Daniel Negreanu’s performance was dominant on Wednesday against Doug Polk, and he was rewarded with a big win. But he didn’t finish strong and went home with a smaller victory than he could have.
The tides have turned over the past couple of weeks. Polk completely dominated most of the first 18 sessions, running up a profit of over $950,000. Negreanu was so deep in the hole that he had to make a second deposit on the WSOP.com poker site because he was in jeopardy of blowing through his entire $1 million deposit.
Since then, he’s taken over the match, and it hasn’t been due to luck. He’s battled and, arguably, been the superior player overall over the past six sessions. But the luck also hasn’t been on his side, which has prevented him from making a huge dent in Polk’s lead.
Still, the GGPoker ambassador has put on quite a show recently. His heads-up no-limit hold’em game has clearly improved since the match began in October. And despite Polk’s reputation as arguably the best heads-up no-limit hold’em player in the world, it’s no longer an unfair fight. These two great poker pros are now equals on the virtual felt.
Negreanu’s fast start, slow finish
Right out of the gates, Negreanu took down pot after pot. He consistently won small to medium sized pots for the first couple of hours. His lead had reached nearly $90,000 before running into yet another tough luck situation.
In one of the most crucial hands of the session, Negreanu flopped a set of 6’s on a 6-K-Q board. He had his opponent coolered as Polk was holding K-Q for top two pair. The turn was a meaningless J, but the river brought another K, giving Polk a superior full house.
With $22,600 in the pot, he fired off an all-in bet for $28,898 and, of course, got snap-called, and took down an $80,000 pot. The cooler made the match more competitive. But Negreanu would quickly take over again. Polk fired off more failed bluff attempts during the session than we can count.
At one point, Negreanu was up around $150,000 for the day. But he made some mistakes in the final half hour of the four-hour session, calling off way too light in a few spots. In the end, he booked a $98,579 win over 750 hands. The Poker Hall of Famer still trails, however, by $644,638 with 11,250 hands left to be played.
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