Bad beat a killer for Daniel Negreanu on Day 23

Jon Sofen
Published by:
Posted on 01/05/2021

Daniel Negreanu had some mixed results on the 23rd day of his High Stakes Duel against Doug Polk. He finished the session in the black, which he desperately needed. But he also made a costly mistake and lost to yet another brutal bad beat.

Monday’s contest was the first of the second half of the high stakes heads-up challenge, and first of the year. The poker pros finished up the first half — 12,500 hands — December 28 with Polk in the lead by $770,000. At that point, Negreanu had the option to give up without having to pay a penalty.

He took a few days to ponder his decision before announcing he wants to play another 12,500 hands. So, the match is back on and will continue until these poker stars reach exactly 25,000 hands on the WSOP.com poker site. They are playing at the $200/$400 no-limit hold’em stakes, two tables at a time.

Bad beat, bad bluff

For most of the match, Polk has been in control. At one point, he led by just a smidge under $1 million. Negreanu’s bounced back nicely in recent sessions to make it look respectable, at least for the moment. But he can’t seem to find that huge score to put a severe dent in Polk’s massive lead.

He had that opportunity on Monday, but two hands prevented him from doing so. Negreanu jumped out to a quick big lead, nearly $100,000 just an hour into the match. The GGPoker ambassador was dominating early, hitting a few hands, and playing well.

Perhaps that fast start got to his head a bit and made him extra confident in pulling off a poorly timed bluff that turned out to be costly. Negreanu held 7-8 on a king-high board on the river. He raised on the button pre-flop, then bet the flop and turn, and refused to give up on the river, so he fired out a $55,000 all-in bet.

Polk’s a tough player to bluff off of top-pair, which he had with the K-J, because he plays a GTO strategy, and those who play GTO know it’s tough to beat top pair in Texas hold’em. So, he made the call and took down a massive pot that completely erased Negreanu’s session lead.

Coincidentally, Polk lost around $30,000, moments later bluffing off half his stack with 6-7 into Negreanu’s trip kings. That put “DNegs” back out in front before the most crucial hand of the match.

With two spades on the turn on a board of 9-5-10-2, Negreanu moved all-in for $30,000 with pocket jacks (he held one spade) and Polk made the quick call with the 4-5 of spades, drawing to a spade or a 4 or 5. The river was the 3 of spades, giving Polk an $80,000 pot on a sick suck out.

There wasn’t anything Negreanu could do in that hand. He got his money in as a 70% favorite and the best hand didn’t hold up, as has been the case so many times in this match for the GGPoker pro. But he still finished the day with a small $27,000 profit, which is better than a loss.

Negreanu and Polk played exactly 500 hands on Monday, and the deficit for “DNegs” is now $743,248 with 12,000 hands left to play.

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