The last two sessions of the Daniel Negreanu vs Doug Polk challenge match have given Negreanu an outside chance of a comeback. Going into Wednesday’s session, Negreanu had knocked over $400k off of Polk’s lead, with Polk still sitting with a comfortable lead of $565,708.96 heading into play on Wednesday.
But it was a different story with Wednesday’s session as Doug Polk came away with a convincing win, taking home $136,239.17 over 560 hands in a session that lasted three hours. Negreanu started the session strong winning a buy-in during the first 50 hands, but the second half wasn’t as kind to Negreanu with Doug Polk picking up a three buy-in win during the last hour.
Doug Polk’s win wasn’t the big story from the session, however. Poker fans who watched the match likely noted that Negreanu was taking a large amount of time for many of his decisions, supposedly in an effort to get Polk to stop limping. The strategy ultimately worked but did not sit well with Polk and many poker fans watching the match.
Phil Galfond had to act as a mediator on the issue, with the three ultimately agreeing to limit stalling on Negreanu’s button, but allowing Negreanu to take as much time as he needed on Polk’s limps. But despite the resolution, Polk still was clearly not happy with how the session went, calling it a “dick move” and “not in the spirit of the game.”
With Polk’s sizable win, he now sits with a $701,948.13 lead after 33 sessions and 19,922 hands. Assuming 700 hands per session, there are approximately seven sessions remaining in the High Stakes Feud heads-up challenge. For those that are keeping track at home, Negreanu would have to AVERAGE $100k in wins for the remainder of the challenge. It’s not impossible, but very very difficult.
Still, Negreanu’s chances aren’t the worst they have been. PokerShares currently has Polk with an implied win probability of 92% to win the match. That number has been as high as 96%-97% before Negreanu’s two big sessions over the last week.
Watch Day 33
For Wednesday’s coverage, Joey Ingram was joined by heads-up challenge specialist Phil Galfond when he wasn’t busy with the latest Negreanu/Polk drama. He came to the broadcast fresh off his recent victory against Chance Kornuth. Watch a full replay of the session below with Galfond and Ingram’s unique perspective and insight.
On Twiter, Doug Polk wanted the results to speak for themselves by hinting that he had a lot more to say about how the session went. “I’ve said enough.”
Fortunately, he had more to say during his post-game interview on the GG Poker YouTube channel, laying into Negreanu for “tanking” during the session.
Look, I get that this is a lot of money. And I get it’s annoying playing against a limp. So if he needed to take a bunch of time versus limping, that’s cool…But then to also take 20 seconds to open your button, it’s extremely clear what you are doing. What you are doing here is, you’re trying to tank this out to make each session as few hands as possible, so you can study on it, waste my time and delay things. You’re basically extending this out as long as possible to buy yourself time.
“That’s pretty f**ked up.
For his part, Negreanu found some good news in the session, including making no apologies for the strategy. “We were able to get in lots of hands at a lightning pace when the limping and tanking stoped. Friday could be another long tank-free session if all goes well.”
Negreanu further addressed the elephant in the room after the session during his post-game sit down with Jeff Platt and gingepoker. “Basically with limps, I am making no decision before the flop.” Negreanu then said he needs to refer to “range sheets” to make each of his decisions for limps, which take time to reference. He then takes the strategy further for other plays to disguise what type of hand he has.
“He made a strategic adjustment that he felt was in his best interest. I have no problem with that, he’s allowed to do that. I did the exact same thing!”
Next session: Friday
Thursday is another off day for Negreanu and Polk. The pair will return for action again on Friday at 5:30 PM ET. Poker fans can follow Friday’s play through any of the main channels that have been covering 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