Polk crushes during final hour, regains lead in challenge vs. Negreanu

Doug Polk Daniel Negreanu
Jon Sofen
Posted on: November 17, 2020 09:08 PST

The breaks continue to go Doug Polk's way. But the overall results in his match against Daniel Negreanu, his long-time rival, haven't been as impressive as many expected. Still, he regained the lead Wednesday in the highly anticipated heads-up poker grudge match.

Between live-streams from GGPoker, Upswing Poker, and Joey Ingram yesterday, more than 20,000 poker fans watched the sixth session of the high-stakes poker challenge. Those fans saw a highly competitive match right up until the final half hour. During that final 30 minutes, Polk dominated, winning pot after pot. But at the end of the day, the 3.5-hour session is mostly remembered by one massive suck-out that went against Negreanu, as has been the case throughout this challenge.

Negreanu entered the day with a lead just under $26,000, less than one full buy-in. He held that lead throughout most of Day 6 before it all came crumbling down. But before that final 30-minute stretch occurred, he showed poker fans that he's not only up to the task of being competitive against one of the best heads-up no-limit hold'em players ever. He might also have a shot at winning this thing, although it's still way too early.

Negreanu strong early, fades late

Early in the session, Polk three-bet from the big blind with pocket aces (standard play). His opponent made the call and they both saw the flop come out 5-K-Q, giving Negreanu two-pair with a suited Q-5. Polk continued his aggression on the flop and then "DNegs" moved all-in and got snap-called. With $81,000 in the pot, Negreanu needed to fade the board pairing or score an ace landing on the turn or river. He couldn't do that as the board-pairing king hit on the river and gave Polk the massive 201 big blind pot.

That was the second pot of over $80,000 Polk has won on a suck-out with cards still to come. Negreanu, on the other hand, has yet to win a pot in that manner. It was also the only hand of the day with an all-in bet and a call.

The GGPoker ambassador battled back nicely after losing a full buy-in to a suck-out. Two hours into the session, he even regained the lead for the day briefly. Even Joey Ingram, a good friend of Polk's, was complimentary and surprised by the impressive play of Negreanu. He said as much during his live-stream on YouTube.

But the competitive play by Negreanu came to an end late in the session when things got away from him. Polk picked up his aggression, often over-betting the pot on the river to win some pots. In the end, the Upswing Poker founder booked a $93,542 win over 637 hands, the most during any session to date. In doing so, he regained the overall lead by $67,625, just under two full buy-ins ($40,000 each).

The feuding poker pros have now completed 2,374 hands, 10,126 short of the 12,500 hands they agreed to play. They may extend that to a total of 25,000 hands, but that will be up to the losing player at the midway point in the match.

Polk and Negreanu will be back at it on Wednesday at 2:30 pm PT, and then again at the same time on Thursday and Friday.

Featured image source: Twitter