Nearing its halfway mark, the grudge match between the industry’s two most popular icons Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk has the whole poker community buzzing with excitement and support for their favored player. While the challenge started with the lead jumping back and forth between the two, recent events have heavily tilted towards Polk’s direction.
After 19 sessions over 10,784 hands completed, Polk currently holds a lead of $814,290.20. At the rate he is going, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the heads up pro hit the $1 million record winnings by 12,500 hands. Below is a short recap of sessions 14-19 where huge pots and massive coolers have everybody tuning in to the roller-coaster of a grudge match.
Session 14: 788 hands online on WSOP.com
Putting in a four-hour session, the two played out a total of 788 hands only for Negreanu to end the day with a minor profit of $13,015.31. While Negreanu was off to a bad start with a number of coolers – trips vs. rivered full house, top pair vs. turned trips, King-high flush vs. Ace-high flush and so on, the Poker Hall of Famer managed to turn things around by picking up small pots and chunky bluffs here and there.
The biggest hand of the session came up in favor of Negreanu who held 7c-5c for a backdoored flush against Polk’s 6c-3c for a lower flush. Negreanu led out a 75% pot bet on the river which met an all-in from Polk who had him covered. A call for the rest of his chips, Negreanu took down the $164,959 pot which was a big help for him in recovering the initial six-figure loss.
Live streamed himself on his Youtube channel, Polk took to Twitter to share his good run of cards saying, “absolutely cannot miss atm”.
At this point its just getting comical pic.twitter.com/Zf3BvbSQqP
— Doug “Truck Driver” Polk (@DougPolkVids) December 3, 2020
On the other hand, Negreanu luckily dodged getting stacked in one of their cooler hands tweeting, “Holy shit I flopped a King hi flush again vs an Ace hi flush thankfully this time the board double paired and I didn’t go broke.”
Session 15: 452 hands online on WSOP.com
A third straight victory for Negreanu, the six-time WSOP bracelet winner pulled off another $46,581.88 win but still stands with a massive deficit of over $514k. Still waiting for a six-figure heater, Negreanu started the 15th session losing his whole stack with Queen-Jack vs. Polk’s King-Queen on a Queen-high draw heavy flop. An early lead and a quick double-up for Polk, Negreanu soon managed to recover his prior loss, and the lead traded back and forth multiple times in the next few hours.
Catching an insane cooler, Negreanu’s pocket Aces was in for a nice profit against Polk’s pocket Kings by the tail end of the session. Negreanu quickly snagged the $92k pot, putting him back in the green to end the 452-hand match with a win of a little over 100 big blinds.
An additional treat for viewers, Negreanu broke down a few notable hands in a short video to summarize the day’s session.
In case you missed it over the weekend here’s my breakdown of the big showdown hands from Friday’s session. https://t.co/MuZlvvcIKx
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) December 7, 2020
“Yikes, we had some mistakes today. Back in the lab we go.”, tweeted Polk right after his third losing session.
Session 15: -$46,581.88 over 452 hands
Total: ~514k over 7469 hands, will grab official total later
Wild one. Couldnt figure out how to hide my own cards for 30-60 minutes. Even after could barely hide them. Probably ended up showing 40% of hands. “No holecards” was a joke
— Doug “Truck Driver” Polk (@DougPolkVids) December 5, 2020
Session 16: 824 hands online on WSOP.com
Ending Negreanu’s three in a row feat, Polk scored a sizable win for their 16th session earning himself $160,348.99 over 824 hands. Right off the bat, Polk scooped a full double-up when he rivered a Jack-high flush against Negreanu’s rivered seven-high straight for an $82k pot. The trend continued on with Polk accumulating more chips after catching Negreanu’s failed bluffs and getting max-value with his two pair Queen-Ten.
Having clearly dominated the recent session, Polk still revealed to fans how he made some pretty big mistakes after reviewing the day’s history and is hoping to come back better prepared for the next day’s match.
Good session today. Lots of nice pots. We were an OESD in a 3BP vs KK away from booking a massive win. But any 4 buyin win is still a great session. Looking forward to W/T/F sessions!
— Doug “Truck Driver” Polk (@DougPolkVids) December 8, 2020
“First run through on some hands from yesterday’s session and we made some pretty big mistakes. Gonna spend the day in the lab vs some of these new dnegs bet sizes and come back better prepared for tomorrow.”, he added.
Over a long match you are going to make mistakes, some bigger than others, but this QT hand I played is just “special” for all the wrong reasons.
As soon as I did it I literally said “oops”
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) December 9, 2020
Negreanu likewise commented in his post-game interview saying, “I felt good, I felt like I was playing well, but the big disconnect for me has been, just like having a pair and a flush draw, and by the river having more. I’ve just missed a lot of draws.”
Session 17: 662 hands online on WSOP.com
It seems that Negreanu would have to replenish his initial $1 million deposit on WSOP.com with the way things are turning out. The 17th session ended with Polk bagging another six-figure win of $101,713.33 over 662 hands. Despite the continuous losses and a standing deficit of over $784k, Negreanu mentioned in his post-game interview that he is willing to go as far as 100k hands. With the initial duration of the challenge set to either 12,500 or 25,000 hands, it appears the grudge match will take longer to finish than expected. Polk replied in agreement to the proposition with final talks possibly yet to be decided.
Session 17 Result: +$101,713.33 662 hands
Online Results pre Session 17: +799,347.63 8108 hands
Live Session Result: -$116,500 200 hands
OFFICIAL TOTAL: +$784,560.96 over 8970 hands
Hand # looks a bit off from what I thought but the results are from WSOP so should be good.
— Doug “Truck Driver” Polk (@DougPolkVids) December 10, 2020
“Just watched the @GGPoker stream. I liked the ending interview where @RealKidPoker said lets do 100k hands. If that is something he would like, I’m down!”, tweeted Polk.
Undeniably, Negreanu’s run of cards hasn’t been so great aside from being the underdog in the heads up challenge. After over 8,000 hands completed, Negreanu apparently has won 0 all-ins out of the 25 that had concluded.
Fun stat: so far after 8000 hands we have played 25 all in pots before the river.
Of those 25 all ins, I have won exactly zero times when I was the underdog.
Stats courtesy of @CoreySteel_ who tracks a spreadsheet of all in hands with video.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) December 10, 2020
Session 18: 980 hands online on WSOP.com
The longest session so far, Polk is in for another huge win after ending the 980-hand match with a profit of $173,362.61. After five hours of play, Negreanu suffered a bout of terrible situations including a four-bet pot with Ah-Qs wherein he flopped trip Queens. Polk who held Kh-10h however, turned a flush. Despite the blank river, Negreanu is left to pay Polk’s shove giving his younger opponent the $80k pot.
A brutal beat, Negreanu took a short break only to come back with pocket Aces on the other table. An all-in situation preflop, Polk’s pocket Kings awarded him another $80k pot after flopping a king and turning his hand into a boat by the river. Running like a god, Polk even misclicked 5-bet seven-nine offsuit only to flop top pair and scoop up another small pot.
4 bet pothttps://t.co/vmzIbyy8pS
— Doug “Truck Driver” Polk (@DougPolkVids) December 10, 2020
“I’m going on one of the hottest stretches of my entire career, at maybe the most important time ever”, mentioned Polk in his post-game chat.
Daniel takes an incredible beat in a 4bp and loses Ah Qx on QQxhh to KThh.
He sits out. Spends a few minutes, gathers himself. Come on Daniel, you can do this. Lets go.
First hand back, Aces. This is how it starts. Raise Raise Raise Allin! Call! Finally!
Sits back out. pic.twitter.com/OLphfrFSY1
— Doug “Truck Driver” Polk (@DougPolkVids) 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.”, Negreanu added.
Amusingly, David Lappin posted on his Twitter page a few rants from the infuriated Negreanu after his apparent bad run of cards.
Negreanu Post-Match Meltdown Abridged – Part 2 pic.twitter.com/RSkdmvm9Ie
— 🃏David Lappin 🃏 (@dklappin) December 10, 2020
Session 19: 834 hands online on WSOP.com
Finally breaking Polk’s streak of six-figure wins, Negreanu ended the week with a $143,642.37 score, preventing his opponent to reach the $1 million mark. Positively, Negreanu ran far much better as compared to the previous session and the overall terrible week he had just experienced. While the much needed win cuts Polk’s lead to $814,290, Negreanu said in a post-game statement “I won today so I shouldn’t be bitching, but I felt like I could have won a lot more.”
Now preparing for the WSOP Main Event happening on Sunday, Polk and Negreanu will take a short pause starting next week with additional breaks just in time for the holidays and Polk’s birthday.
Session: -$143,642.37 over 834 hands
Total: +814,290.2 over 10784 hands
Crazy one today. It would be nice to play a session where I dont have a hand where I lose 2 buyins bluffing with no equity. Wonder if there is any way to prevent that.
Anyway we move on. Great week overall
— Doug “Truck Driver” Polk (@DougPolkVids) December 12, 2020
Inspite the massive lead, Polk is dedicated to playing his best and winning the overall victory in the anticipated grudge match. The heads up pro acknowledged a few mistakes he made throughout the sessions saying, “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.”
“All jokes aside, I do not care how many dollars I’m up or down, I’ll continue to mercilessly grind and improve until I play my final hand. At any point this can turn, I have a lot on the line and will spend however much time it takes to ensure a complete and total victory.”, tweeted Polk.
With 19 sessions concluded across a total of 10,784 hands, Polk is leading for a little over three quarters of a million dollars despite Negreanu’s three in a row winning matches. In addition to the previous update where Polk stood at over $578k in the green, the Upswing Poker founder managed to recuperate his recent losses with two back-to-back six-figure wins, only to end the week with a $143k deficit. Overall, this puts heads up pro Polk at a whopping lead for $814,290.20.
|Session||Hands Completed||Daniel Negreanu||Doug Polk|