Doug Polk obliterates Daniel Negreanu in first online poker session

Jon Sofen
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Posted on: November 9, 2020 6:07 pm EST

Is it a sign of bad things to come for Daniel Negreanu? The GGPoker ambassador took his lumps during the first online poker session in the lengthy grudge match against his rival Doug Polk.

He simply couldn’t get anything going, couldn’t win a big pot, and lost far too many big pots. If the first session online is indicative of what’s to come, Negreanu is in a world of hurt.

Negreanu and Polk opened the match last Wednesday from the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. They played just 200 of the 25,000 hands in person on the PokerGO app. “DNegs” more than held his own as he booked a $116,500 win, better than two full buy-ins.

During the live match, the long-time feuding pros were surprisingly cordial. There wasn’t much trash talking between them, nor did they fling insults. Instead, they kept it civil and even joked around much of the night as if they were close friends.

For Negreanu, he jumped out to a big lead, an important first step towards pulling off an upset. But then he took a big step back during the second session, the first played online.

Deck smacks Polk in the face

Poker isn’t a very difficult game when you’re catching cards. You don’t find out how skilled a player is until they’re faced with some adversity and don’t have the deck smack them in the face. Polk got every break during the first online session, and he used it to jump out to a big lead.

The feuding poker stars played a total of 424 hands on Friday over two hours at $200/$400 stakes on in Nevada. Polk turned a $218,292 profit during the short session, about a $109,000 per hour day for the Upswing Poker founder. In total, through 624 hands (one online and one live session), Polk now leads the challenge by $101,792, or about 254 big blinds.

Friday’s contest was impressive for Polk, but he also got extremely lucky. The rival poker pros played three massive pots, all of which went the Upswing Poker founder’s way.

In the biggest pot of the day, more than $100,000, Negreanu flopped middle set with pocket nines on a 8-9-10 flop. He was up against the straight (J-7), a cruel cooler. “DNegs” was unable to fill up on the turn or river and lost the most costly hand of the day.

That wasn’t the only monster pot that favored Polk, but could have changed the outcome had the luck gone the other way. On numerous occasions, Negreanu hit a big hand but was up against an even bigger hand. In another pot, “Kid Poker” pushed all-in on a flush draw and missed.

The luck factor certainly wasn’t on Negreanu’s side during the first online poker session. But he also had one costly misstep. In a hand with 8-4-8-8-9 showing, Negreanu called off a massive river bet with 9-7 and ran into pocket aces. Many on social media were critical of the call because Polk had shown aggression with his aces throughout the hand, prior to the river.

Polk and Negreanu will get back to it Monday afternoon. They’ll play another two hours at minimum before calling it quits for the day.

Featured image source: Twitter