Doug Polk now challenging Bill Perkins, Doyle Brunson to heads-up matches

Jon Sofen
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Posted on 11/25/2020

Doug Polk is officially out of poker retirement. The Upswing Poker founder has a couple other heads-up opponents in mind — Bill Perkins and Doyle Brunson — after he’s done with his match against Daniel Negreanu.

Polk currently leads his current challenge by more than $140,000 through 4,300 hands out of 25,000. The match thus far has been surprisingly competitive. Negreanu was a heavy underdog entering the competition, and still is, but has shown a higher skill level than most anticipated.

Despite it being still early in his current challenge, Polk is already thinking ahead to potential future opponents. And that’s a bit strange given he retired from poker two years ago. He claimed at the time that he no longer enjoys the game and that playing poker gives him anxiety. The three-time WSOP champion, however, couldn’t resist the opportunity to square off against his long-time rival, Negreanu. And it now appears his return to poker won’t be short lived.

Doug Polk versus Doyle Brunson?

The odds of 87-year-old Doyle Brunson competing in a lengthy heads-up challenge are slim. But the poker legend called out Polk recently on social media via a subtle jab.

“I still like the “old” way of playing poker. Face to face, ante up and deal. Poker is still played by people,” Doyle wrote.

Polk took offense to that comment and offered up a challenge to the “old man.” He wrote back: “Doyle if you wanna battle some heads up unlimited texas hold’em I’m happy to do it in person.”

Polk and Negreanu are competing in a heads-up battle online. Brunson, who put his name behind the now defunct Doyle’s Room poker site, no longer plays no-limit Texas hold’em regularly. Instead, he’s spent the past decade mostly playing high-stakes mixed games at Bellagio, in the famous Bobby’s Room. So, he isn’t about to take on a heads-up no-limit hold’em specialist like Doug Polk.

Brunson, as expected, declined the NLH offer. But he did propose playing heads-up in razz and “a few other games.” Polk came back with a counter-offer.

“Ill make ya an offer, we play 3 games heads up. 1 is uncapped NL Hold’em, other 2 you can pick. Only stipulation is you gotta give me a month to prepare so I can read the rules of Badacey or Pot limit pineapple or whatever else we are playing,” Polk somewhat jokingly responded.

Doyle has yet to decline or accept the offer. Bill Perkins, however, would also like to have a shot at Doug Polk. Actually, Polk is even more enthusiastic about such a challenge than Perkins. That is because pros such as Polk see Perkins, a wealthy hedge fund manager, as a fish and easy money.

Polk offered a 25,000-hand challenge to Perkins at $200/$400 stakes, the same structure as his match against Negreanu. Should Perkins win, according to the offer, Polk would owe him an additional $500,000. But if Polk wins, Perkins would only owe him $1. That is how confident the Upswing Poker founder is in winning the match.

Unfortunately, however, it’s unlikely either match will take place. But it’s clear that Polk isn’t as ready for poker retirement as he previously claimed.

Featured image source: Flickr