a lead of a bit more than $100,000.
Polk then found some of his own big pots. At the 90-minute mark, Polk moved all in for $34,000 on a board of 7♥J♦10♣6♣9♣.
Negreanu thought a bit before calling with top pair, showing J♣8♠. But Polk showed Q♣8♣ for a rivered flush and took a pot of more than $80,000.
Polk added a few more big river over-bets as well to take some more pots. At about the two-hour mark, Polk won a $28,000 pot and followed that up right after with another big one.
After Negreanu raised to $1,100, Polk made it $3,600. Negreanu called and the flop came 7♣10♥A♣ with Polk betting $7,700. That received a call and the turn brought the A♥.
Polk checked and Negreanu bet $9,200. Polk called and the river brought the 7♥. Both players checked and Polk showed K♥9♥ for a backdoor flush and a $41,000 pot.
Despite some of those losses, Negreanu led by about $130,000 at the halfway point. That climbed as high as $150,000 but another late surge by Polk changed things.
Another interesting hand saw Polk raise to $900 and then a Negreanu three-bet to $4,000. Polk then put in a four-bet to $12,000 and Negreanu made the call.
With $24,000 already in the pot, they saw a flop of 2♦10♦Q♣. Both players checked and the 8♦ fell on the turn. Negreanu checked and Polk did as well. The river produced the J♣ and both players checked again. Negreanu’s 5♦5♣ fell to Polk’s A♦A♣.
Another hand in the third hour saw Negreanu the victim of some tough luck, losing when both players held Ace-King.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) February 4, 2021
Inside the 36th day of action
By the end of the fourth hour, most of Negreanu’s lead was gone. One late hand saw a board of 2♠5♥4♥K♣K♠ with $42,000 already in the pot. Polk bet about $14,000 and Negreanu went in the tank.
Negreanu eventually called and Polk showed 10♥10♣ for a $70,000 pot. Once again, much of the second half of the match just seemed to go Polk’s way.
That’s been a common theme of late and carried over to the final day of the series. With his score of $255,722, Polk ended the series above the million-dollar mark.
The favorite coming into the series, Polk ended averaging about a $33,000 win per session. On the Upswing Poker stream afterward, Polk said he felt a mix of joy and relief.
“That is a wrap,” he said. “I am feeling pretty solid. We finished it today.
“I’m very happy that I spent so much time preparing. I felt it really ended up helping me tremendously and I got to execute at such a high level over such a long period of time.”
The series began on Nov. 4 and Polk hadn’t played poker in over a year prior to the series. He had to completely refresh and develop a team and strategy behind the scenes. That paid off with a nice seven-figure score.
For his part, Negreanu was also pleased the series came to an end. He gave plenty of credit to his opponent as well.
“First of all, congratulations to Doug,” he said on the GGPoker stream. “He’s obviously a great player, the favorite going in. It was a fun challenge.
“There were ebbs and flows, of course, in terms of how I felt about it. But in the end, he’s happy as the big winner in the match, deservedly so, he played well – no question about that.”
Negreanu didn’t want to discuss luck involved in the match or variance. Instead he tried to focus on the match and noted “today was tough to deal with.”
Looking back, Polk said Negreanu improved throughout the match and would beat most players heads-up who weren’t pros who specialize in that form of the game.
“By the end,” he noted, “I think he became a solid heads-up player.”
More challenges to come?
The match may have come to an end, but there are already rumblings of other high-profile matchups. There have been rumors Phil Galfond would like to play Negreanu.
After winning twice heads-up against Antonio Esfandiari on PokerGO, Phil Hellmuth has also been mentioned.
For his part, Polk seems headed back to life away from poker. He’s said there wouldn’t be a rematch and that poker bores him again.
In his last post-match interview, Polk gave one last nod to his opponent for accepting the challenge.
“I just have to give a lot of credit to Daniel for the amount of hours, time, and effort that he put in to improve here and be able to hang in such a public arena.”
- Hands played: 25,000
- Total: Polk up $1.2 million (estimate)
Day 35: Feb. 1 – Polk chalks up another $209K
There were less than 4,000 hands remaining going into Monday’s session. Negreanu said he hoped to end the series this week.
“Plan to put in a lot of volume this week and try to finish off the last 3,694 hands,” Negreanu noted on Twitter Monday. “That means longer sessions and deeper stacks so we could have some interesting pots!”
That certainly was the case on Monday with plenty of action over seven hours of play. That saw Polk book another $209,281 over 1,976 hands, which had to be a challenge for streaming commentators. The remaining question may be whether Polk can top the million-dollar mark.
While the session length may not have been the most viewer friendly, there were plenty of huge hands. Both players got stacked several times.
The action started quickly with both players all in early with holding Q♠Q♦ and Negreanu with A♦Q♣. Negreanu got no help on the board and Polk picked up an $82,000 pot.
Things didn’t go well early for Negreanu and he noted some interesting losing hands on Twitter.
JJ2 lost TT to JT
KKT lose AT to KJ
JJ2 lose 88 to J9
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) February 1, 2021
By the end of the first hour, Polk was up about $150,000. A full house helped Negreanu chip away at that lead.
After raising to $1,100 from the button, Polk quickly made it $3,800. Negreanu called and the flop brought 7♣5♥5♣.
Polk bet $2,100 and Negreanu made the call. The 4♣ fell on the turn and Polk checked. Negreanu bet $4,800 and Polk called. The river brought the 7♦ and Polk checked.
Negreanu bet just over $32,000 and received a call, collecting an $86,000 pot with A♠7♥. By the halfway point, Negreanu was behind only about $25,000.
Polk catches a set
Despite that rally, Polk continued finding big pots. At the 3:20 mark, Negreanu raised to $1,000 and Polk three-bet to $4,100.
Negreanu then put in a four-bet to $1,000. The flop brought Q♥7♣4♠, Polk checked, Negreanu et $5,400.
After a Polk call, the 10♦ came on the turn and Negreanu put out $9,700. After Polk called again, the 6♠ came on the river.
Both players checked and Polk showed 6♦6♣, rivering a set and winning the $51,800 pot. Negreanu’s hand wasn’t exposed but that river 6♠ may have bailed Polk out.
However, Polk may have had the best hand all along. In this heads-up challenge, it’s never a certainty either way.
Inside the 35th day of action
By the fifth hour, Polk’s lead was back to around $170,000. He offered some extra needling by posting in the Upstream Poker YouTube stream chat box during play.
Later in the session, Polk added to his “victory lap” by offering his own live commentary on the stream. He added some Instagram and Twitter posts as well – quite the poker multi-tasker.
By the end of play, Polk had booked yet another win. Negreanu fought back at times, but a late Polk surge secured his lead.
Kid Poker will be looking to finish up strong this week. He just couldn’t seem to build much momentum on Monday with none of his big draws hitting.
“That was a crazy one,” Negreanu said afterward on the GGPoker stream. “This was the session of trips and full houses. We had a lot of that going on.”
Polk hit a lot of key cards in big river spots, Negreanu said. He was frustrated by some coolers that didn’t go his way. Negreanu said he didn’t feel outmatched or outplayed but missed out on some key pots.
In his post-match interview on Upstream, Polk actually complimented Negreanu’s play.
“Most of the big pots I think he played pretty well,” he said. “I think Negreanu got a lot better over the course of this, he got way better.
For those interested in the math behind the strategy, Polk offered some insight. For preflop betting, he talked about how his team and solvers have determined much of his play.
“For my preflop stuff, I’m just doing specifically what my team prepared,” he said. “There’s no human input. I have no other reason to do it other than my chart says to do it. And I just really trust the guys who made the charts.”
That has paid off and Polk will be looking to expand his lead to $1 million in the last 1,718 hands.
★★★ For the ins and outs of poker solvers, click here to learn more about this high-tech modern poker software. ★★★
- Hands played: 23,282
- Total: Polk up $946,085.32
- Next match: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 5:30 pm ET
Day 34: Jan. 27 – Match returns to normal with Polk grabbing small win
No more tanking, no more limping. That was the theme for Friday’s session. In a drama-filled week of action, things seemed to return to normal at the poker felt.
This online poker matchup has been one of the biggest events in online poker over the last few months. The series now has just 3,694 hands remaining and Negreanu viewed Friday’s session as a must-win.
That didn’t come in a session that went almost five hours. Polk took a win of $34,856, just short of one buy-in, over 1,384 hands.
And while there wasn’t drama within the session like Wednesday, there were some interesting words on social media. Polk aired some of his views and recent grievances on Twitter (more on that below).
The day’s action started with Negreanu winning $10,000 with a flush over Polk’s flush. Both players had clubs and three more clubs hit the board. A paired board slowed down the action a bit in that one.
A short time later, Polk hit four of a kind for about $14,000. There was plenty of back and forth, but much of the action went Polk’s way in the first half.
By the midway point, Polk was up about $128,000. That included a $110,000 pot with pocket Aces after Negreanu bluffed with A♣3♣.
Polk’s lead ballooned to as much as $200,000 but Negreanu chipped away at that late in the day. He actually took a small lead with about an hour remaining.
Negreanu later noted the session was a struggle with few big hands going his way.
“I just had nothing today,” he said on the GGPoker stream. “I did a good job today of just winning pots when I had nothing.”
Inside the 33rd day of action
The action on the felt has become a bit of a decrescendo as Polk seems to have fully taken command. Negreanu has tried swinging for the fences, but hasn’t hit another home run recently.
After some early-series pleasantries, that has also devolved into some real animosity recently. Polk aired some grievances and views on the match over the last few days.
On Thursday, he posted his belief that Negreanu’s slow play may have violated the WSOP.com terms of service.
“When you play on a site you of course agree to the terms and conditions of the site,” Polk noted. “I would say this is pretty clearly against the rules.”
His screenshot from the officials rules which read: “Maintaining a reasonable pace of play is the responsibility of all players. Players should aim to play at the same pace as other players at the table.”
Whether using most of your time bank each play violates those terms may be an open debate. For more on slow play, see Day 33 below.
A day later, Polk also posted more comments about the match. First he made it clear that there wouldn’t be a rematch.
I am not going to play a rematch. There has been a lot of talk about this, its simply not going to happen.
Im way too burned out from all of the study/prep/play and dont enjoy the game. I also want to have some flexibility to not have to be in Nevada for the next 4-5 months.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) January 30, 2021
Other challenges were also ruled out. Polk argued he’d still be a favorite, but that edge has decreased after this series. If Negreanu accepted another challenge, Polk would be interested in coaching his opponent.
“Make no mistake about it, I still have an edge,” Polk wrote on Twitter. “But it’s much lower than it was at the start. I’m not going to run this back for even less money after winning buy-ins plus sidebets. Not worth the stress of doing something I don’t enjoy doing.”
- Hands played: 21,306
- Total: Polk up +$736,804.09
- Next match: Monday, Feb. 1, 5:30 pm ET
Day 33: Jan. 27 – Disagreements mar session with Polk up $136K
Did the troll get trolled? Was Kid Poker out of line? Those were the questions left for many poker fans after Wednesday’s session.
How the day would go became apparent right away. Negreanu tanked almost every decision to begin the day’s action. The move drastically slowed down the action, a day in which Polk won $136,239 over only 560 hands.
The stalling maneuvers seemed to come after Polk began limping into pots on Monday. Polk noted that it was a way to play “prevent defense” and reduce the number of large pots remaining in the series (see more on that below in Session 32).
The return tactics didn’t sit well with Polk and made for some difficult viewing. The efforts added even more drama to the series.
Completely pathetic showing from @RealKidPoker today
Tanking 20 seconds to open, tanking 20 seconds to check flop, tanking every single decision in an effort to slow the game down to nothing.
Total piece of shit move.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) January 27, 2021
Polk sat out from the match within the first 10 minutes. That’s a departure from the norm as Negreanu is usually the first to take a break.
Historically, Negreanu hasn’t been a fan of slow play. In the past he’s made his opinions known that tanking is bad for the game, especially in televised events.
One thing is clear, gone are the positive vibes between the two players from earlier in the series. Despite that, Negreanu hinted the series may return to normal from both players on Friday.
Result was 3 buyins lost in the last hour unfortunately, but the good news is we were able to get in lots of hands 560 at a lighting pace when the limping and tanking stopped.
Friday could be another long tank free session if all goes well.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) January 28, 2021
Less than a half-hour into the session, play paused for 20 minutes as both players spoke with Phil Galfond about the tanking. Galfond has served as mediator in the series to help hash out any disagreement.
The session eventually resumed and Negreanu continued tanking from the button. Both players eliminated the slow play and limping later in the session.
Back and forth, then Polk surges late
When it came to the action on the felt Wednesday, there was quite a bit of shipping chips back and forth. Negreanu took a small lead on both tables early, but Polk battled back.
Just after the extended break in the action, Polk picked up a nice pot. Negreanu started with a button raise to $1,000 and Polk three-bet to $4,100.
Negreanu called and the flop brought J♠4♣A♦. Polk bet $4,200 and received a call before the 9♥ fell on the turn. Polk checked and Negreanu bet $6,600.
That brought a call and the river brought the 3♣. Both checked and Polk’s King-high with K♣Q♠ took down almost a $30,000 pot.
A short time later, Polk snagged a $40,000 pot with 7♥9♦ on board 9♥9♣5♠3♥8♣. Negreanu tabled A♦2♥ after picking up a wheel draw on the turn. The session was close to even after about the first 90 minutes, which includes the break.
Negreanu grabbed a nice pot at about the two-hour mark. With $6,100 in the pot, Polk bet $9,200 on a board of A♠2♣A♣3♠4♣.
This time Negreanu had a nice hand on Polk’s big river over-bet. He tabled K♥5♥ for a straight and $25,000 pot, picking off Polk’s bluff with 9♣6♥.
Going into the last hour, Negreanu held a lead of almost a buy-in ($40,000). He seemed to snag some nice pots in the middle section of the day.
But Polk came alive late. Pocket Kings kick-started that with a $38,000 pot and more wins would follow. Another late hand saw Negreanu three-bet to $4,000 preflop.
The flop brought 9♣8♦J♥ with Negreanu betting $2,200 and Polk making the call. The turn produced the 8♣ and Negreanu fired $8,300.
Polk called and the 4♦ came on the river. Negreanu then moved all in for his last $26,000 and Polk called. Negreanu showed 5♣6♣ with missed straight and flush draws. Polk tabled 8♥10♥ for a set of Eights and he raked $81,000.
Inside the 33rd day of action
The last hour proved critical in this drama-filled session. In a hand review video released Thursday, Negreanu explained his side of the story.
He agreed Polk had the right to implement his limping strategy, but that he also had the right to tank. Negreanu planned for shorter sessions to counter Polk’s efforts and to study more each session.
The new strategy also involved extensive chart usage during play for each hand. He noted that using most of his time bank was within the rules.
“I just really decided to slow down everything so I could really just kind of relax and get into it,” he said in the video, “which is 100 percent totally my right. Obviously an arbitrator can’t really rule against me.”
In his post-match interview on Upstream Poker, Polk expressed his frustration and didn’t equate limping to stalling. He said Negreanu’s tactics weren’t in the “spirit of the challenge” and that it was “completely outrageous.”
“I get that this is a lot of money and I get that it’s annoying against a limp,” he said. “So if he needed to take a bunch of time versus limping, that’s cool.
“But then to also take 20 seconds to open your button, it’s extremely clear what you’re doing. Everyone knows what you’re doing. What you’re doing here is you’re trying to (extend) this out and make each session as few hands as possible, so you can do your study on it, so you can waste my time, so you can do whatever to delay things.
“You’re trying to basically extend this out as long as possible to buy yourself time.”
Friday’s session will certainly be interesting. Many will be tuning in to see not just who wins, but also if more drama remains.
- Hands played: 19,922
- Total: Polk up $701,948.13
- Next match: Friday, Jan. 29, 5:30 pm ET
Day 32: Jan. 25 – Negreanu adds another win
Negreanu continued his upward trend on Monday, winning just over a buy-in in about a two-hour session. He scored $46,855 over 438 hands and has shaved more than $400,000 off Polk’s lead in a week.
Polk came out firing early with a four-bet right away. The flop brought 5♥7♣3♥ with Polk betting $4,200 from the button. Negreanu called and the river brought the 5♣.
Both players checked and the river was the J♦. Negreanu checked as did Polk, who tabled A♥K♠ to Negreanu’s A♦Q♥. Polk took the $29,000 pot.
Polk began limping from the button on Monday – effectively limiting some of the action. The move is a way to preserve his lead. Side action may also be in play as Polk hopes to preserve a lead.
After that first big hand, the two traded chips quite a bit. The action seemed more subdued with Polk simply calling from the button quite a bit. His effort to limit pot sizes seemed apparent.
At about the hour mark, Polk raised to $1,000 and Negreanu made it $4,000. Polk four-bet to $10,000 and Negreanu moved it all in.
Polk quickly called and the flop came 3♦4♣A♦ giving Polk top pair but Negreanu a set. The Q♥ fell on the turn and the K♣ on the river. The hand shipped Negreanu a pot of $105,000 and he held a $68,000 lead just past the halfway point.
Negreanu lands flush, Polk rallies
At the 90-minute mark, Polk four-bet the action to $10,000 and the two players saw a flop of 4♦6♦4♠. Negreanu checked and Polk bet $4,800.
After a call, the turn brought the 8♠. Negreanu checked again and Polk fired $11,000. Negreanu called and the river brought the 10♠.
Negreanu again checked and Polk checked behind. Negreanu tabled A♠J♠ after hitting the nut flush on the river. He took down about $56,000 after trying to set a trap for his opponent.
Polk snagged some of his own pots later in the match and occasional river shoves continued paying off. Polk found a nice pot late in the session. After a raise to $1,000 from the button, Polk three-bet to $4,100.
Negreanu called and the flop came 10♦6♥2♣. Polk put out a $4,100 bet and Negreanu called. The J♠ fell on the turn and Polk fired $10,000.
After Negreanu called, the 3♦ fell on the river and Polk moved all in for his last $22,000. Negreanu went into the tank and eventually called showing A♦10♠.
However, Polk held K♣J♣ and his pair of Jacks took an $81,000 pot.
Inside the 32nd day of action
Monday’s action just seemed like a session where one player would end up about a buy-in or less. The chips shipped back and forth much of the day with fewer fireworks than in recent days.
Gone were the huge pots and big stacks from Friday’s action that saw Negreanu score almost $400,000. With big money wagered on himself, Polk hopes to make sure he books a win with a more conservative approach.
Polk said he was trying to lower his variance and play with less variance as the series approaches its conclusion. He used a football analogy to show where he’s at in the challenge.
“We’re playing prevent defense,” he said on the Upstream Poker stream. “We’re trying to keep (the offense) in front. We can give up some first downs, it’s okay. But we’re just trying not to let them score. We can’t have another minus $400K session. It would just put this way too close.”
Negreanu feels he can take advantage of the new strategy from his opponent.
“It’s clear to me that there’s fear and concern about losing that lead,” Negreanu said on the GGPoker stream afterward.
“I can’t imagine he enjoys playing the way he did today.”
For Negreanu, he’ll just hope to stay the course chipping away at Polk’s lead. Smaller pots and fewer opportunities may make a comeback difficult.
- Hands played: 19,362
- Total: Polk up $565,708.96
- Next match: Wednesday, Jan. 27, 5:30 pm ET
Day 31: Jan. 22 – Huge day for Negreanu revives his chances in challenge
Just three days ago, the prospects of Negreanu getting back in this series seemed unlikely. He’d lost four sessions in a row and was down $1 million for the first time in the series.
However, on Friday the Negreanu train rolled through with a huge score of $390,032 over 1,046 hands. That put him back in the series with the biggest day by either player in the series.
Things started out quickly for Negreanu in what was almost a five-hour session again. The early action saw a standard raise to $900 from Polk with Negreanu’s three-bet to $4,000.
The flop brought Q♣J♥7♣ and Negreanu fired $3,200. The 3♥ fell on the turn after Polk called. This time Negreanu bet big for $9,600 and Polk called.
The river brought the 9♥ and Negreanu let some time tick away before moving all in for $22,000. Polk snap called and showed J♦9♠, but Negreanu tabled J♣J♠ for trips and took an $81,000 pot. The hand brought Negreanu a nice lead only a few minutes into the series.
Polk got much of that back a few minutes later when both players saw a board with three spades. Negreanu held 2♠7♠ but Polk had the 9♠6♠ for a bigger flush. Polk actually held a small lead after the first hour.
But many of the big pots on the day would head Negreanu’s way. Just past two hours, both players got it all in with Negreanu’s pocket Aces versus Polk’s pocket 7♣7♦. Negreanu picked up $64,000 in that exchange.
Quads send massive pot to Negreanu
At the halfway point, Negreanu held a lead of about $160,000. He seemed to be a man on a mission Friday, as if the session was a must-win if he hoped to continue.
That mindset paid off. He ran well and played well. Some key calls paid off and some aggressive river shoves also sent him some chips.
Negreanu seemed to have the Midas touch and after four hours was up more than $400,000. Polk found a few pots late to slice into that. However, a key hand in the last hour kept his huge day rolling.
The action started with Negreanu raising to $1,000 and Polk making it $4,100. The flop brought A♥8♥J♣ and Polk bet $5,500. Negreanu raised to $12,600 and his opponent three-bet to $20,000.
That brought an all-in shove from Negreanu. Polk showed A♦J♦ but was in rough shape against Negreanu’s 8♠8♦. The turn added the 8♣ for quads and Negreanu raked $110,000.
Going for the home run
Facing seven figures in the red, Negreanu needed a huge day – a home run in the ninth inning. That certainly came through and he now has a real chance to recover after erasing 40% of his deficit.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) January 23, 2021
After Wednesday’s loss, Negreanu felt he had two options. He could play small pots and try to finish out the series with minimal additional losses. Or he could go “balls to the wall and play like a complete jackass,” he said on the GGPoker stream.
Negreanu chose the latter and said he was all in in numerous spots hoping for folds. He reverted to instinct and seems to have made it work.
“I needed an insane win,” he said. “He just bombed me in the last session, just absolutely murdered me, and it didn’t look good being down 25 buy-ins. So I needed something big because we’re getting close to being done.”
Inside the 31st day of action
With only 6,000 hands remaining, poker fans can expect only about six to nine sessions remaining. The matches have averaged around 700-800 hands lately.
Negreanu hoped to average about one buy-in per session to get back in the series in the second half. But getting even seemed near impossible after Wednesday’s action.
Friday’s win certainly changes that. Considering the number of sessions remaining, Negreanu needs to average a win of about two buy-ins ($80,000) to even up or snag a small victory.
Getting there won’t be easy. Polk was a bit frustrated on a day where nothing seemed to go his way.
“We had the biggest single loss of either (player} of the entire challenge today,” Polk noted on Twitter. “Really, really tough spots throughout. Lots of really shitty situations where we had reasonable bluff catching candidates.”
However, Polk doesn’t get ratted and seems to leave emotion completely out of his game. He works extremely hard to adapt and fine tune his skills. No doubt it will be a busy weekend at Team Polk headquarters.
Back in the lab
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) January 23, 2021
- Hands played: 18,924
- Total: Polk up $612,563.46
- Next match: Monday, Jan. 25, 5:30 pm ET
Day 30: Jan. 20 – Polk reaches $1 million mark
The $1 million dam broke on Wednesday in this high-stakes series. Polk won his fourth straight session, scooped $298,985 over 770 hands, and topped the million-dollar mark for the first time.
The day’s session also brought plenty of multitasking from Polk. He Tweeted several screenshots of hands throughout the session.
The hands featured some of his winning hands with strong hands – “getting lucky.” Others featured Negreanu getting fortunate and catching cards to win hands. All the talk of getting lucky lately seems to have annoyed Polk.
What else would I have on the turn? pic.twitter.com/iTiAyDJ1Vv
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) January 21, 2021
Very lucky runout here. Bet two and gave up the river. As usual, we get there vs the better hand pic.twitter.com/PzbVM6EXqO
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) January 21, 2021
The Tweeting was even featured on GGPoker’s stream of the coverage. A bit of social media bravado only added to the day’s action.
Polk takes command of session
It was a huge day for Team Polk in a marathon session that lasted almost five hours. Negreanu started well, snagging an early pot of $55,000 with a full house.
Polk began the hand with pocket Queens, but a river 10 bailed Negreanu out. Polk was quick to note how “lucky” he was on that one.
A very lucky start to the session. pic.twitter.com/iEP6LgZeuT
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) January 20, 2021
Negreanu jumped to an early $40,000 lead. Polk’s aggression began proving difficult, however, and he took a few nice pots of his own.
Picking off a big Negreanu bluff also scored Polk a $46,000 pot. The hand began with Polk raising to $900 and Negreanu making it $4,000.
Polk made the call and the flop brought A♦J♦K♦. Negreanu checked and Polk checked as well before a 3♠ hit the board on the turn. Negreanu bet $3,200 and Polk called.
The 4♠ came on the river and Negreanu bet $14,400. Polk went into the tank a bit before finally making the call. Polk Showed K♣6♣ to Negrean’s Q♥6♥.
It was certainly a great call by Polk and maybe a sign of where the session was headed.
More hands go Polk’s way
About the hour mark, Polk took another big hand when both players got it all in before the flop for $80,000. Polk showed J♦J♠ and Negreanu revealed A♣Q♥. Negreanu got no help on the board and his opponent snagged another big one.
At the two-hour mark, Polk led by more than $170,000 and stayed at about that figure for quite a while. In the last hour, Polk found even more to add to that total.
He flopped a full house as the fifth hour got underway to score another $90,000 pot. Polk picked up pocket Aces very late for another $80,000. It was just his day and Negreanu couldn’t get much traction.
Inside the 30th day of action
Polk seems to have taken offense from Negreanu’s insinuations that he’s been lucky throughout the series. The Tweets offered some extra viewing options for poker fans.
It was quite an interesting way for Polk to needle his opponent and Negreanu fans a bit. The Tweets also showed some hole cards players might not otherwise get to see.
“It does make sense for the luckiest guy to be up a million dollars,” he continued needling in his Upstream Poker stream interview.
Despite his tongue in cheek comments, Polk said he really believed this was his luckiest session. The session played out with numerous major moments. Polk noted that he ran several bluffs with a few not panning out.
“We had so many big hands all over the place,” he said. “It was an all-you-can-eat buffet of big hands.”
After Monday’s session, Negreanu went into quite a rant about not hitting many of his draws. He’s frustrated and Wednesday’s results left him feeling the same. He seemed to lose much of his earlier optimism about a possible comeback.
“Obviously it’s disheartening,” Negreanu said on the GGPoker stream. “We really needed a win today to make a match of it.”
There are about 7,000 hands remaining and Polk has really taken control. If Negreanu can’t shake out of this downswing, things could get much worse really quickly. He’ll be hoping at this point to cut his losses and significantly chip into Polk’s lead.
- Hands played: 17,878
- Total: Polk up $1,002,595.59
- Next match: Friday, Jan. 22, 5:30 pm ET
Day 29: Jan. 18 – Late rally for win by Polk leaves Negreanu on tilt
The Polk barrage continued on Monday with Polk scoring a win of $73,728 over 608 hands. This session had Negreanu particularly annoyed afterward.
The two did quite a bit of trading pots early in the match. Right away, Polk quickly renewed his penchant for over-bet all-in shoves to come up with a decent early pot.
Negreanu utilized some of his own aggression with an all-in river shove in about the 20th minute for a $14,000 win.
One of the first major pots went Polk’s way when he rivered a straight for about $31,000. Negreanu began the hand with a raise to $1,000 and Polk made the call. The flop was J♥A♠4♥ and both players checked.
The turn brought the 7♠ and Polk fired $2,900 with Negreanu making the call. The river produced the 3♣ and Polk bet $12,000. After Negreanu called, Polk showed 2♣5♣ for a wheel.
Negreanu was extremely competitive and held a small lead of about half a buy-in after the first hour. He won a nice $56,000 pot after getting paid off nicely with pocket Jacks. He led the matchup as much as about $45,000 after a hour.
But Polk continued to find pots. He took an $80,000 pot when both players made a pair of Queens, but Polk’s A♦Q♦ out-kicked Negreanu. By the third hour, both players were about even, but Negreanu moved ahead as much as $50,000.
Things just went Polk’s way in the final half hour. He whittled Negreanu’s lead away and surged late. He later admitted to some luck along the way.
Session: +$73728.29 over 608 hands
Total: +$703,610.66 over 17108 hands
This was probably the most fun session of the challenge. Id recommend checking out some of the hands and postgame interview. It was 1 super fucking lucky session, thats for sure.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) January 19, 2021
Negreanu is frustrated, rants about the day’s action
Some results of hands like the wheel straight left Negreanu frustrated. And the story for the day may have been how he displayed some of that afterward.
It’s not the first time he’s expressed himself with plenty of tilt rage after a tough day. The post-session interview on the GGPoker stream included plenty of salty language.
“I have that online poker gut thing where you start to wonder what’s going on here,” he said.
Continually missing on big drawing hands with Polk seemingly catching just the right cards had Negreanu baffled.
“I can’t tell you how many fucking draws I’ve missed,” he said. “This is insane. I don’t even fucking believe it. I really don’t believe what I’m seeing.”
Negreanu’s frustration carried over to his review of the day’s action. It certainly makes for a fun watch (see below).
Inside the 29th day of action
When the action concluded, Polk had notched up another win of almost two buy-ins. He continues making it extremely difficult for his opponent to get back in the series.
Less than 8,000 hands remain but Negreanu is trying to stay confident. Polk seems to have his number of late however.
- Hands played: 17,108
- Total: Polk up $703,610.66
- Next match: Wednesday, Jan. 19, 5:30 pm ET
Day 28: Jan. 15 – Polk takes small win for second in a row
Doug “MicroStakes” Polk made it two wins in a row on Friday with a win of $26,199 over 650 hands. There were fireworks right away with both players getting it all in only a few hands into the match.
Negreanu made it $1,000 from the button and Polk three-bet to $3,900. Negreanu then four-bet to almost $11,000 and Polk made the call. The flop brought 10♦6♣K♠ and Polk checked. Negreanu bet $5,400 and Polk called.
The turn brought the 2♠ and Polk checked. Negreanu activated his time bank before moving all in with A♥Q♦. Polk snap called with A♠10♠ and a K♥ fell on the river. Polk raked a pot of almost $82,000 and had a lead of about $50,000 early in the action.
About 12 minutes into the session, another big hand developed. With $31,000 already in the pot, the two players saw a board of 4♠10♥10♠7♥7♣.
Polk checked and Negreanu also checked. Neither had the full house and both players missed flush draws. Negreanu took the pot with K♠2♠ to Polk’s Q♠9♠. He added another $4,000 pot shortly afterward after flopping a flush.
After Polk took an early lead, Negreanu grabbed it back at about the 30-minute mark. With a board of K♣4♦9♣ and a K♠ on the turn, Negreanu checked and Polk bet $2,200. After some thought, Negreanu raised to $9,300.
Polk called and the river revealed the 5♥. Negreanu then ripped all in for $50,000 and Polk went in the tank. He eventually called with K♥7♥ for trips, but his opponent tabled 4♣4♠ for a full house.
That gave Negreanu a pot of about $96,000. At the one-hour mark, Negreanu held a lead of about $25,000.
Inside the 28th day of action
It was that kind of day, with chips shipping back and forth and neither taking a major lead overall. Just short of the halfway point, Polk made a nice call to send another hefty pot his way.
With $32,000 already on the table, Negreanu made a big $22,000 river bet on a board of 2♣7♥K♠A♣4♦. Polk thought a while before calling with K♣10♣. Negreanu showed J♠10♥ and his opponent took a $76,000 pot.
By the end of two hours, Polk was back ahead at over $50,000. Negreanu would squeeze than back down over the final 60 minutes of action in the three-hour session.
Polk will be happy with another win, but would certainly prefer those in the six-figure range. Before the action began, he posted a graph showing the swings throughout the series.
Session graph so far: pic.twitter.com/xGI5HlED1e
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) January 15, 2021
After some swings back and forth early in the series, Polk steadily climbed in the middle sessions. That peaked at almost $1 million, but has dipped in recent weeks.
So far, Polk has reversed that trend a bit in the last two sessions. On Friday, he felt Negreanu went for it with a few big bets.
“I have to say, Negreanu went for it today,” Polk noted on the Upswing Poker stream. “There were some big spots where he made some moves. I’m not sure if that was a direct response to maybe me winning a lot of the big pots lately or me saying that I hadn’t caught him bluffing much.”
- Hands played: 16,500
- Total: Polk up $629,882.37
- Next match: Monday, Jan. 18, 5:30 pm ET
Day 27: Jan. 13 – Polk moves back in the driver’s seat
The Negreanu streak had to end sometime and Polk turned in a nice win on Wednesday. After 600 hands, Polk scored $119,610 in a session that lasted almost three hours.
Negreanu hoped to average one $40,000 buy-in per session to get back in the series. More six-figure Polk wins could severely limit those opportunities.
Polk took the lead early in the session. The first major hand saw him pick up 8♥6♣ and a board of 5♠2♥7♠4♦A♦. The straight shipped Polk a $28,000 pot after receiving a call on the river.
Just a few hands later, Polk added another $14,000 pot when his K♥2♥ found three more hearts. Negreanu then added his own $47,000 pot with pocket Nines.
River over-betting seemed to pay off for Polk again in a big way. Almost an hour in, he moved all in on both tables with sizable chips in the middle.
His opponent folded on both and Polk collected two quick pots for a combined $69,000. It was that kind of day for Negreanu, with Polk continually picking up nice pots.
Pocket Aces add to Polk’s lead
For the last five sessions, the coolers had turned in Negreanu’s direction. That changed on Wednesday. About an hour into the match, Polk raised from the button to $900.
Negreanu quickly made that $4,000 and Polk four-bet to $10,400. Negreanu moved the last of his $42,000 all in and Polk snap-called.
Negreanu tabled Q♠Q♦ and Polk showed A♠A♦. No help came for Negreanu, giving Polk a $92,000 pot and he continued to roll.
By the end of an hour, Polk was up more than $100,000 and that neared $200,000 at times. Near the halfway mark however, Negreanu took a big pot of his own.
From the button, Negreanu made it $1,000 and Polk three-bet to $4,000. That received a five-bet from Negreanu for almost $11,000.
After a Polk call there was already almost $22,000 in the pot. The flop brought J♥4♥7♣ and Polk checked. Negreanu then bet $5,400 with Polk raising to $12,500.
That brought return fire from Negreanu, who shipped it all in for the last of his $33,000. Polk quickly called with K♥J♣, but his opponent held Q♣Q♦.
The 10♦ on the turn and 9♥ on the river brought no help for Polk and Negreanu scored $99,000. He added another nice pot later with two pairs. Negreanu cut the lead to about $75,000 after about 90 minutes.
Inside the 27th day of action
Those moments Negreanu weren’t enough in this session. He made a rally to cut Polk’s lead to about $25,000 with an hour remaining.
However, Polk surged late with some nice hands. In the last hour, he raised from the button to $950 and Negreanu three-bet to $4,000.
Polk called and the flop brought J♦K♣K♠. Negreanu bet $2,200 and Polk made the call. The flop brought the 10♠ with Negreanu betting $4,900 and Polk calling again.
The river produced the 2♣ and Negreanu checked. Polk moved all in for $33,000 and Negreanu called. With A♣Q♦, Polk hit the Broadway straight on the turn and raked an $89,000 pot. The hand proved critical late in the day.
For Polk, it was nice to snap the Negreanu streak and find a six-figure score in the process. He felt there were fewer tough spots for him on Wednesday and that helped his outcome. He felt it was one of his best sessions.
“I’ve just got to keep my head down, keep working, and make sure that I win,” Polk said on the Upswing Poker stream. “Because we’ve had a big downswing and while I think I’m still a good-size favorite and have a 15 buy-in lead, in $9,000 hands a 15 buy-in can evaporate so quickly.
“You just have to keep trying to play your A-game, keep trying to improve, keep working on some different sizes and ranges and notes and practicing and learning and running simulations.”
- Hands played: 15,850
- Total: Polk up $603,683.77
- Next match: Friday, Jan. 15, 5:30 pm ET
Day 26: Jan. 11 – Negreanu builds momentum with 5th straight win
The wins keep coming for Negreanu. Monday’s session brought his fifth positive day in a row, notching a score of $132,649 over 750 hands.
Early action was a little back and forth with Polk adding an early $4,400 pot with a flush. A huge hand then followed with Negreanu making it $1,000 before the flop.
Polk three-bet to almost $4,000 and Negreanu four-bet to $11,000. After some thought, Polk called and there was already almost $25,000 in the pot.
The flop brought 7♦3♥J♣ and Polk bet $6,500 before Negreanu called. The river brought the K♦ and Polk checked.
Negreanu tanked just a bit before moving all in. Polk snapped a call and tabled K♥Q♣ for top pair. But Negreanu held A♣A♠ and his hand held up with a 2♣ landing on the river.
Negreanu shipped an $85,000 pot within the first five minutes of the session. About 30 minutes later, Negreanu picked up a $99,000 pot when his pocket J♠J♥ topped Polk’s pocket 8♦8♥.
Negreanu rivers a full house
The action just seems to be going Negreanu’s way of late. Just past the hour mark, Negreanu raised to $900 from the button.
Polk made it $4,000 and received a call. The flop came 10♣7♠5♣ and Polk bet $5,300. Negreanu raised to almost $15,000 and Polk moved all in for $58,000.
After calling, Negreanu showed K♦10♠ for top pair. Polk showed 8♣9♣ for flush and open-end straight draws. The 7♣ on the turn gave Polk the flush.
However, the river 7♦ made a full house for Negrenau and he took down a pot of more than $90,000. Negreanu took a lead of about $100,000 halfway through the four-hour session.
Polk took his share of pots, but the big swings seemed to go his opponent’s way. At the two-hour mark, Polk raised to $900 and Negreanu made it $4,000 before receiving a call.
On a flop of 2♥3♦7♦, Negreanu bet $5,400 and received a call. The 3♠ came on the turn and Negreanu bet $13,000. Polk called and the K♣ came on the river
After some thought, Negreanu moved all in with Q♥Q♣, but Polk showed 5♥3♥ for trips. He raked an $88,000 pot.
Inside the 26th day of action
From the outset of the second half of the series, Negreanu has been adamant that he can get back in it. He’s a fast learner and continues to adjust his game.
Polk acknowledged his opponent has made some major improvements since the High Stakes Feud began. Negreanu seems to have opened up his game and aggression with certain hands. His bet sizing ranges have also expanded.
“I gotta say [Negreanu] is playing just night and day better than at the start of the challenge,” Polk noted. “I still think I have the edge, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s pretty low at this point. Gotta give credit where credit is due.”
An example of his increased aggression came just past the halfway point on Monday. With a board of 10♣6♦K♥A♦8♥ and $13,000 already in the pot, Negreanu over-bet to $19,000. Polk ultimately folded and Negreanu raked the pot.
The variance and big hands also continue to go his way. That wasn’t the case earlier in the series. On Monday, Negreanu made some nice calls as well to gather pots.
That included picking off a Polk bluff with a board of A♥K♠10♠2♠5♦ and holding 8♠9♦. Negreanu tabled A♠10♦ for two pairs and a $57,000 pot.
Many of Negreanu’s moves were well-timed and his progress continues. The momentum has certainly shifted to Kid Poker.
“I feel like if I were him, the first half of the match I would have been incredibly frustrated,” he said on the GGPoker stream. “He made a aot of flushes … but unfortunately for him, it was in spots where I didn’t have anything and the river went check-check. Or I just didn’t bluff at it where he could have looked me up.
“I was fortunate to really avoid any major traps.”
Negreanu has now cut Polk’s lead in half over the last several sessions and hopes to keep the train rolling.
Perhaps the biggest sign the tide is turning is the decrease in F-Bombs in my review videos, here's the latest:https://t.co/BkrFRUOdG3
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) January 12, 2021
- Hands played: 15,250
- Total: Polk up $484,073.93
- Next match: Wednesday, Jan. 13, 5:30 pm ET
Day 25: Jan. 8 – Negreanu closes out a week of wins
With a fourth straight win, albeit another small one, Negreanu has shown he can stem the bleeding. Determined to make this a contest, that seems possible – at least for now.
Friday’s session produced a Negreanu win of $27,946 over 750 hands. Things began well again for him including an $11,000 early pot after making a full house with pocket 2s. He later took down a $14,000 in a four-bet pot with Polk eventually folding before seeing a flop.
The first major hand saw Polk raise preflop to $900 and Negreanu call. The flop brought 3♥7♦Q♥ with Negreanu checking and Polk betting $600.
Negreanu called and the turn brought the 5♣. Negreanu checked again and Polk fired $3,000. Negreanu called and then checked again after the 7♥ landed on the river.
Polk bet another $6,000 and Negreanu raised to $22,000 with a board showing numerous possibilities for big hands. Polk eventually folded and Negreanu took a $37,000 pot.
Shortly afterward, he picked off a Polk bluff with a flush for $14,000 and continued to grab some more here and there.
At about the hour mark, there was already $20,000 in the pot on a board of 9♦K♣6♥7♥ when the K♥ hit on the river. Polk checked with Negreanu checking as well. Polk’s A♥J♥ picked up the pot with the nut flush.
Negreanu cracks Aces
On a day with plenty of action, some of the coolers seemed to go Negreanu’s way as well. Just at the hour mark, Negreanu raised to $1,000 and Polk three-bet to $4,000.
Negreanu called and the flop brought J♦4♣3♦. Polk bet $3,300 and Negreanu made the call. After the 10♦ on the turn, Polk bet $4,800 and Negreanu called.
The A♠ hit the board on the river and Polk moved all in for $66,000. Negreanu snap called with Q♦5♦ and a flush. Polk hit trip Aces on the river with A♣A♥ but the $82,000 pot went to Negreanu.
Polk found some of his own big pots, but the action just seemed to go his opponent’s way. After three hours, Negreanu led by more than $60,000 and that ballooned to almost $100,000 at times. That wouldn’t last however.
Inside the 25th day of action
After four hours of play Negreanu scored another win. He’s shaved off a considerable amount of Polk’s lead in the last week.
However, Polk has a knack for reducing his opponent’s wins. What might have been a six-figure score was reduced to half a buy-in. Polk was able to find a few late pots to close the gap.
Despite that comeback, Negreanu was happy to book another win. He admitted that he didn’t know exactly what to think of the day’s action.
Most of his losses seemed to come in four-bet pots, Negreanu said, but felt the session it could have gone either way.
“He played well and I thought I played well,” he said on the GGPoker stream.
4 In A Row, Let's Go!!!…Round 25 Hand Review Video is UP!https://t.co/JfuZ7JItH0
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) January 9, 2021
With four straight wins under his belt, the complexion of the match has changed a bit. Polk will be looking to respond. Fans can sit back and enjoy the fun.
- Hands played: 14,500
- Total: Polk up $616,722.56
- Next match: Monday, Jan. 11, 5:30 pm ET
Day 24: Jan. 6 – Negreanu makes it three in a row
The second session of 2021 turned into another nice day for Negreanu – his third straight win in the series. On Wednesday he clocked in with a win of $98,580 over 750 hands in a session that went about four hours.
When action resumed in the series, Negreanu’s goal was to chip into Polk’s lead and zero in on getting close to even.
On Wednesday, pots went both ways early with Polk snagging the first major pot of the day. He took about $15,000 after rivering a flush in a single-raise pot. Just a short time later Negreanu scored his own $21,000 with a full house.
Negreanu continued to build an early lead on both tables however – using some big river over-bets in the process. Polk has been a regular using that technique, but his opponent seemed to bring the aggression.
One interesting hand occurred just short of an hour into the session. Polk raised from the button to $900 and Negreanu made it $4,100. Polk called and the flop brought 8♦10♠Q♦.
Negreanu bet $2,100, received a call, and the 4♣ came on the turn. That brought a $12,700 bet from Negreanu and Polk called that as well.
With the pot now at $38,000, the river brought the 4♠. Negreanu thought a bit and then moved all in for $32,000. Polk folded and Negreanu took the pot.
Negreanu gets aggressive
That hand seemed to typify some of the day’s action. Negreanu seemed to press the action and wasn’t afraid of making some big over-bets. After an hour he was up about $47,000.
While Polk found some of his own wins, Negreanu seemed to have the goods in some nice pots throughout. Just short of the two-hour mark, a few other big hands wenr Negreanu’s way.
With J♥8♥, he snagged a flush with runner-runner hearts on the turn and river for $20,000. Quickly afterward, Polk raised to $900 and Negreanu three-bet to $4,100. Polk called and the flop brought 10♠2♣J♠.
Both players checked and the 5♣ fell on the turn. Negreanu checked and Polk bet $8,200 with his opponent going in the tank a bit before calling.
The 8♣ hit the river and both players checked. Negreanu took down the $25,000 pot with A♠K♠. Another hand right after saw three Kings hit the board and Negreanu show 8♦8♠ for a full house. He picked up $26,000 in that one and added a few more pots as well.
Polk mixed in his own nice score during this exchange, which turned out to be quite a cooler. With $22,600 in the pot and a board of 6♣Q♠K♥J♠K♣, Negreanu checked the river – setting a trap with 6♥6♠.
Polk moved all in for $29,000 and Negreanu snap-called with a full house. However, the river gave Polk a bigger full house when he tabled K♠Q♦. He took down an $80,000 pot after getting bailed out on the river.
Inside the 24th day of action
Negreanu seems to be improving as the series continues and Polk has admitted as much. He continues to adapt and Polk will have to adjust.
The win for Kid Poker could have been bigger. By the third hour, he was up more than $150,000. A late run of Polk pots sliced into that a bit. Afterward, Polk was pleased the result wasn’t worse.
“Today was pretty tough,” Polk noted on the Upswing Poker stream. “I’m actually pretty excited to have lost only two and half buy-ins. Basically we had a lot of situations where we had to run the bluff or make a call-down that we weren’t super excited about.
“I think this was the most card dead I’ve been in any session of the entire challenge.”
On the flip side, Negreanu was pleased and seemed a dominating force on the day. He touched on making some big calls as Polk alluded to.
“I think I played well,” he said on the GGPoker stream. “Obviously there are some spots where you make a hero call here and there.”
Can Negreanu’s run continue? Considering variance and Polk’s heads-up skills, the deck is still stacked against him leveling the series.
But that’s what makes the challenge fun to watch. Both are determined and these poker gladiators continue swinging.
- Hands played: 13,750
- Total: Polk up $644,668.36
- Next match: Friday, Jan. 8, 5:30 pm ET
Day 23: Jan. 4 – Negreanu secures another small win, still long way to go
Rome wasn’t built in a day and any comeback for Negreanu will be a long-term affair as well. After a few days off, Negreanu and Polk were back in action on Monday, which marked two months since the challenge began. With the 12,500-hand mark reached, either player could have backed out but that hasn’t happened.
After a few days off for the New Year’s holiday, Negreanu booked his second straight small victory on Monday. After 500 hands, Negreanu finished to the good at just over half a buy-in for $27,006.
Things began Negreanu’s way early. Just after winning a $16,000 pot, another big hand immediately developed. After a standard raise to $900, Polk three-bet to $3,900 and received a call.
Both players saw a flop of J♠6♠3♥ with almost $8,000 already in the pot. Polk bet $3,300 and Negreanu called. The turn brought the 2♦ and Polk fired $9,700. Negreanu made the call and the river produced the 5♦.
Polk checked and Negreanu bet $23,000 and received a snap call. He tabled 4♠5♠ for a straight, raking almost $80,000.
Polk chipped away at that lead however, taking a few pots of his own. About a half hour into the session Negreanu found another nice pot. After raising to $1,000, Polk made it $3,900.
Negreanu called and the flop brought 4♥7♦K♥. Polk bet $2,200 and received a call before the 4♣ came on the turn. Polk fired $8,200 and Negreanu called again.
The 9♣ fell on the river and Polk moved all in for his last $28,000 with Negreanu insta-calling. Polk tabled A♠K♦ for top pair, but Negreanu held 9♠9♥ to river a full house. The $86,000 pot swelled Negreanu’s winnings for the first part of the session.
Polk rebounds, picks off a big bluff
At about an hour into the match, Polk picked up a nice pot of his own to edge closer to Negreanu’s lead. Negreanu raised to $1,000 and Polk called. The flop brought A♦2♦9♥ and Negreanu bet $500.
Polk raised to $1,600, Negreanu called, and the river brought the 3♠. Polk fired $1,700 and Negreanu called to see the 6♥ on the river. Polk bet $13,000 and Negreanu folded.
Just a few hands later, Polk flopped a flush to add another $49,000 pot. Another pot fell his way when he picked off a huge Negreanu bluff.
With a board of 3♣5♦Q♥K♠10♣ and $29,000 already in the pot, Negreanu moved all in. Polk thought a bit before calling for the last of his $46,000.
Negreanu showed 7♦8♦ and Polk tabled K♣J♣ for top pair. He raked a $121,000 pot and cut into a lead considerably that had been about $70,000 at that point.
Inside the 23rd day of action
A bit later, Negreanu added his own $46,000 pot and 90 minutes into the match picked off a Polk bluff. Negreanu’s K♥3♥ found two more Kings on the board for trips and a $64,000 pot.
That’s how much of the session went – a very back and forth, swingy day. A late flush holding A♥J♣ versus Polk’s A♠Q♠ on a board of A♣4♣7♣J♥8♣ helped Negreanu even more.
Unlike some of the first half of the series, Negreanu was on the right side of some coolers. He won a nice hand with Aces versus Kings in this session.
In the end, Negreanu was able to edge ahead for what’s a tiny win in this challenge. But he found some added momentum as he hopes to reduce Polk’s lead.
That lead was about 19 buy-ins when the day began and Session 23 clocked in at just under three hours. Negreanu stressed that he’s certainly okay with small wins to chip away at that total.
“It was definitely a roller coaster,” he said on the GGPoker stream. “I definitely got some run-good early.”
Polk called the session “a wild one” with plenty of action. However, he felt much of the play was within reason in the heads-up version of the game.
“I think most of the really big pots were pretty standard stuff,” he said on the Upswing Poker stream. “I don’t think that there was anything too crazy.”
Polk remains ahead by a wide margin and has clocked in with some huge wins. Negreanu will need to keep those at bay and put in a few big scores of his own.
- Hands played: 13,000
- Total: Polk up $743,248.28
- Next match: Wednesday, Jan. 6, 5:30 pm ET
Day 22: Dec. 28 – Bluff-catching Negreanu scores a buy-in win
The Negreanu-Polk challenge has officially reached the halfway point at 12,500 hands. After 279 hands on Monday, Negreanu finished the day up $49,214 after two straight losing sessions.
Things could have gone much differently however. Polk ran a few big bluffs late in the day that proved costly.
Lost $140,000 bluffing in just 2 hands down the stretch. Went straight into the solver streets to see if they were mistakes. Turns out both of them were errors….
I didnt bluff them often enough.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) December 29, 2020
One of those hands came at just past an hour into the day. Negreanu raised to $900 and Polk made the call, bringing a flop of 3♥9♥3♠.
Polk checked and Negreanu bet $500. After a call, the 5♠ fell on the turn. Negreanu bet $3,000 and received a call.
The 9♠ came on the river and Polk checked. Negreanu bet $5,900 and Polk raised to $16,300. Negreanu thought a bit before ultimately calling with 3♣2♣, picking off Polk’s bluff with 5♥7♦ for a $42,000 pot.
Another big bluff came at almost the hour and a half mark. With $20,000 in the pot on a board of A♠9♣J♦7♣4♦, Polk moved all in for $69,000 and was insta-called by Negreanu.
Polk showed 8♦2♦ and Negreanu held 8♠10♥ for a straight and a critical $159,000 pot. Just a few minutes later, Polk shoved on the river again and Negreanu called with top pair.
Negreanu’s pair of Kings picked off another Polk bluff when he didn’t have a pair. He added another $119,000 in that one.
Polk builds an early lead
Fireworks began only a few minutes into the day’s action. On a board of 10♦7♥7♠A♦6♠ with $3,000 in the pot, Polk bet about $2,500. Negreanu raised to $6,600 and Polk three-bet to $20,000. Negreanu folded and Polk scored the pot.
Another early hand saw Polk raise to $900 from the button and Negreanu three-bet to $4,100. Polk then four-bet to $10,700 and his opponent made the call.
The flop brought 6♠2♦2♠ and Polk fired $4,300 after a Negreanu check. Negreanu raised to $9,300 and Polk moved all in for the last of his $34,000.
Negreanu called and Polk showed Q♥Q♦ to his opponent’s Q♠J♠. The turn brought the 2♥, giving Polk the full house and negating any flush Negreanu might draw on the river. After an irrelevant J♦, Polk raked $90,000.
Negreanu would grab his own all-in pot shortly afterward. With $30,000 already in the pot and the board showing 5♥9♣A♥4♣, Negreanu bet $9,000.
Polk went all in for $35,000 with A♠10♠ and Negreanu snap called, showing A♦J♥. The river produced the 7♠ and Negreanu scored his own $89,000 pot.
Polk would take $82,000 a short time later when his pocket Aces held up against Negreanu’s Q♥9♥. Kid Poker hit top pair on the turn and that helped Polk take a chunk of chips.
Polk seized a lead of about $30,000 in the first half hour. A cooler then played out a bit before the hour mark.
Both players got it all in preflop – Negreanu with pocket Jacks and Polk with pocket Aces. That handed Polk another $80,000 pot and he led by about $100,000 an hour into the session.
Inside the 22nd day of action
There were plenty of all ins and back forth action on Monday. The day produced big stacks for both players after auto-topping up stacks after all-in losses.
Midway through the two-hour session, things again went Polk’s way. He won a few nice pots with trips and found some other nice wins. Polk not only over-bet hands as usual early in Monday’s action, but seemed to have the goods when he did.
However, those pesky bluffs in the last hour proved his downfall. Negreanu was able to salvage the day and will look to build on that. Regarding the bluffs, Negreanu said that seems to continue working out for him.
“That’s kind of the way the match has gone,” he said. “The biggest pots I win typically are when he goes for it and I have it.”
The bluffs were frustrating losses for Polk who analyzed some of those hands on the Upswing Poker stream. He felt he punted off some of his winnings in bad spots.
“It gets really intense when you have a bunch of spots you think you have to fire in a row in huge spots and you’re just getting stacked out there,” Polk said.
Will the match continue?
Afterward, Negreanu said the two players are considering whether to continue with the matchup. At this point either side could bow out, but that didn’t look likely in the days preceding Monday’s action.
“We thought it made sense to stop at the halfway point – readjust and see if we wanted to continue playing or not,” Negreanu said.
Despite that, Negreanu indicated that the match would continue after a short break. Only down about 19 buy-ins, he compared his situation to that of a football team behind 19 points at halftime.
After resuming, he hoped some luck would shift his way and he could score a few touchdowns to edge closer. Winning would still be difficult, however, which remains his goal. Negreanu feels his play has improved throughout the series.
Polk also indicated there will be more heads-up poker action between the two in 2021.
“I would be absolutely shocked if he doesn’t play on,” he said.
- Hands played: 12,500
- Total: Polk up $770,254
- Next match: Monday, Jan. 4, 5:30 pm ET (preliminarily)
Day 21: Dec. 23 – Polk ends Negreanu rally with $114,000 score of his own
After two straight winning sessions, Negreanu came up on the short end Wednesday. As Polk noted, there were plenty of big hands and many seemed to go his way. It was quite a battle however, that seemed like it could go either way.
The big hands this session were lots of all in preflops. Things were swinging around but once we got deep it stayed in the +2-3 bi range for the entire remaining session.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) December 24, 2020
Negreanu started the five-hour session off well with a few decent pots. But there were plenty of big hands coming throughout the session including a Polk full house with 6-6 for about $30,000.
The action shifted back and forth for much of the first hour with Polk up about only one buy-in. The first huge hand of the day came shortly afterward and this one did go Negreanu’s way.
Polk raised to $900 from the button and Negreanu three-bet to $4,100. Polk four-bet to $10,700 and Negreanu moved all in for his last $41,000.
Polk snap called and tabled Q♦Q♣ versus Negreanu’s A♠K♠. Negreanu received some help when he hit a flush with a runout of J♠7♥8♠5♠Q♠.
That secured him a $90,000 pot but Polk would land his own big punches soon.
Polk grabs some big ones
A bit after that hand played out, Polk ripped an $80,000 all over-bet on a $30,000 pot on a board of 8♣7♣5♠7♥6♥. Negreanu was in the tank and eventually folded there as well to ship Polk the pot.
At the same time, he five-bet all in preflop at the second table to get a Negreanu fold and a $22,000 pot.
A bit short of the three-hour mark, a hand saw Negreanu four-bet to $10,800. Polk called and the flop brought J♦3♥5♥. After a Polk check, Negreanu bet $5,400 and received a call.
The turn brought the J♣ and Polk checked again. Negreanu checked and the river brought the J♠. Polk moved all in for $42,000 and Negreanu folded. Polk picked up another $32,000.
After about three and half hours, Polk moved his lead up to more than $80,000. Just past the four-hour mark, Negreanu mixed in a four-bet to $10,800 and Polk called.
The flop came 5♠6♠2♥ and Negreanu bet $11,000 after a Polk check. He called and the turn brought the 9♠. Polk checked and Negreanu bet $13,000.
After Polk called, the Q♦ fell on the river with $69,000 already in the pot. Polk checked and Negreanu moved all in. Polk quickly folded and Negreanu raked the pot.
Inside the 21st day of action
That hand helped cut into Polk’s lead, but he found a few nice hands late to extend that again. The two continued trading pots for much of the remainder of the session with Polk coming out on top.
It was another long session in this series, certainly no easy task for all the streaming commentators involved. In the end, Polk finished to the black almost three buy-ins for about $114,140 over 904 hands.
He also jumped on the GG stream with the commentary team and Negreanu for some interesting banter. Questions about what each had in certain spots went unanswered, but Polk felt great about how he’s been playing.
“I look at kind of the progression I’ve had to go through during this and I’ve made some small changes with some size stuff,” he says. “But overall, I’ve come in with my kind of game plan, so the work I’ve been doing is kind of more on the edges.”
Both platters seem on much friendlier terms because of the match. Polk said some of Negreanu’s new bet sizing has challenged him and commended his opponent on his play overall.
When it comes to playing live in the PokerGO Studio, the two players agreed that would be fun again. However, both added that scenario wouldn’t be possible right now because of COVID-19. They didn’t rule out a future meeting though.
Rearding the session, Negreanu noted that there was plenty of action as both players built sizable stacks. That included 200 to 300-big blind stacks at times.
“It was a battle,” Negreanu said. “There were some crazy freaking hands. There’s just so much to digest from this one because it was the longest we’ve played that deep on both tables.”
The players now take a break for the holiday with play resuming next week.
- Hands played: 12,222
- Total: Polk up $810,468
- Next match: Monday, Dec. 28, 5:30 pm ET
Day 20: Dec. 22 – Negreanu notches another nice day for a $118K score
After a break of about a week and a half, Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu were back in action Monday. With a nice score just before the break (see Day 19 below), Negreanu again put together another win.
That made it two in a row after a recent run of bad results for Team Negreanu. After looking as if Polk’s lead might eclipse the $1 million mark, that has now been fended off at least for now.
The action began Monday with both players mixing it up a bit with neither taking much of a lead. One early hand saw a Polk four-bet to $11,000 with Negreanu then shipping it all in on a five-bet. Polk folded and Negreanu raked a nice pot.
About almost 20 minutes in another big hand developed with Polk four-betting to $11,000. Negreanu called and the flop brought 4♦7♥6♥ and Negreanu checked.
Polk once again over-bet shoved all in for $41,000 and Negreanu called for the last of his $30,000. Polk tabled K♦3♦ and Negreanu showed 5♠6♠. The turn brought the 3♣ and the river was the J♥.
Negreanu took almost an $83,000 pot after completing his straight. He grabbed another four-bet pot just shortly afterward and seemed to be in control early.
Negreanu makes a big river call
At just about an hour into the session, an interesting hand developed that thrust Negreanu further ahead. Polk raised the action from the button to $900 and Negreanu three-bet to $4,200.
The flop brought Q♣2♥J♦ and Negreanu checked. Polk bet about $2,400 and Negreanu called. The turn brought the 3♥ and Polk fired $8,800 after another check.
Negreanu called and checked again when the river brought the K♣. Polk moved all in for his last $29,000 – putting Negreanu to the test.
After a long tank, Kid Poker made the call with Q♥9♥ to Polk’s 4♣4♠. The pair of Queens scored Negreanu a pot of more than $88,000. He’d taken a lead of about $70,000 after the first hour.
Inside the 20th day of action
It was that kind of day for Negreanu. When it was all over, he scored $117,962 over 534 hands. In the last two sessions, Negreanu has shaved about $262,000 off of Polk’s lead.
Negreanu seemed just to have it on Monday and avoid some of the bad runs from earlier sessions. Some bluffs got through and he hit some draws. Overall, despite still being down, Negreanu is enjoying the series.
“I’m actually learning a lot and really enjoying heads-up poker,” he said on the GGPoker stream afterward.
Both players continue to adapt and the break gave them even more time to study. Polk remains in good shape and perhaps felt a bit of Negreanu’s earlier frustration on Monday.
“Tough one today,” he noted on Twitter. “Lots of really tough spots. Got my work cut out for me.”
The 12,000-hand “quit or stay in” limit is approaching. However, Negreanu confirmed this week that he’s in it for the long haul.
He told USPoker: “The plan is to go all the way.”
- Hands played: 11,318
- Total: Polk up $696,328
- Next match: Wednesday, Dec. 23, 5:30 pm ET
Day 19: Dec. 11 – Negreanu $144K Score Halts the Bleeding
Would Doug Polk officially reach the $1 million mark? That was the question for many poker fans going into Friday’s action.
However, after a terrible run of cards (see Day 18 below) Negreanu stopped the bleeding in session lasting 834 hands. He chalked up a $143,642 victory but still has a way to go to draw closer to Polk.
Things got off to a big start quickly with the two players trading blows. On a board of 5♥3♥8♣10♥, Polk bet $6,300 with $19,000 already in the pot.
Negreanu thought a bit and moved all in for $31,000. Polk eventually folded and his opponent jumped out to an early lead.
Simultaneously, Polk moved all in on the river on the second table with $19,000 also in the pot. With a flop of 6♣10♥9♠3♠2♥, Negreanu eventually folded.
About 45 minutes into the day, a big hand went Negreanu’s way. He called a preflop raise to $900 and saw a flop of 5♣4♦2♠. Negreanu checked and then called Polk’s bet of about $800.
The 7♣ came on the turn and Negreanu checked. Polk bet $3,400 and received a call. The J♥ fell on the river and Negreanu checked again.
Polk launched one of his routine river over-bets, $15,000 into a $10,000 pot. Negreanu took a bit of time and then moved all in for $96,000.
After a long tank, Polk called the last of his $33,600 and showed 7♥7♦ for trips. However, Negreanu flopped a straight – showing 3♥6♥ and took a pot of $106,000. For a change, the cooler went the other way.
Inside the 19th day of action
By the hour mark, Negreanu had moved up by more than $100,000. He continued to find success picking off occasional bluffs and hitting hands that held up.
About two hours in, Negreanu’s K♥Q♠ landed two more Queens on the flop, Those trips brought him a $55,000 pot.
A few Negreanu drawing hands actually paid off as well and he hit trips a few times that got paid off. Polk notched some nice hands as well, such as winning a significant pot with pocket Kings versus Negreanu’s pocket Jacks.
Some of Polk’s large river bets also continued to pick up some pots. Negreanu’s lead was trimmed to about $60,000 halfway through the four-hour session.
Late in the session he also scored an $80,000 pot with pocket Aces. Polk also tool a late $87,000 pot with a full house versus Negreanu’s two pairs.
But the larger pots seemed to go Negreanu’s way. It had to feel good to lock up a winning session again after some tough runs. Missing on some big draws seemed to still leave him flustered however.
“Obviously I won today so I shouldn’t be bitching,” Negreanu said on the GGPoker stream. “But I felt like I could have won a lot more.”
As the recent days played out, Polk has seen Negreanu go on tilt on the GG stream. However, he feels Negreanu hasn’t really lost control at the table and kept a clear mind.
“I think he’s more of a verbal tilter than a play tilter,” Polk noted on the Upswing Poker stream.
Polk tries to keep his game at a similar level, he noted. A 3.5 buy-in performance certainly helped Negreanu but he’ll have to rally off more days like Friday to recover.
That will have to wait at least a week as the two combatants have scheduled next week off. Negreanu jumped in the WSOP Main Event on Sunday. Polk, not so much.
Not playing the main today because I hate playing poker. GL out there
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) December 13, 2020
- Hands played: 10,784
- Total: Polk up $814,290
- Next match: preliminarily – Monday, Dec. 21, 5:30 pm ET
Day 18: Dec. 10 – Polk scores another six figures as massive run continues
Daniel Negreanu’s frustration seemed to reach a boiling point after Thursday’s session. Nothing seemed to go right and even Doug Polk recognized an insane run of cards.
Even when Negreanu was ahead, Polk just seemed to pull the perfect cards. Negreanu’s pocket Aces versus pocket Kings? No good. Ace-Queen and hitting a flop with two more Queens? No good.
Surely a misclick five-bet by Polk with 9-7 offsuit would bring a nice Negreanu pot? Nope, Polk won that one too. That’s just how things have gone lately in this series.
After a $100,000 loss on Wednesday, Polk booked a $173,363 scored over 980 hands on Thursday. In a session that stretched over more than five hours, Polk extended his lead to just short of $1 million. He once again won most of the big pots and continues to run hot.
Bad flops, turns, and rivers for Negreanu
After Wednesday’s session, Negreanu went on a curse-filled rant on the GGPoker stream. A more subdued tilt followed on Thursday – with less cursing.
Negreanu noted that luck has worked against him and added significantly to Polk’s lead. The big hands have not only not worked out his way, Negreanu noted, but just seemed like unreal run-outs. He’s lost regularly with straights, flushes, and trips.
“You sort of become numb to it,” he noted afterward on the GGPoker stream. “You’re hoping that it’s going to turn, but there are no promises just because he’s run incredibly well. And literally the only reason he’s up as much as he is is pure luck. There’s no question.
“I really don’t think I made any mistakes that were significant in this entire day – that’s why I kept playing.”
Some of those frustrations he shared on Twitter.
Need a breather peeps.
KQss vs A9 Q53hhs turn As river 3
Ah Qs flop QQ6hh turn Jh river 2 lose to KThh
AA vs KK all in preflop lose
How is your day going?
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) December 11, 2020
Played a guy today who was misclick 5-betting the minimum 200 bbs deep with 97o and just smashing the 723 flop making it look easy.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) December 11, 2020
Adding to that analysis, he later released another video detailing some of the hands more specifically. The extended run of poor luck couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Polk responds after another big win
Despite the tough run, Negreanu remained confident and was ready to go ahead on Friday. For his part, Polk seemed to agree with how things played out Thursday.
“This is just unbelievable how hot I’m running,” he said on the Upswing Poker stream. “I’m going on one of the hottest stretches of my entire career at maybe the most important point ever.”
Polk said he understood Negreanu’s frustration, although mixed in some laughs and needling. He remains confident and plans to keep the Polk truck rolling.
I have probably made between moderate and large mistakes in 25-50 hands in this challenge. I have no problem saying that, its just the truth. As this challenge goes on I will do my best to play at the highest level I can learn to play at.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) December 11, 2020
Inside the 18th day of action
While Negreanu may be struggling, he seems determined to battle back. Even Polk noted that his opponent has run terribly recently. Kid Poker was set to be back at the tables on Friday.
The two players were then scheduled for a break. The $10,000 WSOP Main Event kicks off Sunday and it’s a good bet at least Negreanu will be playing.
The 12,500-hand mark is approaching, which means either party can then quit. Will Negreanu decide he’s had too much?
That hasn’t seemed like a possibility. But down a million bucks and so completely frustrated, could Team Negreanu sound the surrender? The coming weeks will tell the tale.
His opponent is not only skilled and confident, but has been running amazingly well. Regarding the luck factor, Polk even noted on Twitter that “this was my luckiest session I’ve had of the entire challenge.”
- Hands played: 9,950
- Total: Polk up $957,933
- Next match: Friday, Dec. 11, at 5:30 pm ET
Day 17: Dec. 9 – Lead grows again for Polk with $101K win
Things continued to fall Polk’s way on Wednesday, posting a win of $101,713 over 662 hands. He remains a dominating force the further the action goes into the series.
Negreanu started out well by taking a few pots and building small leads on both tables. Polk again used some river over-bets to take some of his own and get back in it.
The first big hand occurred about 15 minutes into the action with Negreanu raising to $1,000 from the button. Polk called and the flop brought A♣6♣8♥. Polk checked and Negreanu bet $400.
Polk called and the 10♣ fell on the turn. Polk checked and Negreanu bet $2,100. Polk then raised that to almost $11,000.
The river brought the K♠ and Polk moved all in with a snap call from Negreanu, who showed 7♣9♦. He’d turned a straight, but Polk showed J♣4♣ for a flush and an $85,000 pot.
After the last session, Negreanu remarked afterward that he missed numerous draws that cost him big pots. This time he’d gotten there but Polk had the goods to scoop another one.
It was a major frustration for Negreanu and he mentioned the hand several times in his interview afterward.
Aces score for Negreanu, Kings score for Polk
Despite the loss, Negreanu would find his own hefty pot early. After raising on the button to $1,000, Polk three-bet to $4,100.
Negreanu then four-bet to almost $11,000. Polk called and there was already almost $22,000 in the pot. Polk checked and Negreanu bet $4,400.
Polk called and the turn brought the 7♠ bringing another check from Polk. Negreanu checked behind and the 5♠ came on the river.
After another Polk check, Negreanu moved all in for $33,000 and Polk called. Negreanu showed pocket Aces, A♠A♦, for trips to Polk’s top pair with A♥8♥.
Those pocket rockets brought Negreanu a pot of $110,000. But once again the big hands were too fleeting for Negreanu.
A short time later, a similar hand developed. This time Polk check-raised all in on a board of 5♦K♣10♥J♥3♦. Negreanu called and showed K♥3♥ for two pairs.
However, this time Polk had the big pocket pair – tabling K♠K♦ for trips. He raked another $81,000 pot with the cooler going his way this time.
Inside the 17th day of action
It was another nice session for Polk, where he seemed to pick up pot after pot. Those sweating Negreanu are probably concerned at this point as he moves closer to $1 million in the hole.
The 16th session could have been better for Negreanu if not for a tough cooler just before the day’s end. After a Negreanu four-bet, Polk five-bet all in and showed A♠A♥ to Negreanu’s A♣K♣.
Despite landing a flush draw on the flop, Negreanu suffered another big loss. Polk scored $118,000 – the largest pot of the day.
Wednesday’s session lasted just under three hours and Negreanu seemed extremely frustrated and tilted afterward. To say the salty language was flying would be an understatement.
“Heads-up poker is bananas,” he noted on the GGPoker stream.
Negreanu noted that he’d have to deposit more funds on WSOP.com to keep playing. Players had planned to play Thursday this week as well. A wire transfer could delay those plans however.
While the players are expected to play 25,000 hands, either can quit at 12,500. That doesn’t seem likely considering Negreanu’s comments following the match.
In the GGPoker interview, Negreanu noted that he was willing to play even more hands. He said running to 100,000 hands might show how long his bad run of cards and coolers could continue (or perhaps turn things around).
Hearing that, Polk certainly seemed amenable to the prospect.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) December 10, 2020
- Hands played: 8,108
- Total: Polk up $799,348
- Next match: Thursday, Dec. 10, at 5:30 pm ET (schedule could change)
Day 16: Dec. 7 – Polk scores big to extend lead
It was another long session for Polk and Negreanu on Monday – spanning four hours. Polk scored an impressive win after three straight losing, albeit small, losing sessions.
After 824 hands, Polk finished up $160,349 – about four buy-ins. He’s now closing in on a positive $700,000 in the series. Things didn’t start out poorly for Negreanu. He scooped a few nice pots early and utilized some aggression.
Deeper into the first hour of play, however, Polk took command. One hand at about the 50-minute mark exemplified Polk’s river-raising forte. Negreanu started the action with a raise to $1,000 and Polk called.
The flop brought 5♥8♥K♣. Polk checked and Negreanu bet $800. Polk called and the turn was the 3♥. Negreanu bet $1,600 and thought a bit before raising to almost $9,900.
Negreanu called to make it more than $23,000 in the pot. The river produced the Q♣ and Polk moved all in for his $102,000. Negreanu tanked before eventually folding. The big pots continued for Polk throughout the day.
The Polk truck rolls on
About an hour and half into the match, three-bet pots developed on both tables. The first saw Polk make a pot-sized bet of $8,200 into a board of K♦Q♣10♥8♦. Negreanu called and the river brought the 2♠.
Polk moved all in for $79,000 and Negreanu called the last of his $33,000. Negreanu showed K♣7♣ for top pair, but Polk tabled Q♠10♠ for two pairs. He raked about $90,000 in that one.
On the second table, Negreanu took a smaller pot of about $14,000. However, it was a large net win for Polk and typical of how things went. Polk had a lead of $170,000 about 90 minutes into the match.
Just short of the two-hour mark, Polk raised to $900 and Negreanu three-bet to $4,200. Polk then four-bet to $12,500 and Negreanu made the call with 2♦Q♦5♠ hitting the board.
Both players checked and the 3♠ landed on the turn. Negreanu bet $10,500 and Polk called, making it $46,000 in the post so far.
The river brought the K♦ and Negreanu moved the last of his $36,000 into the pot and was called. Negreanu showed top pair with Q♥10♥, but Polk tabled A♥A♣ for a $120,000 pot.
Inside the 16th day of action
Despite a nice win and a healthy lead, Polk is still only up just about 17 buy-ins. A couple big days from Kid Poker could swing this back to a closer matchup.
Polk has run well and even caught four of a kind on Monday for a $25,000 pot. If the cards turn, Negreanu may be able to turn the tables if Polk is snookered here and there.
But Polk is a tough customer and Negreanu admitted he was an underdog going into the series.
“There were some interesting big pots,” Polk noted on the Upswing Poker stream afterward. “I think Negreanu might have overplayed his hands a little on some of those.”
Polk questioned his opponent’s play on the pocket Aces versus Q♥10♥ hand. He was unsure why Negreanu moved all in on the river.
“It’s just not good,” Polk said. “It’s just very bad. I don’t know what that was.”
Polk remains in control as of now. He seems to take the big wins of late with his opponent taking the small ones. Polk picked off a few bluffs on Monday and looked to have made some timely folds.
Negreanu had been down more in the session, but was able to cut some of his losses late. It was a frustrating day for the Poker Hall of Famer.
“I just missed a lot of draws,” he said on the GGPoker stream. “If you hit those hands you can win big. But if you keep putting in a lot of money and then miss them, you feel silly sometimes. I ran a couple bluffs that didn’t work and he had a hand he had to call with.”
Overall Negreanu believed it was a good battle and still feels comfortable with his heads-up game.
Could live play be returning to the series?
Those watching the GGPoker stream of the series on Monday received some interesting news. Host Jeff Platt noted there’s a possibility the two players may return live on PokerGO at some point.
No firm details are available yet and the possibility may depend on the status of the match. A big loss by one player (Negreanu as of now) may put a damper on those plans however.
In other news, the two players announced that they’ll be playing four days this week. They’re planning on throwing in a Thursday session and then taking some time off next week for the holidays.
- Hands played: 7,921
- Total: Polk up $674,000
- Next match: Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 5:30 pm ET
Day 15: Dec. 4 – Negreanu chalks up third-straight win
Polk started the week noting it would be an important three matches for the series. Negreanu could add to his deficit and be in rougher shape or battle back to stay in the match.
After Friday’s action, Negreanu had notched three small wins in a row. While Polk’s lead remains large, his opponent has chipped away. A larger Negreanu win this week could change the series even more.
Friday’s action included an interesting development, with Polk streaming his session. While not all his cards were visible, many of his hands were shown for viewers. He offered his reasoning for not showing everything.
“The reality is that when you play at high stakes, people are trying to look at what you do and trying to figure you out,” he said to begin the stream.
Negreanu stacked early in session
Shortly after taking an early $14,000 pot, Negreanu raised another hand to $1,000 and Polk three-bet to $4,100. Negreanu called and the flop brought 10♥6♣Q♥. Polk informed viewers he’d be betting the size of the pot
“This could be getting spicy right out of the gate,” he said.
After a Polk bet of $8,200, Negreanu shoved all in for $44,000 and received a quick call. Negreanu held J♥Q♣ for top pair, but Polk’s K♣Q♠ had him out-kicked. The turn brought the 10♠ and the 8♦ fell on the river. Polk raked an $80,000 pot.
“We stacked him right out of the gate – boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,” Polk yelled on his stream. “That’s what’s up. You love to see it.”
Kid Poker catches up
While Polk found some early success, Negreanu would find some of his own pots. A short time after the big Polk win, four hearts showed up on the board. Negreanu snagged $17,000 with his A♥ for the nut flush.
On the second table with a flop of 10♠J♦2♣, Negreanu check-raised to $11,000 when the 10♦ landed on the turn. Polk called and the river produced the 4♥.
Negreanu moved all in for almost $28,000 and Polk went in the tank before eventually folding. Negreanu secured a $34,000 pot in that one.
A short time later he raked a $21,000 pot with pocket Queens. Those wins moved him closer to even for the session.
About halfway through the day, Polk raised to $900 and Negreanu made it $4,200. Polk four-bet to $11,300 and Negreanu called.
The flop brought J♥2♠2♣ and Negreanu checked. Polk bet $4,500 and Negreanu called. The turn brought the 3♠ with both players checking and the Q♣ coming on the river.
Negreanu checked again and Polk moved all in. Hs opponent insta-called with A♣A♦ for his last $40,000. The trap had been set and he picked off a Polk bluff with K♠4♠. The move was good for a $114,000 pot.
After about an hour, Negreanu was up $40,000, but Polk would close that to a few thousand. He’d later move ahead himself to about $40,000 at the two-hour mark.
Inside the 15th day of action
In the end, Negreanu finished up winning $46,582 over 452 hands. It was a bit of a swingy day again with things going Negreanu’s way.
The session lasted just under three hours and Polk lost just a bit over one buy-in.
“Sometimes you’re going to have good sessions and sometimes you’re going to lose a buy-in,” Polk said. “Considering all the swings that we had and the stacks were flying, I thought this was a good session.”
After some thought, Polk seemed to be a bit less positive and will be looking to correct some mistakes.
yikes, we had some mistakes today. Back in the lab we go.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) December 5, 2020
Throughout the series, Negreanu has noted that he’s had Aces numerous times. That continued on Friday and he was happy to finally get paid off with them.
“I think I had Aces six times in this session,” he said in an interview on the GGPoker stream. “It was nice to finally get action.”
- Hands played: 7,469
- Total: Polk up $514,000
- Next match: Monday, Dec. 7, at 5:30 pm ET
Day 14: Dec. 2 – Negreanu scores small victory in massively swingy day
Team Negreanu has some reason for optimism. While they haven’t been huge wins, Wednesday brought the second-straight positive day for Negreanu.
There’s still a mountain to climb, but any momentum is good for Negreanu backers. The day started with Negreanu grabbing a few pots including a three-bet pot eventually won with Queen-high.
A few nice more would follow and then 10 minutes in, Polk utilized an all-in shove on the river. With a board of 10♣4♣7♠5♣Q♠ Negreanu bet $9,000 and Polk moved all in for $35,000. That was enough to win about $30,000.
Things continued to swing back and forth for much of the day, which went for four hours.
Polk finds a flush and more
In the first hour of play, one interesting hand saw Polk raise to $900 from the button. Negreanu called and the flop came Q♥6♣4♣.
Negreanu checked and Polk bet $600 and received a call. On the turn, the 3♣ hit the board and Negreanu checked again. Polk bet $2,000 and Negreanu check-raised to $7,500.
Polk called and the river brought the 2♠. Negreanu bet $13,500, about two-thirds of the pot, and Polk made the call. Showing A♣5♠, Negreanu made a straight.
However, Polk showed J♣2♣ for a flush and raked a $45,000 pot. The Polk train continued to roll when he took down another $45,000 with two pairs shortly afterward.
As part of this big run, Polk also picked off a Negreanu bluff for $36,000. He built about a $60,000 lead at the half-hour mark.
Negreanu battles back
Despite some huge Polk runs, Negreanu would find his share of big pots as well. Just short of an hour in, Polk raised to $910 and Negreanu reraised to $4,100. Polk four-bet to $11,100 and Negreanu called.
The flop brought 4♥8♥Q♣ and Negreanu checked. Polk bet about $4,500 and Negreanu called, building the pot to $31,000.
The turn brought the 4♠ and Negreanu again checked with Polk betting $6,800. That brought an all-in shove from Negreanu for his last $31,000.
Polk called and tabled 10♥10♠ to his opponent’s A♥Q♥. Negreanu added to his hand with a K♥ on the fiver and the nut flush. He took $94,000 on that one.
This win came right after Negreanu took a $63,000 pot with a King-high straight. He’d moved up over $30,000 by about midway through the action.
That lead wouldn’t stand, however, and he was down later as much as $70,000. There were plenty of big pots and by the end, it was Negreanu who rallied and edged out ahead.
Inside the 14th day of action
When it all wrapped up, Negreanu booked another small win of about $13,000 after 788 hands. This came after a win of almost $18,000 on Monday.
These aren’t massive days and Negreanu will need much bigger scores to get back in the series. However, Polk said this week would be crucial for Negreanu and the match overall.
The two are closing in on the 12,000-hand mark where either player can decide to quit. Negreanu has answered the bell so far this week.
But if he remains down more than a half-million bucks, tapping out might be a possibility. Adding a couple six-figure wins in the coming days would certainly help his cause. Accomplishing that is easier said than done.
Not only is Polk a heads-up shark, he’s also running well in big spots. He noted this on Twitter after the match about another huge hand from session 14.
absolutely cannot miss atm
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) December 3, 2020
On the GGPoker stream afterward, Negreanu described Wednesday’s session as emotional with “crazy back and forth.”
Some added streaming coverage coming from Polk
Players checking out Friday’s action will find an added bonus from Polk. He’s decided to stream his play so viewers can see his hands throughout the session.
Ok you guys got close enough. Let's roll. Planning on most likely this Friday session streaming it. https://t.co/islRe5pGtj
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) December 1, 2020
In a matchup that is attracting plenty of interest, this should bring some extra excitement. Less experienced players may be amazed at the hands each play for so much money.
The Polk stream should offer some insight into the thinking of players at this level.
- Hands played: 7,015
- Total: Polk up $565,418
- Next match: Friday, Dec. 4, at 5:30 pm ET
Day 13: Nov. 30 – Negreanu books small win to break Polk streak
After 12 days of play, Polk noted the importance of this week in the High Stakes Feud. He sees it as a big week in the challenge with Negreanu now down more than a half-million dollars.
“A swing towards Dnegs and it will be back in any man’s game territory,” he noted on Twitter. “A swing towards me and it will start to get out of hand. Could be a make or break week for the challenge.”
From Polk’s perspective, Negreanu would need to cut into that lead this week to have a chance to stay close. After four straight days on the losing end, Negreanu was at least able to stop the bleeding on Monday.
Negreanu looks at some of the showdown hands
While the Negreanu-Polk matchup has been making news, viewers haven’t been able to see hole cards. Negreanu offered some insight on Tuesday with a look at some of the bigger hands of the day. All the hands made it to a showdown.
Viewers will get some insight on how Negreanu plays some of his hands. An early hand saw him flop top pair with his 10♦J♥ on a board of 10♥6♠4♣3♦9♦. Negreanu bet the hand through only to see Polk rake a $23,000 pot with 4♠6♣.
A similar hand saw his K♠5♣ hit top pair. However, Polk’s A♠9♣ drew four spades for a flush and a $28,000 pot.
Negreanu would find some of his own pots however. Negreanu raised to $4,100 with A♦K♦ and Polk called. The flop brought A♠3♣Q♠ and Negreanu checked, as did Polk.
The 10♥ came on the river and both players checked again with the 9♣ falling on the river. Negreanu checked again and received no action with Polk checking again. He may have raked a small pot, but was unhappy with his passive play and not betting the hand.
“Bet your own hand you dumb idiot,” he says about his play in that spot.
Adding some nice wins
Later he would bet a big hand, with his pocket 10s taking a $32,000 pot. That win came despite a Jack and Queen hitting the board.
Another big hand saw him dealt A♦K♦ again and three-bet before the flop to $4,100. A flop of Q♥2♦K♥ had him in even better shape and he bet $2,400.
Polk called and the turn produced the 7♦ giving him a nut-flush draw. He bet $9,800 this time and the two players saw the 5♠ on the river. Negreanu moved all in and Polk called with Q♦J♠.
Negreanu raked a pot of just under $100,000. Here’s a look at Negreanu reviewing all the hands.
Inside the 13th day of action
After 476 hands, Negreanu came out on the plus side with a $17,780 win. Some of the draws Negreanu missed in earlier matches seemed to be hitting Monday.
A few straights and flushes produced some nice results. Negreanu felt like he could have possibly won some big hands in other spots as well. However, timely Polk folds kept that from happening.
A win is a win but this freaking guy is WORLD CLASS at folding preflop when I have Aces! I have video evidence we are now at exactly 10 straight times where he has either open folded, folded bb, or folded t a 3 bet.
4 times in today’s session. 😂
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) December 1, 2020
Putting the day in perspective, it was still a tiny win in the big scheme of things. Polk believes he made some errors and that Negreanu keeps improving.
“Poker is so humbling,” he noted on Twitter. “You can play great several sessions in a row then get a couple tough spots and be super inaccurate. Just gotta keep doing your best to improve.”
Polk has also put together his own analysis of some of the bigger hands in the matchup so far. He’ll be looking to make it a tough week for Negreanu and make his prediction a reality.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) November 30, 2020
- Hands played: 6,227
- Total: Polk up $578,418
- Next match: Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 5:30 pm ET
Day 12: Nov. 28 – Polk scores huge post-holiday win
After some Thanksgiving festivities, Polk did a bit more celebrating on Saturday. His sharp play and some nice cards ushered in a fourth-straight win.
After some early Negreanu pots, Polk grabbed a nice one after making a pot-sized $13,500 river bet. With a board of 5♣4♠5♦K♠K♣, Negreanu folded and his opponent raked a nice pot.
More pots would continue to go his way. Later, Negreanu three-bet a small Polk raise to $4,100. Polk called and the flop brought 4♠9♣10♦.
Negreanu bet $3,200, Polk made the call, and the turn brought the A♣. This time, Negreanu checked and his opponent did the same.
The 2♣ fell on the river and Negreanu ripped in almost $11,000. Polk has traditionally played fast throughout the series, but gave it some deep thought here.
Eventually, Polk clicked call and showed 8♣8♠ while Negreanu held 7♣6♦. Polk took down a pot of $36,500 after sniffing out the bluff.
Polk rolls on, bags a six-figure pot
About a half hour into the action, Polk took down another nice one. Negreanu raised to $1,000 on the button and Polk three-bet to $4,100.
Negreanu called and the flop brought 4♠7♥A♣. Polk bet $1,800 and received a call, with the K♥ coming on the turn. This time Polk bet $9,500.
After a bit of thought, Negreanu called and saw the 6♦ on the river. Polk then moved all in for $24,600 and his opponent folded. Polk took about $31,000 on that one.
A short time later, the two saw a board of 7♦8♥A♣J♠6♥ with $19,500 already in the pot. It went check-check on the river and Negreanu grabbed that one with a pair of Jacks.
Close to the hour and a half mark, Polk three-bet to $4,100 followed by a four-bet from Negreanu to $10,400.
Polk called and Negreanu’s pocket Kings would eventually be good for a $30,000 pot. But the Polk pots continued throughout the day.
One massive pot stood out later in the day. After raking a $13,000 pot Polk raised to $928 from the button. Negreanu three-bet to about $4,200 and Polk called.
The flop brought 10♣6♥J♠ and Negreanu checked. Polk bet $2,300 and received a call. The turn was the Q♠ and Negreanu checked again.
Polk bet $12,300 and Negreanu called. With the 7♠ falling on the river, Negreanu checked and Polk moved all in for his last $35,000.
After a snap call, Negreanu showed A♠K♣ for a Broadway straight. However, Polk hit runner-runner flush with his 4♠6♠ and won $108,000 in a huge cooler.
Inside the 12th day of action
After 684 hands, Polk had notched a win of $332,178 – the biggest session score by either player. As the match has gone deeper, Polk seems to have gotten comfortable and been in a groove.
“It’s honestly just too unfair I think, when I’m playing good and getting good spots and then the deck [ hits me],” Polk said on the Upswing Poker stream. “Obviously this was the session that I was hoping for for a while. You don’t want to get too excited because it can easily just flip back the other way.”
Despite a rough day, Negreanu felt good about the day.
“He ran hotter than the sun, and if didn’t admit that he’d be lying,” Negreanu said on the GGPoker stream. “That was absolutely insane.”
The action lasted a bit over three hours and Polk now has a solid lead of about 15 buy-ins. He spoke at length about how certain spots are becoming understandable and recognizable.
However, Polk also realizes things can change quickly in heads-up play.
Also he did make some improvements in the last session. Don't completely write him off cause he went on a big downswing.
Also next time I lose 250k lets not overreact the other way lol.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) November 29, 2020
- Hands played: 5,751
- Total: Polk up $596,198
- Next match: Monday, Nov. 30, at 5:30 pm ET
Day 11: Nov. 25 – Polk chalks up another win
Polk once again took command the day before the Thanksgiving holiday. This win made it three in a row for the heads-up specialist.
One hand on the day stood out and came early in the match. With Negreanu raising to $1,000 on the button, Polk made the call and saw a flop of 8♠7♠3♦.
Polk checked and Negreanu bet $1,500. After another call, the turn brought the J♠. After a Polk check, Negreanu bet $3,750 with another call behind.
The river brought the 3♠ and Negreanu bet $3,200 after another check. Negreanu tabled J♦9♠ for a flush, but Polk showed 10♠7♦ for a bigger flush. That sent almost $19,000 Polk’s way.
The Polk river over-betting continued on Wednesday as well. One big pot near the end of the session saw Polk raise to $928 from the button and Negreanu call.
The flop brought 7♦8♦J♦ and Polk bet $400. After a call, the two players saw the J♥ on the river. Negreanu checked and Polk bet about $1,800 with Negreanu calling.
The river brought the A♣ and Negreanu checked. In a $6,200 pot, Polk then bet $9,300. Negreanu eventually called and Polk flipped 8♥8♣ for a full house and a $25,000 pot.
Inside the 11th day of action
The day was fairly quiet considering some of the recent fireworks. There were no big all-in pots and lots of small and mid-range pots heading to Polk.
The two went for about two hours during this session. When the dust settled, Polk added to his total again – finishing up $120,024 over 416 hands.
Despite that, Negreanu is down only less than seven buy-ins and seems to have felt he could have lost more.
I don’t know how I only lost 3 buy ins in today’s session but I’m thankful for it!
Happy Thanksgiving y’all.
Will be back at it again Saturday at 2:30pm PST.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) November 26, 2020
“Of the entire match … that was easily the worst two hours I’ve run,” Negreanu said in the post-session interview with GGPoker.
Negreanu noted that he could have easily lost 35 buy-ins. Polk has said his opponent has been much tougher than he expected. But he continues to come out on top in the online sessions to build his lead.
Lotta pros in the chat telling @RealKidPoker how he needs to play. Wonder how many of them would be doing better than he has so far.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) November 26, 2020
- Hands played: 5,067
- Total: Polk up $264,020
- Next match: Saturday, Nov. 28, at 5:30 pm ET
Day 10: Nov. 20 – Polk extends lead with another six-figure day
After moving back ahead last week on Day 9, Polk built on his lead Monday with an impressive day. Polk scored a win of $117,624 over 852 hands on a day when there were plenty of big pots shipped back and forth.
“This was our longest session we have played yet I think,” Polk noted on Twitter. “Lots of big pots back and forth. Some coolers, some bluffs, this one had it all.”
It was also the longest day of the series, checking in at over four hours. The action got underway with a decent-sized pot just a few minutes into the day. After Negreanu three-bet to $4,100, the players saw a flop of 8♠2♣9♣.
Kid Poker then fired $6,100 into the pot and Polk called. The turn brought the 2♦ and both players checked. The 6♥ fell on the river and Negreanu checked again. Polk bet almost $14,000 and Negreanu folded, sending his opponent about a $21,000 pot.
At the same time, another big hand developed on the second table. On a board of A♦J♠45♠Q♥ with about $5,000 in the pot, Negreanu bet $3,400.
Polk raised to almost $15,000 and Negreanu went into the tank for quite a while. He eventually called with A♥3♥ for top pair while Polk revealed K♥K♦. Negreanu raked a $34,000 pot.
This was the kind of back and forth action Polk referred to, and it continued throughout the day.
Polk throttles ahead again
About 30 minutes into the match, another interesting hand played out. On the button, Negreanu raised to $1,000 and Polk made the call. The flop brought 9♣9♠9♦ and Polk checked. Negreanu made a min-bet of $400 and Polk raised to almost $2,700.
Negreanu called and the turn brought the 2♣. Polk bet $2,400 and received a call. The 8♦ fell on the river and Polk bet $4,000.
Negreanu called and turned A♠A♥ for a massive full house, while Polk tabled J♠2♠ for a smaller boat. Negreanu raked a bit over $20,000 on that one.
That may have been a rough hand for Polk, but plenty would go his way too. After an early Negreanu lead, Polk began finding his own pots.
At just over the hour mark with a pot of about $21,000 the two players saw a board of K♣4♣9♦10♥4♠. Polk then used a common weapon in his arsenal, the over-bet all-in shove. The move worked with Negreanu folding and Polk snagging the pot.
A hand just a short time later saw Polk raise from the button to $928. Negreanu then reraised to $4,100 and Polk called. The flop brought K♥2♥2♠ and Negreanu bet $2,000.
Polk called and the turn brought the A♣. Negreanu bet $9,300 and Polk called to see the 4♥ on the river. Negreanu bet $35,000 and Polk moved all in for his last $39,000.
Negreanu called and showed J♣4♣ for two pairs, but Polk tabled Q♥6♥ for a flush. Polk raked more than $111,000.
Inside the 10th day of action
The last two sessions may have shown why many picked Polk to win the match. He booked his second straight six-figure win.
Negreanu has been game, however, and has shown he can battle. Polk’s total win still only amounts to a bit over three buy-ins.
Either player has the option to call it quits after 12,500 hands. The action is just a bit more than a third to that point. If he’s deep in the hole at that point, would Negreanu hang it up?
That doesn’t seem likely. Negreanu has noted how he’s pleased to see so many in the poker world watching the action. Bringing the series to an end, especially when he’s played well, doesn’t seem to fit that narrative.
One of the coolest things about this challenge is the buzz it’s creating in the community and seeing so many different commentary teams covering the same event.
Everyone has different taste which makes this a win for poker fans across the globe.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) November 21, 2020
Negreanu is also extremely competitive and having fun. With the Thanksgiving holiday this week, the next sessions are set for Wednesday and Saturday.
- Hands played: 4,651
- Total: Polk up $143,996.16
- Next match: Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 5:30 pm ET
Day 9: Nov. 20 – Polk notches nice win to edge ahead in series
Team Polk should be happy after a big finish to the week. Polk scored a nice win on Friday after three straight losing sessions. The win moves him back into the series lead.
One of the first major hands of the day saw Polk call about a $14,000 river bet on a board of 5♠9♠6♦4♠3♥. He showed A♦9♣ for top pair to Negreanu’s Q♣J♠ to win about $48,000.
Polk doubled up with a $12,000 win on the second table at the same time. The heads-up specialist seemed off and running from the beginning. He led by about $33,000 about 15 minutes into the session.
One interesting Negreanu win came in the first hour. Negreanu raised to $1,000 on the button and Polk three-bet to $4,100. Negreanu called and bet $2,000 after a Polk check on a flop of 5♣7♥9♦.
Polk then raised to about $10,000 and his opponent called. The turn brought the 2♦ and Polk moved all in for $32,000.
Negreanu snap called, showing 7♦7♣ for trips with Polk tabling K♠K♣. The J♠ on the river changed nothing and Negreanu raked a pot of about $53,000.
Polk takes command
Negreanu may have taken that one, but much of the day went Polk’s way. A short time after that cooler, the two locked horns in another big hand.
After Negreanu raised from the small to $1,000, Polk called and the flop came 9♥5♥4♦. Negreanu then called Polk’s bet of about $5,000.
The turn brought the 2♥ and Polk bet $5,800. Negreanu continued with a call and the river brought the 9♣. Polk moved all in for $42,000 and Negreanu called with the last of his $40,000.
Negreanu showed J♥10♥ for a flush, but Polk had a bigger flush with K♥7♥. He raked a pot of almost $111,000. About an hour in, Polk raked $54,000 also after an all-in shove on the turn and a Negreanu fold.
That was a move Polk utilized throughout the day. For example, late in the day Negreanu raised the action to $1,000 with Polk three-betting to about $1,800.
Negreanu called for a 5♦3♦10♠ flop and his opponent fired another $1,800. Negreanu again called and the 2♣ fell on the turn. This time Polk bet almost $14,000 and received another call.
The river brought the 9♥ and Polk moved all in. Negreanu eventually folded and Polk took a $43,000 pot.
A short time later, the two were involved in another three-bet preflop hand. On a board of 5♦7♦2♥10♥2♠, Polk moved all in again. Negreanu folded and Polk added another $43,000.
Inside the ninth day of play
It was a big day for Polk, who dominated much of the action on Friday. He continued to take most of the big pots and his aggressiveness scored plenty of small ones also.
After 377 hands, Polk scored $205,522 in a session that lasted a bit more than two hours. A couple coolers also went his way leading to a nice win.
“It was good that I finally got a win after a little bit,” Polk said on the GGPoker stream. “It’s anyone’s game at the moment.
“Sometimes when you’re on a big upswing, it feels like you can’t lose. And sometimes when you’re getting beat every session, it feels like you forgot even what it’s like to win.”
Going into the series, Polk said he expected Negreanu to be weak and easily run over. He’s been surprised at his aggressiveness and strength. He believes Negreanu isn’t afraid to make tough calls at times, but also still has some leaks in his game.
“A lot of the situations in heads up are really difficult, very complicated and you really have to think about how often you should take some lines,” Polk said.
“I do think there are some errors that he’s making that make me feel good about my side, but he’s not going to get totally run over. I don’t think that’s going to happen in this one.”
For his part, Negreanu felt good about his play and that he took some tough situational beats. He believed he played better on Friday than he did when booking a small win on Wednesday.
“I’m glad this is a close match,” Negreanu said. “I wanted it to be competitive and it is.”
What’s up next?
With the Thanksgiving holiday this week, the upcoming schedule has been adjusted slightly. Look for action on Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday.
- Hands played: 3,799
- Total: Polk up $26,372
- Next match: Monday, 5:30 pm ET
Day 8: Nov. 19 – Negreanu adds another session to the win column
With eight sessions into the High Stakes Feud, Negreanu continues to defy the doubters. There’s still plenty of poker to be played, but he again extended his lead with a small victory on Thursday.
One of the first major pots of the day fell Kid Poker’s way with a fortuitous river card. Polk started the action with a raise to $910 and Negreanu three-bet to $4,100.
Polk made the call and flop brought 4♦2♦Q♠. Negreanu led out with $6,155 and Polk called. The turn brought the 4♠ and Negreanu checked, with his opponent doing the same.
The river card was the 2♠ and Polk bet almost $14,000. Negreanu made the call with J♠9♠ for a flush and Polk turned Q♣10♥ for two pairs. Negreanu raked a $48,000 pot.
Polk grabs his share of pots and then a big cooler
Thursday’s action saw a bit of a see-saw battle with Negreanu able to book a win just over a single buy-in. Polk certainly had his moments as well. Early in the day he raised from the button to $910.
Negreanu called and the flop came 9♦J♣3♦ and Negreani checked. Polk bet a bit over $760 and received a call. The turn was the 4♥ with Negreanu checking again.
Polk bet $5,000 this time, Negreanu called, and the 4♠ fell on the river. After another Negreanu check, Polk went for his signature over-bet on the river – this time for $20,000. Negreanu thought a bit before calling and Polk showed A♥J♠ for two pairs and a $53,500 pot.
At about the 90-minute mark Polk made an all-in river bet of about $53,000 into a $42,000 pot. With the board showing 8♦10♠2♥2♣K♣. Negreanu went into the tank and eventually folded.
The crazy hand of the day came just short of two hours into the match and produced plenty of fireworks. After Polk’s raise to $910, Negreanu three-bet to $4,100.
Polk called and the flop brought 5♦A♦Q♠. Negreanu bet $2,000 and received a call with the turn bringing A♣. This time Negreanu checked and Polk did as well.
The 3♦ fell on the river and Negreanu bet about $9,200. Polk moved all in for his $103,000 stack and his opponent called the last of his almost $32,000 chips instantly.
Polk showed K♦8♦ for the nut straight, but Negreanu tabled A♥A♠ for quads. It was a massive cooler hand for Polk and Negreanu pulled in almost $94,000.
Inside the eighth day of play
The action swung back and forth a bit Thursday. Negreanu finished up ahead again for the session, scoring $24,157 after 457 hands.
The win moves his total number of days won to five, including the live session to start the series. Here’s a review of the sessions won by each player:
- Negreanu – sessions 1, 4, 5, 7, 8
- Polk – sessions 2, 3, 6
Both players took to Twitter afterward to comment on a couple hands and had some back and forth. Polk noted losing with a nice pocket pair.
The least big blinds ive ever lost JJ vs AK when a king hits pic.twitter.com/aUCpj2Sj8p
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) November 19, 2020
Negreanu looked back on his own poor run in one hand with a Polk response.
Tough break. I didn't have any tilting hands that session.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) November 20, 2020
- Hands played: 3,422
- Total: Negreanu up $179,364
- Next match: Friday, Nov. 20, 5:30 pm ET
Day 7: Nov. 18 – Negreanu bags nice day to reclaim lead
The back and forth battle between Negreanu and Polk continued on Wednesday as these two upped their session frequency. After about three meetings a week, that moves to four this week.
Polk jumped out to about a $65,000 lead early after raking a few decent pots. But Negreanu turned the tables at about the five-minute mark. In one big hand, Negreanu raised from the button to $1,000 and Polk three-bet to $4,100.
The flop brought K♥5♣8♦ after a Negreanu call. Polk bet $2,300 and Negreanu called before seeing the Q♥ on the turn. Polk now bet $9,600 and Negreanu called, swelling the pot to just over $32,000.
The river brought the 7♣ and Polk moved all in for $32,000. His opponent thought a bit before making the call with K♦10♠ for a pair of Kings. Polk tabled A♣J♥ for Ace-high and his opponent raked an $80,000 pot.
Shortly afterward, Negreanu raked a nice pot again after calling some hefty bets from his opponent. Negreanu hung in to secure a pot of $122,000 after Polk missed on his flush draw.
Kid Poker continues to build
The pots continued to go Negreanu’s way throughout the afternoon. After about 20 minutes, both players flopped a flush. Negreanu came out on top of that one with a Queen and won $20,000.
Later Negreanu scored a $31,000 pot when his pocket Queens hit trips on the flop. He was able to bet the hand all the way through the river.
By the hour mark, Negreanu had moved up to more than $160,000 for the session. Polk did find his share of pots, such as a three-bet forcing a Negreanu fold after an hour of action.
On a flop of K♦2♥6♦, Polk bet $2,300 followed by a Negreani raise to $7,000. Polk then escalated the action to more than $14,300. Negreanu got out of the way and Polk took down about $30,000.
However, most of the really big pos went Negreanu’s way. One more example came late in the match with about $7,200 in the pot and a board of 4♦2♣Q♣Q♦3♠.
After a Nreganu check on the river, Polk made a signature over-bet of almost $11,000. Negreanu made the call with Q♠10♣ for trip Queens and a $29,000 pot while Polk showed J♠9♦.
Inside the seventh day of play
It was that kind of day for Polk. Negreanu just seemed to have the nuts in big spots and picked off his opponent at key times. He finished $222,833 to the good after 591 hands.
The Poker Hall of Famer is pleased with his play so far and feels his preparation has paid dividends.
“I’m looking at my balance now and it’s definitely bigger than when I deposited online, so I’m happy about it,” he said afterward on the GGPoker stream. “I think my play’s improving with each session and one think I’ve always prided myself in is that I work hard and learn fast.
“This isn’t my first time playing poker. I did have to re-learn a lot about how the game is structured and the best way to play it, but I’m willing to do that. It requires a good amount of humility to ask other people for help.”
It was certainly a nice day for Negreanu, but still only a small win in comparison to the buy-in. Polk remains a favorite, but so far Negreanu has shown he can play in this arena.
“Lowest point in the challenge yet,” Polk noted on Twitter. “Luckily only about four buy-ins or so. Looking forward to getting in a lot of volume tomorrow and Friday.”
The heads-up specialist Polk remains confident in his play and his chances.
Dont get it twisted, I'm gonna win the challenge.
Remember this tweet.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) November 19, 2020
- Hands: played: 2,965
- Total: Negreanu up $155,206.89
- Next match: Thursday, Nov. 19, 5:30 pm ET
Day 6: Nov. 16 – Controversy over hand histories, Polk slides back ahead
After plenty of fireworks in Day 5, there may have been more interest in a post-session controversy after Monday. Businessman and poker player Bill Perkins charged Polk with using study methods outside the rules.
Match delayed due to disagreement over rules. One party(@DougPolkVids )thinks its ok to manually enter in hand history to software and have frequency analysis done and the other does not (@RealKidPoker) Big disadvantage that Dnegs has not been doing this. @PhilGalfond time #Poker
— Bill Perkins (Guy) (@bp22) November 17, 2020
That drew some quick responses from Polk, who said the charge was completely baseless. He noted on Twitter that both players can open the WSOP.com client and review hand histories. The “cheating on his homework” charge was out of line, he noted.
“The rules were, no hand histories and no HUDs [head-up display, an app that collects and displays statistics about opponents],” Polk said. “We both agreed and were clear on that. Neither was used.”
After a brief discussion on data mining, Negreanu agreed with Polk. The matter now seems to be in the past and players can again focus on the match.
People overreacting here.
We just want to make sure everyone is on same page in regards to what is allowed in regards to NV regulatory rules.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) November 18, 2020
Quads early for Negreanu to take the lead
At the tables, Negreanu found the first big pot on Monday. Early action saw him score $34,000 when his Q♦5♦ made two pairs on the flop.
After about 10 minutes, Negreanu seized a lead of about $22,000 and then snatched two more nice pots. At about the 20-minute mark, Polk scooped a small one but there were big developments on the second table.
After a pre-flop four-bet from Polk, the players saw a board of 10♠10♥2♣. Negreanu checked and Polk bet a bit over $4,100.
Negreanu called and the 9♠ landed on the river. After another check, Polk checked as well and the river brought the 7♠.
After another check, Polk thought a bit and checked again – sniffing out a trap as Negreanu tabled 10♦10♣. Kid Poker scooped a $28,000 pot with his quad 10s but missed out on more.
Action shifts Polk’s way
After two straight losing days, Polk would find some nice pots of his own – and one would come quickly. Just a couple hands later on the same table, Polk picked up pocket Aces and three-bet.
The flop brought 5♠K♠Q♦ and he led out with a $6,700 bet. His opponent moved all in and Polk snap-called. Negreanu turned over Q♥5♥ for two pairs and looked to be in good shape to crack his foe’s Aces.
A 4♣ on the turn was no help for Polk, but a second King on the river gave him a bigger two pairs. That gave him the $81,000 pot.
Polk grabbed another big pot a short time later, taking $37,000 with a full house. That win moved him ahead in the session and he continued battling.
Inside the sixth day of play
For much of the day, Polk’s aggression paid some big dividends including a five-bet pre-flop shove at one point. His typical river over-bet shoves also scored some nice pots.
The chips just kept going his way much of the day. That was enough to book a win of almost $93,542 on the day, moving Polk back up for the series. However, that’s not a huge lead – just a bit more than two buy-ins for this High Stakes Feud.
The capper for Tuesday’s controversy may have been a video released by poker pro Will Jaffe calling Perkins out. He advised that this was “the ultimate stay in your lane moment.”
— WIll jaffe (@dankness3) November 18, 2020
After Monday’s session, the heads-up challenge is now about 10% complete. The play went more than three hours and both players have promised moving past the early two-hour sessions.
There are also plans for more frequent matches, with more play set for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week. USPoker will update all the action as it plays out.
- Hands played: 2,374
- Total: Polk up $67,625.81
- Next match: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 5:30 pm ET
Day 5: Nov. 13 – Negreanu makes it two in a row, climbs ahead in series
After rallying late in Wednesday’s session, Negreanu built on that momentum Friday. He notched his second straight online win, this time much bigger than his previous score and putting him ahead in the match.
There was plenty of action in session four with plenty of three- and four-bets with big pots. The three-bets came early in the fifth session and Negreanu took the first $20,000-plus pot.
A few more pots went Negreanu’s way early before Polk scored a $7,000 pot with a full house. He followed that up with a few more nice ones.
Just after raking an $11,000 pot, Negreanu raised to $1,000 from the button. Polk three-bet to $4,110 and his opponent made the call.
The flop brought Q♠9♥A♥ and both players checked with 8♥ coming on the turn. Polk checked and Negreanu bet $6,165.
Polk called and the flop brought the 6♠. After a check from his opponent, Negreanu fired $15,413 and Polk made the call. Negreanu tables 8♠9♦ for two pairs and took down a $51,373 pot.
Kid Poker finds some big pots
Things seemed to be going Negreanu’s way and he’d seized a small lead by the first half hour. A massive hand then developed after Negreanu five-bet shoved all in with A♥K♥.
Polk quickly called with 10♣10♥ for an $83,000 pot. The flop brought Polk a set with 2♠4♠10♠ followed by a J♣ on the turn. The 7♥ on the river meant a huge win for Polk.
A few hands later, Negreanu added an $11,000 pot and then found another for $20,000. A $25,000 pot then immediately went Negreanu’s way as another big hand also developed on the second table.
In that one, Polk raised to $910 from the button and was three-bet to $4,241. Polk called and the flop brought 7♣2♣3♣. Negreanu bet $1,600 and received a call.
The turn brought the 5♥ and Negreanu bet a hefty $8,762 before receiving another call. On the river 6♠, Negreanu moved all in and Polk snap-called.
Polk showed 6♥4♥ for a straight while Negreanu tabled 8♠9♠ for a bigger straight. Kid Poker collected a nice $80,000 score.
Truck driver rolls, Negreanu fights back
After a break in the action, the truck driver rallied back with a few nice pots at just over an hour into the session. However, Negreanu seemed more aggressive throughout the day. A big hand developed at about the 90-minute mark.
After Polk raised to $910 on the button, Negreanu three-bet to $4,241. Polk called and the two players saw a flop of 8♠J♣10♠. After Negreanu checked, Polk bet $2,798 and was called.
The 6♥ fell on the turn and Negreanu checked. With the pot at about $14,000, Polk bet $11,542. After Negreanu’s call, the K♥ fell on the river and he checked again. Polk then jammed all in with Negreanu snap calling.
Polk held Q♥9♥ for a King-high straight, but Negreanu showed A♣Q♣ for a Broadway straight. The hand shipped him more than $93,000.
Inside the fifth day of play
It was that kind of day for Negreanu and he seemed to collect plenty of nice pots with big hands. Just a short time after the big Ace-high straight, another pot fell his way.
With 4♣5♦, Negreanu flopped a straight and snagged another $24,000. By the end of the two-hour session, Negreanu had erased his deficit and climbed ahead. He’s now winning almost $26,000 for the series.
That represents less than one buy-in, but so far Negreanu has been competitive in an event many felt Polk would dominate.
“A long way to go to the finish line, but very happy to be ahead obviously,” Negreanu noted on Twitter, and broke out a Rocky shirt to commemorate his success so far.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) November 14, 2020
Beyond hitting big hands, many feel Negreanu heads-up skills have sharpened since earlier online sessions. Even Polk echoed those thoughts.
“The worst part of today’s session wasn’t getting stacked repeatedly for $200,000, it was also seeing Dnegs making less and less errors in other pots,” Polk noted on Twitter. “If the challenge keeps going this direction, may need to trade in the truck for a used Honda Civic.”
Polk probably won’t be heading to the Honda dealership any time soon. He remains confident and is looking forward to next week’s action.
- Hands played: 1,737
- Total: Negreanu up $25,916.87
- Next match: Monday, Nov. 16, 5:30 pm ET
Day 4: Nov. 11 – Daniel Negreanu rallies for first online win
Score one for Kid Poker. After two straight losing sessions, Daniel Negreanu notched a winning session online Wednesday against Doug Polk. It was a nice result for Negreanu, who is considered the online underdog.
Polk made a small aesthetic change on Wednesday, switching his avatar to the American flag. It may have been a Veterans Day gesture with or a slight needle to his foe’s Canadian flag.
The two traded pots early, moving just above and below each player’s $40,000 starting stack. At about the five-minute mark, Polk made the day’s first four-bet for more than $10,000.
Negreanu made the call and the two saw a Q♠7♥Q♦ flop with almost $22,000 in the pot. After a check, Polk bet $4,318 and his opponent called. The J♥ came on the turn and Polk bet $6,650 after a Negreanu check.
Again Negreanu called and the 10♥ came on the river. Polk shoved all in for $25,000 and Negreanu went in the tank. He eventually folded and Polk dragged a $43,528 pot. More fireworks would follow.
Polk dominates early play
A few hands later, another big pot developed with $34,000 in the pot on a board of 5♣2♦9♦K♦7♣. Both players checked the river and Negreanu took it down with K♥Q♦.
Despite that, Polk was up about $45,000 the first 20 minutes. A $42,000 pot after a half-hour moved that up to $65,000 and later more than $90,000.
Just short of an hour into the match, a couple interesting hands developed. Polk shoved all in on both tables, one on the turn and one on the river.
I think the average player really underestimates the amount of time and work it takes to become even somewhat decent at HUNL. With the info out there now the bar is just absurdly high and you will constantly be making mistakes.
Just have to keep striving to get better.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) November 11, 2020
Negreanu folded on both, and Polk took almost $14,000 on one and $29,000 on the other. A few hands later Negreanu raked a $17,000 pot, but Polk soon gobbled up one for $32,000. For the first hour, Polk seemed to take pot after pot with aggressive bets on the turn and river.
Kid Poker surges late in the session
Despite Polk’s early domination, Negreanu got back into it. A few hands later, a check-raise on the river worked out well when he caught a straight. Polk called and Negreanu won $24,000.
With about 30 minutes left, another huge hand developed. Negreanu raised to $1,000 from the button and Polk three-bet to $4,110. Negreanu then four-bet to $10,220.
Polk moved all in for another $47,495 with Negreanu making an insta-call. Polk tabled J♣J♦ to Negreanu’s K♠K♣. The flop didn’t change things and Negreanu took a $95,000 pot.
That became the largest pot so far for Negreanu during online play and cut his session deficit to about $30,000. Another $41,000 pot would ship his way a short time later.
In the last 15 minutes, Polk four-bet a pot to $12,876 and Negreanu called. The flop came A♠8♠4♣. Negreanu checked and Polk bet $5,150 and Negreanu called before the turn brought the A♥.
Again Negreanu checked and Polk bet $11,896. His opponent called once again and the river produced a 4♠. Negreanu checked again and Polk moved all in with $126,351.
With only $34,633 in front of him, Negreanu made a snap call and revealed A♦Q♦ for a full house. Polk showed J♠Q♥, handing Negreanu a pot of $129,109 after picking off his bluff.
Inside the fourth day of play
The late comeback brought Negreanu his first winning online session in the series. He finished the day winning $87,167 and the late wins helped overcome some early struggles and frustrations.
“It didn’t feel like a win did it?” he said on the GGPoker stream. “The first hour I just kept missing all these hands. I was getting annoyed.”
Nice to book a win today of about 2 buyins. Lost that pesky JJ vs TT hand on the river or it would have been 4 buy ins, but a win is a win.
1372 hands played of 25,000 and currently down about 4.5 buy ins.
Back at it Friday 2:30pm PST.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) November 12, 2020
While Polk was dominant for much of the day, Negreanu’s late push seemed not to bring any real concerns. Polk knows it’s a long haul.
“Obviously it was not the best of runs there at the end,” he said after the match on the Upswing Poker stream.
Polk said when Negreanu seemed to bet aggressively, he always seemed to have a strong hand. He also feels his opponent has ramped his game up a bit.
“I think he’s playing a little more aggressive online overall than when we played live,” Polk said. “It’s been interesting. It was an interesting swing today.”
Despite the big numbers, Polk notes that he’s up only two and half buy-ins. There haven’t been any massive swings so far and Negreanu also made note of that as well.
- Hands played: 1,372
- Total: Doug Polk up $180,865.22
- Next match: Friday, Nov. 12, 5:30 pm ET
Day 3: Nov. 9 – Doug Polk extends his lead
The High Stakes Feud action resumed on Monday between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk. After one live session won by Negreanu, Polk again won in the second online session at WSOP.com.
The pair got in another 382 hands and Polk came out on top for an additional $166,239. This moves his total up to a positive $268,032.
Monday’s action began well for Polk after his 2♦5♦ hit two more fives on the flop early in the match. He got paid off on the river for almost a $27,000 pot.
However just after that, Negreanu raked his own $29,000 pot on the second table. He added another $10,000 pot a few minutes later with a flush.
There was plenty of three-bet action early. About 15 minutes into the match, Negreanu also picked up a $93,000 pot after picking off a Polk bluff. He seemed to be rolling through the second online session.
Polk turns it around and turns it on
That momentum would change however. About a half-hour in, Polk moved all in for $42,000 on a board of J♣7♥3♦4♣. This came after Negreanu three-bet pre-flop and then bet the flop and the turn. Polk took the $34,000 pot instead.
Several five-figure pots continued to go his way. Polk picked up a $16,000 pot when his K-J hit a King on the river. Polk’s stacks on both tables continued to grow.
He raked a $25,000 pot at about the one hour, 15-minute mark. After three-betting pre-flop, he check-raised the flop and bet big on the turn to draw a fold.
A few hands later, Polk raked a $12,000 pot after betting $17,000 on the river. More pots would go Polk’s way including two simultaneous pots for about $30,000, both of which Negreanu had three-bet.
Polk methodically took control and continued to over-bet often on river cards. Negreanu was put in numerous tough spots and a critical hand came late in the match.
With $13,000 in the pot and a board of K♠7♣3♦8♥5♣, Polk moved all in for $81,000. Negreanu tanked before eventually making the call.
Polk tabled K♦7♥ for two pairs with his opponent showing K♣5♦ for a smaller two pairs. The $96,000 pot was sent to Polk after a tough cooler for his opponent.
Inside the third day of play
After 1,006 hands played so far, Polk looks to be in control. However, there is plenty of poker left to be played. Polk’s lead looks hefty at more than a quarter of a million dollars. However, players start each session with $40,000 and Polk noted his lead isn’t large in this kind of challenge.
“I will say this though, just cause the number is big doesn’t mean Dnegs is down that much,” he noted on Twitter. “He is down a little under seven buy-ins. That is a completely normal result over 1,000 hands of heads-up no limit.”
The two foes are about 4% through the challenge and Polk looks to be in command online so far. His river aggression on Monday seemed constant and gave Negreanu some trouble. Polk did note that Negreanu faced some tough hands.
At the end of the challenge ill give my thoughts on Negreanu's play, but until then not going to say much.
I will say he is obviously running bad in a bunch of standard cooler spots. His game does have some issues though.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) November 10, 2020
Negreanu said the big two pairs versus two pairs hand was indicative of how things went. He still seems pleased with how he’s played and believes he’s on the right path overall.
“I was very happy,” Negreanu said on the GGPoker stream after the day’s action wrapped up (see complete stream replay above). “I felt like I ran kind of bad in the last session … but in this one I was quite certain I ran worse. I generally felt pretty comfortable, pretty good.”
Can Kid Poker turn it around? There are plenty more online sessions and USPoker will be tracking all the action.
- Hands played: 1,006
- Total: Doug Polk up $268,032
- Next match: Wednesday, Nov. 11, 5:30 pm ET
Day 2: Nov. 6 – online action begins, Polk storms ahead
After battling on PokerGO live, the action shifted to WSOP.com on Friday. The heads-up game is Polk’s forté and that came through in the first session online.
When it comes to usernames, Polk brings some humor – going with “MicroStakes” as his moniker. Negreanu goes with “DNegs” at these virtual tables. Here is all the action below via the GGPoker stream.
There was plenty of action right from the beginning with Negreanu scooping a few pots early . Then almost simultaneous $20,000-plus pots developed on both tables within the first 10 minutes.
Negreanu won the first for $120,698, then action shifted to the second table. That hand produced some fireworks.
With Polk on the $200 small blind, Polk raised to $918 and his opponent three-bet to $4,140. Polk made the call and the flop brought 6♥2♣4♥. Negreanu then bet $6,210 and Polk called with the 10♦ landing on the turn.
Kid Poker checked and Polk bet $6,830. Negreanu, on a stack of just over $56,000, then moved all in. Polk snap-called with almost $29,000 left in front of him – producing a $92,205 pot.
With the call, Negreanu held J♥9♥ for a flush draw. Polk flashed 4♦6♦ for two pairs. The river brought the A♠ and Polk raked the massive pot.
Inside the second day of play
That’s the kind of day it would be for Polk on Day 2 online. He completely flipped the table from the first session – winning $218,292.78 after 424 hands.
I won 200k but I still feel bad because I made more misclicks in my session than a man 2 tabling in a recliner
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) November 7, 2020
“Felt good today,” Polk added on Twitter. “Obviously ran hot in some important spots. Much happier to be back on the online felt.”
A few coolers ran Negreanu’s way and he wasn’t disappointed with his play.
“I’m playing against a really great player,” Negreanu said after the match on the GGPoker stream. “It’s going to be tough and put you in really tough spots. Overall I think I played pretty well.”
- Hands played: 624
- Total: Doug Polk up $101,792.78
- Next match: Monday, Nov. 9, at 5:30 ET
Day 1: Nov. 4 – kicking things off on PokerGO
The two combatants got things started at the PokerGO Studio at Aria casino in Las Vegas. The live component was a late addition but added extra excitement to the series to get fans even more interested.
Ali Nejad and Kane Kalas called the action as the series, known as High Stakes Feud, got underway. Those looking for some contentious banter wouldn’t find it on PokerGO.
While they may trade barbs on social media, Polk and Negreanu were friendly and even wished each other good luck.
I was happy that despite our history, and with all the divisiveness in the country right now, that @DougPolkVids and I could be civil and put on a show that the poker community could both be proud of and enjoy the fireworks.
Online Friday 2:30pm PST
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) November 5, 2020
The action began with Negreanu raising to $1,000 with K♠4♥ and Polk called with A♥4♣. Both players continued checking on the flop of K♦2♠9♥ and turn of 6♣.
Negreanu then fired a $1,500 bet on the river with Polk raising to $8,500. After some thought, Negreanu made the call and jumped out to a lead of $9,500.
“How many hands left?” he said as he got up from his seat. The joke drew a laugh from his opponent.
That run would continue and the two continued talking poker and other topics throughout. Both players even needled Phil Hellmuth a bit.
Negreanu finds some big hands to take lead
Some poker fans may have preferred more combative conversation. However, even the friendly chit chat made for better viewing. High stakes players simply staring at cards hasn’t made for great viewing.
Negreanu even mentioned his new chair for the online portion of the match – complete with built-in massager.
By Thursday morning, High Stakes Feud had been viewed more than 260,000 times on YouTube. At the table, Negreanu seemed in control in the first match.
An early win with a flush saw Polk dip below half his starting stack and add $30,000. Negreanu kept a small advantage of $10,000 to $15,000 for much of the early play.
Polk reversed Negreanu’s lead after a break in the action. He flopped a flush while Negreanu hit the nut-flush draw. Polk ultimately raked a pot of $11,600 for his first lead in the match.
That lead disappeared soon as Negreanu took a few big pots and found a lead of about $50,000. One of the biggest hands then came right before the end of the night.
Polk raised the action to $900 with Q♦J♦ and Negreanu three-bet to $4,000 with 10♣6♣. Polk made the call and the flop brought 6♠K♣6♥.
Negreanu then bet $1,600 and Polk called. The river brought the 8♦ and he then checked. Polk fired $7,600 and Negreanu called.
The 2♥ fell on the river and Negreanu checked again. Polk continued the bluff moving all in, swelling the pot to more than $70,000.
Negreanu called and raked a massive pot with Polk adding another $50,000. The match would come to a close a few hands later with Negreanu finishing up $116,500 for the first session.
Reflecting on the first day of action
In his post-match interview, Negreanu spoke about how the live game was to his advantage.
“I’ve got 20 years of playing under the lights in this scenario, but unfortunately for me that’s just a very small portion of the match,” he said. “I know that we’ve got a long road ahead and we’re going to be walking into his arena, which is online.
“I felt like I played well and executed my strategy. It was really important to me to get off to a good start and I want to make this match competitive.”
Negreanu did just that. With action shifting online, Polk is in his element and it will be interesting to see how things play out.
“I had some spots that I thought were good to bluff – they weren’t,” Polk said about the live play element. “Just really didn’t get things going my way.”
Online poker included in Negreanu-Polk chit chat
“I always feel bad [for the sites] because it’s not their fault,” Negreanu noted about regulations legal operators faced. “It’s all politicians just doing their best.”
The site, however, apparently made some moves to facilitate the large deposits. WSOP.com has also designated two cash game tables for the match.
“It was pretty cool they made it work for us,” Negreanu noted.
Kid Poker went on to detail some of the frustrations the industry initially faced in Nevada. The two continued discussing the state of online poker and now take the game to the virtual tables.
After the loss, Polk to Twitter to offer an interesting post-match note as the action heads online.
Getting ready for bed and I get a text from my dad "Doug had a rough night, lost 100k". Then texted back, oh wrong person.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) November 5, 2020
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Photos courtesy of PokerGO