Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy

Poker Pro Daniel Negreanu Facing $1 Million Deficit In High-Stakes Grudge Match Vs. Doug Polk

After Losing Nearly $300,000 On Wednesday, Negreanu Is In A Seven-Figure Hole With 7,122 Hands Left In The Challenge


Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu is looking up at a seven-figure deficit after the latest session of his high-stakes grudge match against high-stakes poker pro Doug Polk.

Polk bludgeoned Negreanu for $298,984 over 770 hands in their 30th session of the match. Through 17,878 hands of $200-$400 heads-up no-limit hold’em, Polk has opened up a $1,002,595 lead with 7,122 hands remaining in their 25,000-hand battle.

It’s the first time that the Southern California native has officially crossed the $1 million mark. He came close in early December with a lead just shy of seven figures, but ultimately Negreanu clawed back and went on a five-session winning streak. That streak was ultimately snapped by Polk last week, which sparked a streak of his own.

Polk won $26,198 over 650 hands last Friday and $73,728 in 608 hands last Monday before Wednesday’s massive score. The three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner has won the last four sessions heading into their next battle Friday afternoon.

Polk’s victory on Monday afternoon was a see-saw battle that saw Negreanu leading by six figures before Polk stormed back for a nearly two buy-in upswing. In the post-game interview on the GGPoker YouTube channel, Negreanu seemed slightly tilted and bemoaned his bad luck, claiming that Polk was running well above average.

“I can’t tell you how many draws I’ve missed. This is insane,” said the six-time WSOP bracelet winner. “I don’t even f***ing believe what I’m seeing. I really do not believe what I’m seeing. I can’t believe it. I really can’t believe it.”

He went on to talk about how many flush draws he flopped and how many times Polk’s medicore holdings would fade them and win at showdown.

“Like, how many spots where I have a flush draw with all this extra shit or whatever and I end up literally with f***ing sausage in my hand. My beefy sausage just sitting in my hand. And that’s all I got is just my d**k in my hands by the river. And f***er just has something like Q-9 off like it’s f***ing… He’s run so f***ing good in this match. He’s got no clue. No f***ing clue.”

Polk made similar comments in a post-game interview of his own on the Upswing Poker YouTube channel, claiming that Negreanu was the one who had been running hotter than the sun. In a presumed attempt at trolling, Polk change his name on Twitter to “Doug ‘Very Lucky’ Polk.”

Unibet Poker Ambassador David Lappin took the opportunity to mash up both interviews side-by-side and provide some comedic relief for those on social media following the challenge.

During Wednesday’s session, whoever was running Polk’s Twitter account was tweeting screenshots of hands to make light of the situation and show how “lucky” Polk was getting.

Of course, when you win more than seven buy-ins in a single session, there will be some coolers that went your way and Polk’s account shared those as well. In a single-raised pot, Polk turned the nut flush against Negreanu’s second nut flush.

Negreanu defended his big blind, check-raised the flop, bet and called a raise from Polk on the turn and check-called off the rest of his stack on the river.

In Wednesday’s post-match interview, Negreanu was much less animated and had a more somber tone, admitting that winning the challenge is a huge longshot at this point.

“Obviously, this is disheartening,” said Negreanu. “We really needed a win today to sort of make a match of it.”

He cited Polk’s hyper aggressive style as a huge hurdle in his way.

“He was putting me in some really tough spots,” said Negreanu. “And what’s really difficult is when someone is putting you in some really tough spots and you don’t really have anything. You sort of have something. Like ace-high or third pair. There were definitely some spots where he probably got away with a few.”

With the remaining hands starting to dwindle rapidly, Negreanu also mentioned that he was going to have to try and make something happen. He said that in one particular spot, where he defended his big blind and went check-call, check-raise, shove with 7Spade Suit5Spade Suit on a ASpade Suit5Club Suit4Diamond SuitQSpade SuitAClub Suit runout, that he wouldn’t normally take that line with that hand. He ran into Polk’s full house.

“A couple hands I played a little goofy,” said Negreanu. “I’m getting to the point in the challenge where I’m going to need to hit some hands to win this thing.”

The one positive takeaway for Negreanu is that the duo have been trending towards playing longer sessions lately. The longer the two play for, the deeper the stacks get, giving Negreanu a chance to up the variance and win much larger pots than normal.

Just before the end of Wednesday’s match, there was about $600,000 spread out between the two tables.