Will Doug Polk take on Bryn Kenney’s seven-figure heads-up challenge?

Geoff Fisk
Published by:
Posted on 06/21/2021

Kenney says he’ll put someone in action against Polk for up to $5 million

Poker’s all-time tournament earnings leader threw shade at some of the industry’s training courses on Sunday. The fallout from that statement could bring forth another high-stakes heads-up challenge involving Doug Polk.

Bryn Kenney took to Twitter with a less-than-stellar assessment of most poker training sites. Kenney certainly knows a few things about how to win at poker, as his $56,403,501 in career tournament earnings place him at No. 1 on the Hendon Mob all-time tournament earnings list.

Kenney’s Sunday tweet contended that many of poker’s current lineup of training sites are operated by players who can’t actually win at the game:

“Most of this poker training out there are complete trash, by people who can’t even beat the games,” Kenney tweeted. “Give me about a year and I’ll make the best content there has ever been and offer my masterclass for free. That’s a promise. Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there.”

Some of poker’s most prominent training materials are backed by the biggest names in the game. Both Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey offer MasterClass courses on poker, for example.

Doug Polk founded Upswing Poker, a thorough, subscription-based poker training site that includes an extensive roster of coaches. Kenney’s tweet drew the ire of Polk, who commented on the post and started what became a back-and-forth trash talk exchange between the two.

Polk provided his part of the dialogue with Kenney from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where Polk was on hand to play in the WPT Heads Up Championship. After a few barbs between the pair of modern-era superstars, Kenney laid out another heads-up challenge to Polk:

“If doug thinks he’s the best I’ll put someone in against him for a 1-5m$ match, he just talks the loudest but he’s a sheep,” Kenney tweeted. Of importance in that tweet is the fact that Kenney himself didn’t challenge Polk, but proposed to stake “someone” in a heads-up match for anywhere between $1 million and $5 million.

Polk responded by calling for Kenney to take up the proposed heads-up challenge, instead of staking another player:

“Alright you dimwit, let’s go,” Polk tweeted. “If I’m a sheep at HUNL this should be EZ. $500/$1000 stakes, 2 tables, 100 bb, 1m each on the side. I would fucking destroy you so lets see what excuses about the meaning of life or w/e you make up. Also happy fathers day to all the dads out there!”

While continuing to pay homage to Father’s Day throughout, Polk agreed to play Kenney on terms that would eclipse anything we’ve seen during the current heads-up challenge era of poker. Two of the biggest challenges from the past 12 months, featuring Polk vs. Daniel Negreanu and Bill Perkins vs. Landon Tice, each played HUNL at $200/$400 stakes.

Polk is no stranger to seven-figure heads-up wins. The match against Negreanu brought Polk out of retirement from poker and resulted in $1.2 million in profit for the Upswing Poker founder.

That challenge brought forth one of the most-anticipated matchups in recent memory and appeared to settle a longstanding feud between Polk and Negreanu.

Kenney doesn’t carry the same mainstream fame as Negreanu, but it appears the poker community wants to see the Polk vs. Kenney matchup nonetheless. Kenney’s original thread and Polk’s challenge in response drew much interest, with a few of poker’s biggest names chiming in on a potential clash between two players that clearly aren’t impressed with each other.

Kenney, for his part, declined the challenge to directly take on Polk:

“Don’t care to play u HU bud, waste of my time. I’ll sub someone in for me tho and do this if u want. Nice change u clown,” Kenney tweeted.

Kenney’s unwillingness to put himself into the proposed HUNL against Polk drew quite a bit of derision from commenters in the ever-expanding thread. Poker.org will continue to update the situation between Polk and Kenney, which would certainly take center stage in the poker world if a $500/$1000 heads-up match were to develop between the two.

Featured image source: Twitter