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Monster Saturday Session Gives Poker Pro Doug Polk A Nearly $600K Lead Over Daniel Negreanu

Polk Won More Than $332,000 In Their Last Session With The Match More Than 20% Completed


Doug Polk opened up a massive lead in his heads-up grudge match against Daniel Negreanu after a Saturday session that saw Polk net more than $332,000 over 684 hands. The heater puts him up a total of $596,197 through 5,751 of the 25,000-hand match, which represents nearly 15 buy-ins at $200-$400 no-limit hold’em.

“Monster session today,” tweeted Polk after the pair had wrapped for the day. “Hit everything. Every hero call went right. Every big bluff got through. Every runout gave me the nuts. Every all in went my way. This was the kind of session you dream about.”

In a post-match interview with poker pros Nick Schulman and Jamie Kerstetter, Polk said that he felt like he was locked in and playing well. After reviewing hands the day after, his analysis confirmed his suspicions that he was playing above the rim.

An ace-high call against a river shove in a four-bet pot was the epitome of how locked in the three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner was on Saturday.

Polk raised to $910 on the button and Negreanu three-bet to $4,103.60 out of the big blind. Polk four-bet to $10,702.19 and Negreanu called.

Negreanu checked a flop of 6Diamond Suit5Spade Suit5Club Suit and Polk bet $4,280 and Negreanu called. Both players checked the 7Spade Suit turn and the 2Heart Suit came on the river. Negreanu moved all in for $25,617.43 and Polk tanked for a little bit before calling.

Negreanu showed KClub SuitQClub Suit and Polk scooped the 200-big blind pot with AHeart SuitJHeart Suit. Polk was up $170,000 after the key pot and things only went up from there.

Just a few minutes later, Polk took another $40,000 from Negreanu in what was likely the second-most talked about hand from the session.

Negreanu raised to $1,000 on the button and Polk three-bet to $4,110. Negreanu four-bet to $10,420 and Polk called.

The flop was QClub Suit6Heart Suit5Diamond Suit and Polk led for $6,251.25. Negreanu called and there was $33,340 in the middle heading to the JDiamond Suit turn card. Polk moved all in for effectively Negreanu’s remaining $24,636 and Negreanu called.

Polk showed QSpade Suit10Spade Suit and was in the lead against Negreanu’s AHeart SuitJClub Suit. The river was the 8Spade Suit and Polk opened up a five buy-in lead on the session. His postflop leads sparked discussion on social media and Polk addressed his thought process to Nick Schulman regarding the hand after they wrapped up.

“It’s not a forgone conclusion that you are going to check everything,” said Polk about four-bet pots. “It’s not like a single-raised pot where some fancy players will lead, but they are just being fancy. Four-bet pots have some value with leads. I worked on that spot, exactly, a bunch.”

Negreanu lost a huge sum of money but felt good about his play. He said as much in a post-match tweet and planned to unwind with an expensive bottle of wine.

In a series of tweets from Sunday, Polk acknowledged that he was running above expectation and that Negreanu was only getting better as the match goes on. Polk said he was winning at a clip of 31 big blinds per 100 hands, which isn’t sustainable over a large sample size.

“Should I be winning? Yeah I think so,” tweeted Polk Sunday. “Probably like 5-10 buy-ins. But I’m up 18 buyins since we moved to online. I’m obviously in God mode at the moment and that isn’t going to last forever. Also, he did make some improvements in the last session. Don’t completely write him off cause he went on a big downswing.”

There is a ton of side action on the match, with of most of the bets booked with Polk as a 4-to-1 or 5-to-1 favorite. Poker enthusiast and successful businessman Bill Perkins placed one of the largest bets on Negreanu and booked it with Polk. The larger the lead Polk can obtain, the less he will have to sweat random variance down the stretch and worry about the bet he booked with Perkins.

“We aren’t even halfway yet, so it’s not that big of a deal, but the disaster nightmare scenario is there are a few ‘K’ hands left and we are dead even,” said Polk. “Now, not only do you have to worry about winning, but you have to worry about side bets and not f***ing that up and how does that change decisions?”

Before Saturday, the match had been fairly even with both players trading smaller blows.

Negreanu won $117,000 over the first 200 hands, which was played live at the Aria before Polk went on a run to win that money back and add another $268,000 to his bankroll. Negreanu basically evened out the match before last week, which saw Polk go on a run, culminating in Saturday’s victory.