Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu bury the hatchet

Jon Sofen
Published by:
Posted on 02/04/2021

After years of bickering and pettiness, Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu have officially buried the hatchet and now respect each other. The poker pros wrapped up a lengthy heads-up challenge Wednesday night.

Polk won $255,000 during the 36th and final session, and concluded the match with an overall win of $1,202,000 over 25,000 hands of $200/$400 no-limit hold’em.

Afterwards, they praised each other with kind words, a stark contrast to the previous six years in which they never had anything nice to say about each other. For years, Polk tormented Negreanu over his affiliation with PokerStars.

The Upswing Poker founder repeatedly bashed on Negreanu for defending PokerStars’ changes that negatively affected the pros. He went so far as to purchase a billboard outside the Rio in Las Vegas during the 2018 WSOP just to mock Negreanu.

Showing respect for the rival

Those days are now over. Prior to Wednesday’s final session, the poker pros chatted about some hands they played.

“Tuesday study session for the finale working with @DougPolkVids going over all the hands we played and sharing war stories. Weird,” Negreanu wrote.

Polk responded: “We have talked hands and stuff here and there from the get go, but today we really talked about a bunch of different situations and spots from the challenge. Some really fun stuff. 1 bluff he ran I cannot fucking believe lol. Glad we buried the hatchet. A worthy opponent.”

What a difference a few months makes. These two fierce rivals have gone at it for years, never saying anything nice about each other. All of a sudden, it’s like they’re best friends.

Polk’s tone towards Negreanu changed drastically early in the challenge. When he offered up a heads-up challenge to “DNegs,” he didn’t actually think the offer would be accepted.

Early on in the match, he began to respect Negreanu for having the stones to take on such a difficult challenge, battling in high-stakes heads-up no-limit hold’em against one of the best HUNL players ever.

You don’t always see long-time bitter rivals move on and learn to respect each other. But these two pros have learned to look past their differences. Perhaps that is the result of playing against each other three days a week for the past three months.

We don’t know where this rivalry will end up or how their relationship will go from here. Polk’s made it clear he no longer enjoys poker and has no interest in a rematch or facing any additional opponents. He wants to move on with his life to a new challenge, but he’s said that before multiple times. We’ll see if he sticks to poker retirement for good this time.

But something tells us this won’t be the last time these two poker pros face-off in some capacity.

Featured image source: Twitter