Doug Polk is making mincemeat out of Daniel Negreanu, and few are surprised given how heavily favored he was entering the challenge. But a huge part of the reason the GGPoker ambassador is getting crushed is that he’s had some unfortunate breaks.
The fact of the matter is Polk is running extremely well. Perhaps, better than any player should expect. Through 12 sessions and nearly potentially half of the entire match, he’s simply above expected value on massive pots. Don’t take our word for it if you don’t want to. He even admitted as much on Twitter following Saturday’s three-hour session in which he won over $300,000.
If you’re wondering how on earth someone could lose that much in just three hours of play, Negreanu made a video showing some of the hands.
Doug Polk up big, but Daniel Negreanu isn’t out
Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu have now played 5,751 hands. That’s pretty close to the midway point, at which the losing player has the option to give up or require another 12,500 hands be played. At this point, you have to wonder if Negreanu won’t call it quits at that point. That’s because he is down $596,197 after losing $332,178 on Saturday.
If things don’t turn around quickly for the former PokerStars Team Pro member, he may have no choice but to quit at 12,500 hands. How much of a beating can someone even as rich as Negreanu withstand? There’s a very good chance we’ll find out the answer in a few weeks.
On Saturday, Day 12, Polk completely obliterated his opponent. As you’ve seen in the above video, he won a plethora of massive pots, most of it due to luck. Early in the match, with Polk already up $50,000, he went runner-runner flush to crack Negreanu’s nut straight. That hand was worth more than $100,000 to the Upswing Poker founder.
Unfortunately, if you’re Daniel Negreanu, there were plenty more hands just like it over the following two hours. In one hand, he hit runner-runner straight to crack two-pair in an all-in pot. In another, he flopped a set and got maximum value thanks to Negreanu turning top pair. Plain and simple, Doug Polk is running like a god and has been for quite some time.
Polk has now won four straight sessions, all by at least $117,000, with Saturday’s win being the biggest. He’s gone from a $175,000 deficit to leading by nearly $600,000 in a week. That’s what happens when you play well and get insanely lucky at the $200/$400 no-limit hold’em stakes.
Where does Daniel Negreanu go from here?
The crazy thing about this is that Negreanu, at least publicly, isn’t tilting. For all we know he is privately. But in his post-game interview on the GGPoker YouTube channel, he said he felt he played well despite losing enough to buy a mini mansion in some parts of the country. On Twitter, he shared some positive vibes following the rough session.
Tonight I’m going to celebrate a well played session with a bottle of the good stuff.
Incredibly happy with how I played which is all you can control.
Lots of work to do to get even but these swings were expected absolutely. pic.twitter.com/Sv7WEpi86Y
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) November 29, 2020
Perhaps he’s being a bit naïve, or maybe he truly feels things are going to turn around soon. In fairness to the Poker Hall of Famer, even Doug Polk admitted the breaks have gone his way.
Should I be winning? Yeah I think so. Probably like 5-10 buyins. But I'm up 18 buyins since we moved to online, im obviously in god mode at the moment and that isn't gonna last forever.
— Doug "Truck Driver" Polk (@DougPolkVids) November 29, 2020
“Should I be winning? Yeah I think so. Probably like 5-10 buyins. But I’m up 18 buyins since we moved to online, im obviously in god mode at the moment and that isn’t gonna last forever,” Polk wrote.
Negreanu won the first session, played live at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas, by $116,500. Since then, the players have played 5,571 hands of online poker, and Doug Polk has turned a $712,697. That’s an average of $128 per hand dealt, which is almost unheard of in heads-up poker.
Polk admits that Negreanu, whom he feels he has an edge against, is a better player than the results have indicated. Even if Negreanu was just an average heads-up player, and Polk one of the best (which he is), Polk’s edge isn’t this high. That means the GGPoker ambassador is running unlucky at this point in the match.
The good news for Negreanu is luck has a funny way of turning around eventually. He’d just better hope the variance moves towards his side before it’s too late.
Featured image source: Twitter