It’s time for Daniel Negreanu to admit he’s getting dominated

Jon Sofen
Published by:
Posted on 01/21/2021

Daniel Negreanu sure loves to complain about running bad, but the truth is he’s simply getting outplayed by a better heads-up player. Unless you’ve been watching the match against Doug Polk through GGPoker lenses, that statement is obvious.

Following Monday’s session, Polk had enough of Negreanu’s complaints. So, he went on his own rant, mocking his heads-up opponent. David Lappin, host of the Chip Race podcast, mashed up the rants into a series of videos on Twitter.

As it stands, following Wednesday’s $300,000 win, Polk leads by just over $1 million for the first time. They’ve now completed 17,878 hands of a 25,000-hand challenge at $200/$400 stakes on WSOP.com.

At this point, we all now who is going to win. The only question left is, how much will Polk win by? If the current trends continue, it could be by well over $1.5 million.

Negreanu will have you think he’s losing so much because of luck. But if you’ve been watching the match objectively, and have at least an intermediate understanding of heads-up poker, you know that isn’t true.

What is true is that it appears he’s been a bit unlucky throughout much of this match. There’s no doubt the cards that have been visible have favored Polk. But the luck factor has only played a small role in determining the outcome of the match.

Even if you take away the supposed negative all-in expected value (EV) — estimated to be around $300,000 — that Negreanu repeatedly points to, he’s still down about $700,000, which equates to 17.5 buy-ins. That’s a significant amount.

Luck is beginning to even out

Without question, Polk’s early $950,000 lead had much to do with luck. He was running so hot for quite some time. It seemed like every massive all-in went his way.

But that’s started to even out a bit, and Negreanu made up some ground recently with numerous fortunate hands that he conveniently fails to mention in his post-game interviews.

Over the past four sessions, however, he’s simply been outclassed. He’s facing arguably the top heads-up no-limit hold’em player in the world, so he shouldn’t be surprised that he’s losing.

On Wednesday, Polk won almost $300,000 in large part due to pulling off numerous successful bluffs. He repeatedly made over-bets on the river because Negreanu continually folded in those spots. Polk dominated the session and it wasn’t due to luck.

Negreanu may be struggling to admit that he’s getting outclassed big time because of his past history of success. The GGPoker ambassador has over $43 million in lifetime live tournament winnings, six WSOP bracelets, and made a killing playing live cash games back in the day.

But heads-up no-limit hold’em is a different arena. He may have an edge over Polk in multi-table tournaments. In fact, there’s no doubt that he would. In the heads-up streets, however, he simply isn’t in Polk’s league and it’s time he admits it before making himself look sillier.

Featured image source: Twitter