Daniel Negreanu manages small win in intense, roller coaster session vs. Doug Polk

Daniel Negreanu Doug Polk
Jon Sofen
Posted on: December 03, 2020 10:53 PST

It wasn't easy, but Daniel Negreanu chipped a small dent out of his massive deficit against Doug Polk on Wednesday. And by "small," we mean so tiny that you can barely notice any change in the overall scoreboard.

Polk entered the session with a $578,000 lead in just over 6,200 hands of a 25,000-hand challenge (possibly only 12,500, however). Even at $200/$400 stakes, that is a massive lead — nearly 15 buy ins. So, the Upswing Poker founder, who entered the challenge as a heavy favorite, was sitting pretty heading into Day 14.

And things got even better for the previously retired poker star early on during the Day 14 session. But there were more twists and turns in this four-hour match than you'd experience driving through the Rocky Mountains. Wednesday's session was, arguably, the most exciting of the match thus far. It will be tough to top the plot twists in this one.

Polk looked headed for another huge victory and an opportunity to extend his lead even further. Then it seemed like Daniel Negreanu would put a big dent in his overall deficit. Then it again appeared Polk was going to win by six figures. But, somehow, some way, Negreanu was able to pull it out in the end and chip a small bit off Polk's lead. Unfortunately, for the GGPoker ambassador, he's still right about in the same position as he was prior to Wednesday's session. On a positive note for him, he battled through a difficult day to book a victory.

Daniel Negreanu finally coolers Doug Polk in big pot

One of the top story lines entering Day 14 has been Polk's innate ability to win massive pots. He's won so many huge pots that we can't even count, many of which were scooped due to a sick bad beat. On the other hand, Daniel Negreanu hasn't shipped many five-figure pots via a river suck out or cooler.

But on Wednesday, he finally coolered Polk on the river for a massive pot (over $160,000). Prior to the hand, Polk had surpassed the $100,000 profit mark for the day for the second time. Negreanu was reeling from losing a few recent big pots and desperately needed to turn the tide.

Both players held two clubs in their hand (Polk had 3-6 and Negreanu 7-5). The board ran out J-5-8-A-Q, with three clubs (the third on the river). With about $62,000 already in the pot, Polk put Negreanu all-in for $49,040 on the river and got snap-called.

Negreanu had the best hand as both hit a flush, but his was just a bit higher. He scooped the $164,000 pot, his biggest of the entire challenge. That hand completely changed the trajectory of the match. It went from Polk headed for another massive victory to Negreanu leaving the virtual felt with a small win.

In the end, Daniel Negreanu booked a $13,000 win over 788 hands. It wasn't a huge win, but it did slightly trim that deficit down to $565,417 in 7,015 hands. He still remains a heavy underdog and will until he begins to erase bigger chunks of the deficit. Polk and Negreanu will return to action at 2:30 pm PT on Thursday on the WSOP.com poker site.

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