How to Beast Everything: Doug Polk talks High Stakes Feud on Joey Ingram’s podcast

Geoff Fisk
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Posted on: February 10, 2021 5:03 pm EST

Polk discusses heads-up challenge against Daniel Negreanu on new episode of Poker Life

The High Stakes Feud between Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu spawned unprecedented interest from poker media channels and streams. For any given session of the heads-up challenge, multiple YouTube and Twitch channels presented live coverage and commentary.

The Polk-Negreanu match presented something never seen before in poker, with multiple outlets and commentators covering the same event at the same time.

Joey Ingram provided one of the most popular channels to carry High Stakes Feud coverage, with Ingram’s one-of-a-kind content style and guest commentator lineup drawing tens of thousands of viewers to each stream.

The challenge wrapped up last week with Polk winning big, ending the 36-session match ahead more than $1.2 million. Polk appeared on the latest episode of Ingram’s Poker Life podcast to discuss the challenge, reuniting one of poker’s most entertaining duos.

Coming out of poker retirement: Doug Polk returns to the game and wins big

Ingram starts off the podcast by asking Polk how it felt to win the challenge, which took three months to complete. After stepping away from the game for more than a year, Polk engaged in a rigorous study regimen, harkening back to the habits that made him one of the world’s top players in the late 2010s.

“It feels amazing,” Polk said. “For starters, whenever you set out to do something and you accomplish it, that’s always one of the most rewarding feelings in life.”

“With this challenge, I set out, my goal was to win at a solid clip, realistically trying to win seven figures. We did that, and more importantly, I feel like I played at a really high level.”

Polk, the founder of the Upswing Poker training site, became one of the game’s premier heads-up players pre-retirement. The 25,000-hand heads-up match against Negreanu came forth from a Twitter exchange between the two longtime rivals this past summer.

After much discussion on the terms of the match, the players agreed to play 25,000 hands at $200/$400 stakes, with most of the challenge playing out online on

Polk stepped away from poker after playing in the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2019. In coming back to the game, Polk admitted to Ingram that he didn’t enjoy studying for the challenge against Negreanu, nor playing the match itself.

“I’m proud of the body of work,” Polk said. “I’m proud of the hours I spent deep in the solver streets.”

“I don’t enjoy that; I did it. In the trainer streets, I don’t enjoy that; I did it. In the playing streets; I don’t enjoy that; I did it.”

The Poker Life episode runs a bit over two hours, with Polk going in-depth on his approach to the challenge, as well as his thoughts on Negreanu’s play.

Polk came away from High Stakes Feud respecting Negreanu’s effort in the challenge, and the two poker icons appear to have settled into mutual respect after years of feuding.

“I think the best thing for Negreanu is really going to be the strategy stuff that he learned; moving forward will make him substantially stronger at the stuff that he plays,” Polk said.

The entire podcast, as well as all of Ingram’s live streams covering the heads-up challenge, is available on Ingram’s YouTube channel.

Featured image source: YouTube