Doug Polk vs Daniel Negreanu: Heads-up challenge heats up

Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: August 03, 2020 08:41 PDT

Back-and-forth between Polk and Negreanu continues

Longtime rivals Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu kept up the verbal sparring over the past weekend, as the poker community looks forward to the proposed heads-up clash between the two.

Negreanu posted an entry to his Full Contact Poker blog on July 30, appearing to accept Polk's challenge to a high-stakes heads-up poker match. In the post, titled "Why I've Accepted the Challenge", Negreanu explained his rationale for accepting the match.

If it happens, the match would be played under heads-up No-Limit Hold'em rules, a format in which Polk established himself as one of the world's best before stepping away from the game last summer.

"On one hand you have someone who played and studied a specific format for most of his playing career and was the self-proclaimed 'best in the world at it.' On the other hand, you have me who has a total of approximately 6 weeks total playing this format in my 46 years on the planet," Negreanu wrote in the blog entry.

"He will try to tell you he hasn’t played in a couple years so that somehow evens the playing field, but I haven’t played this format in about 10 years, and when I did, it was for approximately a 6 week period. It was shortly before Black Friday," Negreanu continued. "So let’s not kid ourselves with the false narrative that this is a level playing field."

While pointing out the experience disparity in the heads-up no-limit format, Negreanu still gives the green light to playing against Polk.

"So in the end, why am I doing this? To give the people what they want," Negreanu wrote. "For many years now this man has made a living off of trashing me on a regular basis, well past an unhealthy obsession, regurgitating the same attack lines over and over. Not because he truly believes I’m an evil monster, but purely for personal gain disguised as standing for some noble cause."

Polk's return to poker

Doug Polk tweeted that he'll post a video about the upcoming challenge against Negreanu soon. When he does, that video will mark Polk's first poker-related content since March 2020. In a series of tweets, Polk responded to various aspects of Negreanu's blog post.

"I have won millions of dollars online and live, can you explain to me the part where I made my living from trolling you with pictures of rakes," Polk tweeted.

Polk's last appearance in a public poker game came at the 2019 World Series of Poker. Negreanu's blog post stated that Polk demands the game be played as a $200/$400 cash game. Negreanu also doesn't want hole cards shown to spectators throughout the match, feeling that it gives Polk too much of an advantage,

"YOU said 10-25k hands and YOU said $200/$400. Get out of here with "his turf his rules"," Polk tweeted. "If we both show holecards its equal, you have just as much opportunity to watch as I do. It's also what the fans want."

Polk and Negreanu continue to discuss other aspects of the challenge, including the total number of hands and possibly adding a charity donation to the match stipulations.