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Poker Pros Doug Polk And Daniel Negreanu Trade Blows As Grudge Match Evens

Polk Is Up $26,371 Amid Social Media Drama And Multiple Swings Of More Than $200,000


After some wild swings in both directions, the Doug Polk-Daniel Negreanu high-stakes heads-up grudge match is basically even.

Through 3,799 hands, Polk leads by $26,371, which is slightly more than half of a buy-in at the $200-$400 stakes the duo agreed to play. But over the last two weeks, there have been multiple swings of more than $200,000 to get to the current score.

Following Negreanu’s $117,000 win during the first 200 hands of the match, which was played live at the Aria, Polk dominated the first few sessions of the online portion of the battle, winning back the $117,000 and another $268,000 on top of that.

Over the next few sessions, variance swung in Negreanu’s favor. He won four of the next five, including sessions on Friday, Nov. 13 and on Wednesday, Nov. 18, where he won $206,000 and $222,000, respectively. A victory worth $23,000 on Thursday gave Negreanu a $179,000 lead.

In between sessions on Monday, Nov. 16 and Wednesday, Nov. 18, millionaire poker enthusiast Bill Perkins tweeted that the match was going to be delayed, citing disagreements over the rules surrounding the match and what they were allowed to do with hand histories. He called for high-stakes poker pro and online poker site owner Phil Galfond to mediate the argument.

Perkins has one of the largest bets on Negeranu and booked the action with Polk. After Perkins aired out the disagreement, Negreanu released a seven-tweet thread explaining the situiaton.

According to’s terms of service, software that collects hand histories and aggregates data is strictly forbidden. Polk was manually tracking certain tendencies such as the percentage of the time that Negreanu folds his button.

While the Canadian pro admitted that he records his sessions and goes over them afterwards with his team, they were not keeping track of specific tendencies because they assumed it was against the rules.

“We have been incredibly careful not to break the TOS and I just wanted to be clear that I can also do that,” tweeted Negreanu. “We have agreed that both parties can compile data but cannot transcribe HH into a database. The use of an abacus or fingers for counting is permissible.”

But the social media drama didn’t end there.

After Negreanu’s second win of more than $200,000 on Nov. 18, high-stakes poker player and social media celebrity Dan Bilzerian went on Twitter and needled Polk about the results.

During Negreanu’s upswing, Polk did some needling of his own, criticizing the six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner’s preflop decision making.

“Lose $220K in a session to a man flatting QQ vs. an open, and then go on Twitter and have Bilzerian talking shit,” tweeted Polk. “This is my life now.”

In the aftermath, Polk has begun making challenges to others in the poker world. He offered a similar match to Perkins and even challenged poker legend Doyle Brunson to a live match after the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner said that he felt live poker was still the purest form.

No other matches have been confirmed yet. Negreanu and Polk will continue their current match this week on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.