Doug Polk switches from poker to eSports

Jon Pill
Published by:
Posted on 02/18/2021

Doug Polk’s trying not to use the R-word about poker again. He “retired” once before, and still found himself drawn back to the game he so vocally hates. This time, he doesn’t want to be the guy shouting “retire” in a crowded old-folks home. So instead, he is focusing on what he plans to do next, rather than what he plans to avoid doing.

With the post-challenge glad-handing and podcast tour coming to a close, Polk took to Twitter to announce these new plans. He’s going from one game to another, and he looks to take get back into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in a serious way.

He is looking to fill out a team on ESEA. Tweeting about the plan, he wrote that he is “going to spend the next 6 months or so trying to build a competitive team in CSGO. […] Goal is to make Premier from Advanced (and avoid getting relegated this season).”

PokerGO to CS:GO

Polk’s advert on ESEA, written under the screen name WCGRider, reads: “Now that I’m done winning money in a high-stakes poker dual [sic], I am back and looking to build a great team for the future. I have a different philosophy on strategy and how I want to run a team. I’m going to spend at least 6+ months trying to build something that could make a run in premier.”

He goes on to specify pretty good pay rates for a non-pro league. “Looking for really strong players who want to play in a committed/dedicated environment,” Polk writes. “Negotiable on salary 1-2k/month+ depending on the player.”

He already has two additional players signed up: “sezi” and “MoMo.”

Broadcaster and ex-CS:GO pro Jacob Winneche gave props to Polk for his potentially innovative approach. Winneche tweeted that he found Polk’s idea “interesting” and although they “may not always agree on everything, [he’s] looking forward to follow the project. New thinking, new ways of doing what’s already in place is ALWAYS welcome in [his] book!”

The Polk method

Polk’s approach to CS:GO sounds like it will be similar to his approach to the heads-up challenge. He won’t be focusing on fancy footwork or showy moves. Instead, his focus is on “fundamentally sound theory.”

So, instead of targeting exploitative play, the goal with his team is to find something like GTO for CS:GO. i.e. A style that is difficult for others to exploit.

The aim of this sort of play is, like the Moneyball team, to maximize the team’s win percentage rather than maximizing the team’s score. It’s an interesting approach, and it will be fascinating to see Polk bring his focus around to this new field.

Featured image source: Twitter