Phil Hellmuth critical of Daniel Negreanu’s play vs. Doug Polk

Jon Sofen
Published by:
Posted on 02/11/2021

Phil Hellmuth made some critical comments about the play of his buddy Daniel Negreanu against Doug Polk. And because of those comments, a potential heads-up match may ensue.

Hellmuth bet on Negreanu to win and was disappointed in “Kid Poker’s” performance. The GGPoker ambassador played 25,000 hands of $200/$400 heads-up no-limit hold’em against Polk on WSOP.com. The match recently concluded with Polk booking an overall profit of $1.2 million.

That performance, according to the “Poker Brat,” was unacceptable. He expected better from his buddy and fellow Poker Hall of Famer. But most in the poker community didn’t. Polk was a heavy favorite given that he’s considered one of the best heads-up no-limit hold’em players ever.

Still, Hellmuth piled on during an interview with Jeff Platt and Brent Hanks on the new PokerGO show, No Gamble No Future.

“Overall, what are your thoughts on that matchup?” Hanks asked the poker legend about the Polk vs. Negreanu challenge.

“Yeah, I was disappointed in the way that Daniel played,” the 15-time bracelet winner responded. “But I know his coaches, his coaches are brilliant. And so he has brilliant coaches, and so everything that I talk about with his coaches, I talk to these guys for a couple of hours, I love the way they think about no-limit. Then I sent them to my agent, and then they ended up with Daniel, not with me because I was like, ‘what are they going to teach me? We’re aligned with our philosophies.”

Hellmuth said he was betting on “Daniel’s talent.” He was critical Negreanu’s philosophy to three-bet often with some marginal hands. The “Poker Brat” then went one step further and said he challenged Polk to a match and is confident he’d win.

But don’t expect that match to ever take place. Not only is Polk burnt out from poker, but Hellmuth is smart enough to understand the difficult challenge he’d be facing, even if he doesn’t say so publicly.

Not going to sit back and take it

After seeing the video of Hellmuth’s critical comments, Negreanu wasn’t about to just let it slide. Instead, he took the opportunity to offer up a challenge to the 1989 world champion.

“Yo @phil_hellmuth you said you watched “zero” of the match but seem to have strong opinions on the play. I’ll play you a heads up match live, online, at any stakes you feel comfortable with for as many hands as you would like. Wanna play big guy?” Daniel Negreanu tweeted.

Hellmuth has yet to respond. Should this match take place, it would most certainly become the most viewed poker battle in history. Thousands of poker fans would tune in each session as these are two of the most popular and polarizing figures in the history of poker.

Eli Elezra, who was nominated for the Poker Hall of Fame in 2020, wrote on Twitter that Hellmuth vs. Negreanu would be a “match for the ages.” Most poker fans who commented on the post argued that Negreanu would win easily. Now we’ll all just wait and see if Hellmuth accepts the challenge.

Featured image source: Flickr