Daniel Negreanu ran ice cold yet again in his heads-up poker match against Doug Polk. The river card was unkind for the GGPoker ambassador on Monday afternoon, sort of the story of his life right now.
Negreanu entered the match three weeks ago as a heavy underdog. Few gave him any shot at all of even being competitive, let alone winning. PokerShares handicapped his odds of victory at worse than 4-1. But he’s held his own through 10 sessions and about 25 hours of play. In fact, if not for some bad luck, he’d likely be in the lead right now.
Instead, through 4,651 hands, he trails by $143,996, which really isn’t a ton given the stakes. Polk and Negreanu are playing at the $200/$400 no-limit hold’em cash game level on WSOP.com. Each buy-in costs $40,000, so “DNegs” is only down about 3.5 buy-ins.
To put things in perspective, the winner in five of the 10 sessions turned more than a $143,996 profit. So, Negreanu could be back out in front following Wednesday’s session with a bit of luck. Unfortunately, for the GGPoker ambassador, luck hasn’t been on his side during this challenge nearly as much as it has his opponent.
Polk has spiked the perfect river cards more times than we can count. On Monday evening, he even hit a lucky river card in a hand he got coolered. Both players in the hand turned a diamond flush, except Polk’s queen-high flush was crushed by Negreanu’s king-high flush. With anything but a fourth diamond on the river landing, Negreanu was sure to get his opponent’s entire stack.
But the river was a fourth diamond, preventing Negreanu from getting full value. He still won a $50,000 pot but it would have been more like an $80,000 pot if not for that pesky diamond on the river.
Daniel Negreanu isn’t getting owned
Polk’s luck on the river wasn’t limited to the above hand on Monday. In another massive pot, he rivered a full house, cracking Negreanu’s nut straight. The four-outer changed the complexion of the entire session.
Prior to that hand, Negreanu was competitive, even leading at one point by around $30,000. But then Polk picked up a couple of lucky hands and also took advantage of Negreanu calling light on the river with some over-sized bets.
On quite a few occasions during the session, Polk ripped off a massive check-raise, sometimes as much as eight times the size of Negreanu’s bet. In most cases, Negreanu folded to the large raise. But the GGPoker ambassador finally made the call in one of these spots, only to find out that his opponent flopped trips. The river call in that hand cost “DNegs” $22,000.
Polk has shown an ability to fire off over-bets repeatedly. The Upswing Poker founder has no fear of losing big pots and even recently said on Twitter that he’s going to continue playing this way. If Negreanu happens to hit big hands, he says, then he’ll get paid off. But many times throughout this challenge, his over-bets have worked to force his opponent off the hand. And, in some cases, he got Negreanu to call when he had a monster hand.
At the end of the four-hour session, Polk went home with a $117,624 profit, his second straight six-figure win.
Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu will be back in action Wednesday at 2:30 pm PT. You can watch the live-stream of the match in its entirety on the YouTube channel of GGPoker or Upswing Poker.
Featured image source: Twitter