It wasn’t as easy as he expected, but Doug Polk officially defeated Daniel Negreanu by $1.2 million over 25,000 hands. You can all go collect your prop bet winnings now. Well, assuming you actually won.
On Day 36, the finale, Polk put the icing on the cake with a $255,722 win over 1,718 hands. Despite the lopsided result on Wednesday, it wasn’t a smooth sailing session.
Negreanu jumped out of the gates swinging and was up over $160,000 within two hours. The run of good fortune ran out for the Poker Hall of Famer, however.
Polk reversed that deficit into his own six-figure lead before Negreanu got back into the match. But one unlucky hand crushed any momentum he had.
With $90,000 in the pot and both players holding A-K off-suit, all-in pre-flop, it appeared they were headed to a chop pot. But Polk’s run so hot for so long in this challenge, it shouldn’t surprise you that he ended up winning the pot outright with a flush.
After that, it was all Polk, and not just because of luck, although he certainly hit numerous monster hands. Negreanu lost multiple massive pots bluffing into those big hands. He also ran into some crazy poker hands along the way and it simply wasn’t his day.
Rivals show respect for each other
After the session and challenge concluded, Polk took to his YouTube channel to praise his opponent in a post-game interview with Nick Schulman and Jamie Kerstetter.
“Negreanu did a really impressive f*****g job with a lot of the stuff he did,” Polk said in his post-game interview on his YouTube channel. “I did not think he would play this well at all,” Doug Polk said.
Negreanu, over on the GGPoker YouTube channel, also gave a post-game interview, as he’s done for each of the 36 sessions. He also praised the abilities of his opponent, although he also once again complained about how poorly he ran.
“First, I’ll start by saying congrats to Doug, he obviously is a great player, the favorite going in,” Daniel Negreanu said. “It was a fun challenge. I felt like there were ebbs and flows, of course. He’s happy, he’s a big winner on the match, and deservedly so.
Now that the challenge is finished, Polk no longer needs to hide his thoughts on Negreanu’s play. During the match, he didn’t want to give away his views so that Daniel could fix his mistakes.
“His tendencies are more conservative and he’s someone who might want to go for a light call instead of a light bluff.” Polk said of Negreanu’s heads-up performance. “I think he needed to be willing to fire more aggressively to win”
Schulman, who commentated on the final session, praised both competitors on Twitter. He praised Polk for winning and playing at such a high level, and Negreanu for taking on such a difficult challenge against arguably the top heads-up no-limit hold’em player ever.
“Man, kinda crazy it’s over. All respect to the man, @DougPolkVids. To @RealKidPoker, nobody really does what this guy did. Ever. I hope he feels proud and his head is held high. What an amazing sweat,” Schulman wrote.
So, that’s it, folks. After three months of high-stakes play from two formerly bitter rivals, the match is finally over, and Doug Polk is the champion.
Featured image source: Twitter