There’s no doubt that Daniel Negreanu is running bad against Doug Polk. But after the most recent session in which the GGPoker ambassador lost another $170,000, poker Twitter is divided on whether luck or skill has been the contributing factor in the outcome.
The long-time feuding poker pros, who are no longer feuding publicly, have now played 9,950 hands. That comes on the heels of the longest session to date — Day 18 — which lasted five hours and 980 hands.
Polk extended his lead even further than it already was. Heading into Thursday’s session, the online poker star had accumulated a $784,000 profit in the heads-up match at $200/$400 stakes on WSOP.com.
The overall results haven’t been surprising to most poker fans. Polk is one of the greatest heads-up no-limit hold’em players ever. He was expected to crush Negreanu, who is more of a live tournament specialist. But it’s up for debate whether or not the contributing factor in the outcome has been more due to luck.
Daniel Negreanu can’t seem to catch a break
Say what you want about skill, but the fact of the matter is that Daniel Negreanu is running bad. Really bad. So bad that you have to give him credit for hanging in there and taking his lumps. He battled for five hours on Thursday despite suffering some brutal bad beats.
Early in the session, he dropped an $80,000 pot after flopping trips (Q-Q-6 flop) with A-Q. Polk, who held K-10 of hearts, turned a flush. Negreanu needed a heart (he had the ace of hearts), ace, or queen on the river to win the pot. He didn’t get his wish and lost a massive early pot.
But moments later the former face of the PokerStars poker site found a golden opportunity to get those chips back. He picked up pocket aces and coolered his opponent, who turned over pocket kings with $80,000 in the middle pre-flop. Unfortunately for Negreanu, Polk is running hot, so it wasn’t any surprise when he spiked a king on the flop and took down another huge pot.
Those two hands sum up the horrendous luck Negreanu suffered on Thursday. Polk repeatedly flopped monster hands and won quite a few coolers and bad beats. In another big pot, Negreanu flopped two-pair (kings and fives), but Polk hit a three-outer on the turn and made a better two-pair (kings and sevens).
Through 9,950 hands, Polk is now up by $957,932. It would be virtually impossible for Negreanu to catch up by the time the challenge hits 12,500 hands. We mention that specific number because the losing player at that point has the option to surrender without penalty. Or, the losing player can require an additional 12,500 hands.
Despite getting thoroughly whooped both in luck, and perhaps even skill, Daniel Negreanu appears to be content to see this thing through all the way to 25,000 hands. But if he suffers too many more brutal bad beats between now and 12,500 hands, perhaps he’ll have a different mindset.
Polk and Negreanu will get back to it at 2:30 pm PT Friday. They’ve agreed to take all of next week off for the WSOP Main Event.
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