Hellmuth wants action on Negreanu beating Polk heads-up

Jon Sofen
Published by:
Posted on 10/25/2020

Phil Hellmuth has a bit of expertise in heads-up poker, being that he recently defeated Antonio Esfandiari three times in a row on PokerGO’s show, High Stakes Duel. And he doesn’t seem to think Doug Polk is as big of a favorite against Daniel Negreanu as most believe.

As such, the “Poker Brat” is willing to bet on his pal Negreanu winning his upcoming heads-up challenge. Hellmuth sought action at 4-1 odds on Twitter and he quickly found a taker.

I think @DougPolkVids is an amazing heads up player! Especially in no limit holdem, esp online, esp over 25,000 hands. But, I’m hearing Doug is 4-to-1 favorite over @RealKidPoker. This seems high, and I’ll bet on Daniel at 4-to-1. Reach out to me if your credible,” Hellmuth wrote.

He did find a gambler he deems as credible — Doug Polk. Hellmuth offered to wager $20,000 at 4-1 odds, meaning he wins $80,000 if Negreanu wins the match, and Polk happily accepted that bet.

Hellmuth and Esfandiari briefly discussed the Negreanu/Polk match last night during their own heads-up battle. The “Poker Brat” seems to have more confidence in his pal than most in the poker community. But he still hasn’t come out and said he actually expects Negreanu to win. He’s more interested in the value he’s getting at 4-1 odds on a poker player he greatly respects.

Polk and Hellmuth have a brief history of betting against each other. A few years back, outside a Pittsburgh casino, Polk bet the 15-time WSOP bracelet winner $10,000 that he couldn’t sink a three-point shot. Hellmuth took that bet and them promptly drained the shot, as you can see below (fast forward to 4:45).

Negreanu a long-shot for a reason

Hellmuth has confidence in his fellow old-school grinder, Daniel Negreanu. And that may be partially due to his biased against the younger, GTO-minded generation. There is a good reason why Polk is heavily favored — he’s arguably the best no-limit hold’em heads-up online poker players ever. If not the best, he’s certainly in the top five.

Negreanu has $43 million in live tournament cashes and was a successful cash game grinder back in the day. He’s certainly one of the best poker players in history. But he’s a bit out of his element in this challenge, and even he admits it.

“Kid Poker” specializes in live, multi-table tournaments, a stark contrast compared to the one-on-one online poker contest he’s about to face. Negreanu and Polk, two long-time bitter rivals, are set to play 25,000 hands of $200/$400 NLH on WSOP.com beginning November 1.

The large sample size of hands they’ll play should eliminate most of the luck factor in the match. Hence the reason Polk, whom most consider to have a significant edge over Negreanu long-term in heads-up poker, is such a massive favorite.

But that isn’t stopping Hellmuth from confidently putting his money on his friend. He’s only wagering $20,000, which isn’t life-changing money for the millionaire. Still, that’s a good chunk of change to bet on someone to win in a form of poker he doesn’t specialize in against a player who does.

Featured image source: Poker.org