Negreanu, Polk share different accounts of never-ending feud

Jon Sofen
Published by:
Posted on 08/06/2020

If you ask Daniel Negreanu, Doug Polk is obsessed with him and responsible for the lengthy feud between the poker stars. But Polk made it clear in a recent YouTube video that his rival is far from innocent and he isn’t the only instigator.

The poker pros will soon settle their feud on the felt in a high-stakes heads-up match that is already generating buzz. They won’t face off for at least a month as Negreanu is busy competing in GGPoker’s WSOP Online Bracelet Series, and he’s down in Mexico for that.

Once that concludes early next month, he’ll begin focusing on what should be a daunting task. Although Polk has been retired from poker for well over a year, he was once one of the best, if not the best, heads-up no-limit hold’em players in the world. “Kid Poker,” on the other hand, specializes in live multi-table tournaments. He argued in a recent blog post that competing in such a match is akin to Shaquille O’Neal challenging Steph Curry to a three-point shooting contest to determine who is the superior basketball player.

Polk has decided to come out of retirement for the sole purpose of facing off against his long-time rival. Settling a feud is apparently more important than the anxiety he claims to feel while playing poker.

Negreanu shares his side of the story

Negreanu claims he rarely ever even mentions Polk’s name. But claims Polk, who has verbally attacked him in numerous YouTube videos, is bitter and obsessed.

The six-time WSOP bracelet winner told Poker.org that he has evidence Polk, who owns the poker training site Upswing Poker, is using him for clicks. And he claims Doug was a huge fan of his before all this started back in 2015.

“I was his favorite player,” he tells Poker.org. “He started attacking Jason Mercier and others and I didn’t think it was appropriate. So, your hero you look up to calls you a tool, which leads to a multi-year obsession that comes from a rage from not being accepted.”

Negreanu says he has evidence — old Twitter DMs — that show Polk’s beef with him was all for clicks. He claims he’ll be releasing a video with the evidence before the heads-up match begins.

Polk tells another story

Doug Polk released a new video on his non-poker YouTube channel announcing the heads-up match. The only side of the never-ending feud he seems to agree with Negreanu on is that he was a big fan of “Kid Poker” when he came into poker.

“There’s no doubt about it, when I was younger, Negreanu was one of the players,” Polk said in the video. “But the reality is, I didn’t then not like him because I started making videos on the internet. The reason is because he changed into someone that does not care about the players. He’s also someone that belittles people quite frequently and then tries to get his way at whatever cost he can.”

Polk also showed a screenshot of the multiple times Negreanu has taken a shot at him on Twitter. Negreanu claims he rarely even mentions Polk’s name and has tried to ignore Polk’s insulting comments. The Upswing Poker founder tells a different story, however.

Negreanu admits he’s an underdog in the match given Doug’s experience playing heads-up poker. Polk agrees despite his lengthy break from poker.

“Here’s the deal, I have not played actively in a couple of years, and he wants it to be like ‘oh, I’m a huge underdog’, and that’s probably fair,” Polk said in his YouTube video. “But I’m not exactly the sharpest my game’s ever been right now. Still, though, he does not have a lot of experience in this format. And while he can probably get a lot better in a month or two, it’s going to be hard to become a world-class player in order to win this challenge.”

Polk and Negreanu will meet up at an undetermined online poker site in mid-September or early October. The details haven’t been worked out yet, but the plan is to play two tables at a time of $200/$400 no-limit hold’em for between 10,000 and 25,000 hands. The match will be live-streamed, likely on Twitch.