Doug Polk retired from poker in 2018. He staged a comeback last year for a few months. It was just long enough to put Daniel Negreanu back in his place.
Though in the end, it turned out that the real friend he made along the way was his $1.2 million dollar win.
This time Polk said he was really done. The grind of memorizing lines of game-theory-optimal play burned him out. The fire that put him at the top of the HUNL world for years was cold ash. He just couldn’t summon up the will to go back to rounding. That’s what Polk said.
But last night Bill Perkins managed to get Polk’s spark back, for six to ten hours at least. Just enough time for a 1,650 hand bout of high-speed heads-up no-limit hold’em.
It didn’t go great for Perkins by the sound of it.
“Just got smashed battling [Doug Polk] HUNL for 6 or 10 hours,” tweeted Perkins, outing his pal for the relapse. “Speed poker 2 tables.”
Perkins doesn’t say how much he lost, but at $200/$400 HUNL getting “smashed” is pretty costly.
Polk acknowledged his slip up. “Standard stuff retired poker players do,” he joked about the session. The win must come as a relief, Polk had just tweeted earlier in the day about the cost of living in his new home town of Austin.
Rest and relaxation
After “retiring” from playing in 2018, Polk stayed close to the poker scene. He kept coaching for Upswing Poker continued to help run that business. He founded CoinCentral to keep his poker pals up to date on all the latest in the world of crypto. And he made those Youtube videos about rake that annoyed Daniel Negreanu into playing the Polk-Neagreanu Grudge Match in the first place.
Polk is far from the only retired professional player to pop up back at the table in a more recreational mode.
The year after Doyle retired, he continued to drop by the Big Game from time to time. Just two weeks ago, Fedor Holz won the $1,500 Marathon in GGPoker’s Spring Series. Holz has been “retired” for ages.
Polk has been adamant that he has no interest in poker anymore. But he also acknowledges that players rarely retire permanently. So he’s also been a little coy about using the “retirement” word himself.
I’ve got an old joke for you. Q: How many retired poker players does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A: Nine, if they want to play full-ring while they do it.
It’s not really an old joke — I just made it up.
But it has already retired.
Featured image source: Flickr by WPT