Doug Polk releases analysis of Negreanu challenge

Jon Pill
Published by:
Posted on 08/13/2021

Doug Polk‘s $1.2 million victory over Daniel Negreanu in a grueling multi-month heads up duel was the big poker story during the pandemic. Polk and Negreanu both went hard at solvers, working with coaches to scrape together every edge they could.

Now the twice-retired poker-pro has gone back to that well with a new series of videos on Upswing poker.

Over the course of three and a half hours of video, Polk analyzes key hands from the heads up challenge. In the process he covers a huge range of general heads up principles. There’s also a fair amount about how to specifically beat Daniel Negreanu if you ever find yourself across the table from Kid Poker.

“My new module in the @UpswingPoker Lab is finally up on my match against @RealKidPoker. All large hands that did not go showdown revealed… Small taste for free here. The rest is now available for members.”

You can see the “small taste” at the bottom of the article.

Offered hand

The hand in the video is an unusual one where Polk looks at playing an underpair on a paired board.

With 55♠ on the button. Polk bets about 2.5x into Negreanu preflop, gets re-raised and calls.

The flop comes Q♠7Q♣ and Negreanu checks. After Polk bets $1,707.21 into the $8,538.56 pot, Negreanu comes over the top with a little over $10.6k.

“Daniel checks and I bet very small,” Polk says. “Which is preferable on a paired board. Daniel check-raises big. Now, there are some things to think about here—you need some floats that can bluff later streets and I think you prefer calling with hands that can draw to a boat.”

The turn is the J. Ultimately, Polk reckons that Negreanu was playing a jack and turned a pair here. After a check call from Daniel, Polk explains that he decided to turn his pair into a bluff.

“You can maybe argue that Fives should check here and lower pairs could bluff,” Polk says. “But I think Fives is right around the cusp.”

A three on the river helps neither player, and with $49.6k in the pot, Doug shoves for $38.8k. Negreanu folds.

The video ends there, but there is a ton more content for members of the Upswing Lab training course that helps pay for Polk’s retirement.

Poker-coach Coach Polk

“It was a year ago that I started training for this,” Polk said.

“Here we are a year later, and we got the win. I’m proud of how I played. But I could have played better, obviously. If you think the games are getting really tough, I despite making tons of mistakes. […]You’re always going to make mistakes in poker. The question is: can you learn from your mistakes and improve?”

If you want to improve with Doug, you do have to subscribe to his coaching program on Upswing. It comes with the usual selection of video lectures, charts, and a forum. The Negreanu content is fascinating, but probably not worth the $99 per month by itself.

Whether the whole shebang is worth the potatoes will depend entirely on a given player’s requirement. Either way it’s good marketing for Polk’s main hustle.

Featured image source: Youtube