Doug Polk is now officially back to being a professional poker player (for now)

Jon Sofen
Published by:
Posted on 12/01/2020

Doug Polk may not admit it publicly but he is once again a professional poker player, at least for the time being. He isn’t just in the midst of a heads-up match against Daniel Negreanu. The Upswing Poker founder is also taking on Bill Perkins, and offering up additional challenges. And he’s been as active as ever recently on poker Twitter.

Polk, one of the top heads-up no-limit hold’em players ever, “retired” from poker a couple years ago. Back in 2019, he entered the $10,000 WSOP Main Event only to appease his fans. But he admitted he punted away his stack and felt anxiety playing.

The three-time WSOP bracelet winner has since said that he no longer has a passion for poker. He went so far as to say he didn’t think he’d ever play again, at least not regularly. Things changed this summer when he got into yet another feud with his long-time rival, Negreanu.

He offered a heads-up challenge and Negreanu accepted. That was supposed to be his only reason for returning to poker and his poker playing would be limited to some pre-challenge warm-up matches against random players and the 25,000 hands he agreed to play against Negreanu. Or, so he and we all thought. As it appears, the one-time great heads-up player is back to living the life of a professional poker player, even if he says otherwise.

Doug Polk versus the world

Doug Polk recently challenged Doyle Brunson to a heads-up match. The “Godfather of Poker,” however, declined due to Polk’s request to play no-limit Texas hold’em, a game he no longer plays.

Brunson isn’t the only poker player Polk has challenged in recent days during his match against Negreanu. In fact, he said on Twitter that he will take on other “big name” players in future matches. On Tuesday, he is competing against Bill Perkins in some high-stakes games at the Americas Cardroom poker site.

Doug Polk has over 300,000 subscribers on his poker YouTube channel. He has posted hundreds of videos over the years, many of which had hundreds of thousands of views. On March 16, he posted what was supposed to be one last video. In that video, he announced he was done with playing poker and creating poker content. He explained that he no longer enjoys the game.

“All of the reasons on paper say I should keep making videos,” Polk said in the video. “But there’s one really important reason to not, and it’s that my heart isn’t in it anymore. I just don’t like poker anymore.”

Fast forward a few months later and the “retired” poker pro offered up a lengthy poker challenge to his rival, Daniel Negreanu. Since then, he’s not only been active on poker Twitter. He’s offered up additional challenges to Bill Perkins, Doyle Brunson, and any other big name player who wants a piece of him on the virtual felt.

How long he’ll last as a professional poker player for the second time around is anyone’s guess. Perhaps he’ll get bored of the game again in a few months. Or, maybe he’ll realize that poker is his true passion. But make no mistake, Doug Polk is, at least for now, a professional poker player once again.

Featured image source: Flickr