After the longest break yet, the Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk heads-up match resumed for Session 20 on Monday
Daniel Negreanu entered the break with a much-needed big win on December 11th, erasing $143,642.37 from Polk’s lead and giving himself some positivity into Monday’s session. Even with Negreanu’s win, however, he still found himself down by over $814k after 10,784 hands. A mighty challenge indeed against one of online poker’s best-ever heads-up No Limit Hold’em players, but one that Negreanu has been eager to take on.
On Monday, the momentum continued in Negreanu’s favor, as he won another $117,962.68 on Day 20, to bring down Polk’s lead to $696,327.92 after the round. After playing some very long sessions leading into the break, only 534 hands were played on Monday, bringing the total up to 11,318 hands played out of 25,000 agreed for the challenge (the player behind could quit after 12,500 hands – more on that below).
Joey Ingram was at the mic once again for the 3 hour session if you missed it or want to watch a replay:
After the session, Polk indicated that Negreanu is presenting more of a challenge to him, saying on Twitter after the match: “Tough one today. Lot’s of really tough spots. Got my work cut out for me.”
Negreanu reserved his initial comments to the post-game interview on the GG Poker YouTube stream, where he was joined by host Jeff Platt and Kane Kalas. He was understandably in good spirits after the session. “I am enjoying heads-up poker. I am learning a lot,” said Negreanu after recounting one of the notable hands towards the end of the session.
Polk also sat down for his own regular post-match interview with Mike Brade and Ryan Riske. “You have to say it was action-packed. There is no other way to put that. We have some big interesting spots to think about.”
This match is going the distance
Before the High Stakes Feud match began, Negreanu and Polk agreed to an optional out in the challenge mid-way. Whichever player was behind after 12,500 could bow out and stop the bleeding at this point and the match would be over. As Negreanu’s losses approached $1 million, some had speculated or even encouraged Negreanu to consider dropping out.
Despite the losses that continued to pile up in sessions before the break, Daniel Negreanu has continued to maintain that he is not giving up, saying that even if he was down $5 million, he would continue on.
If there was any doubt that he would stop mid-way through, he has further put that in doubt with his play over the last two sessions, cutting the deficit by over $200k and undoubtedly giving Negreanu some much-needed confidence.
This match is all but guaranteed to go another 12,500 hands, meaning that poker fans have another month or two of this challenge to look forward to.
A light workload through the end of the year
Negreanu and Polk are anxious to continue pressing forward with their heads-up challenge, but it’s a busy time of year for everybody. In addition to the Christmas and New Year’s holidays around the corner, the conclusion of the World Series of Poker Main Event will also be held next week.
The pair will step aside and play just two more sessions for the rest of the year, on December 23rd and December 28th. After the New Year, the pair are expected to return to their normal schedule with 3 times a week sessions.
The next session, Day 20, will be held this Wednesday beginning at 5:30 PM ET. Poker fans should be able to tune into any of the poker streams that have been covering Negreanu vs Polk throughout the match.
GG Poker Official YouTube Channel with Jeff Platt (Daniel Negreanu official stream)
DougPolkPoker Official YouTube Channel
Upswing Poker Official Twitch Channel with Mike Brady
Joey Ingram YouTube Channel
Solve for Why YouTube channel, featuring Matt Berkey and Christian Soto