The weirdness of 2020 continues with the 'Million Dollar Grudge Match' and the latest bit of drama driving the news cycle in the poker world. Doug Polk confirmed that he will battle Daniel Negreanu in an online heads-up match playing NL poker at $200/$400 stakes. The two will joust at two tables anywhere between 10K and 25k hands. Once the 2020 WSOP Online concludes, KidPoker and Polk will have their duel.
If you're one of the only folks who have yet to see Hamilton, I'd hate to play the role of spoiler, but there's a fatal duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton across the Hudson River in New Jersey. It's been nearly 250 years since the birth of America and dueling in New Jersey has gone out of style as a way to settle arguments.
These days, poker players find way to punish each other in prop bets or they play heads-up for rolls. Phil Galfond has been playing versions of the
"How did we get here? It's kind of a long story," said Doug Polk.
A lot of old blood had been spilled between Polk and Daniel Negreanu, but it escalated when Negreanu got banned from Twitch after the stream capture a live meltdown and rant during a WSOP Online event at GGPoker. Hey, we've all gone on insane monkey-tilt or rage tilt from time to time, especially playing online poker. Even my wife punched a hole in the wall once when she got KO'd from a tournament with a one-outer. But Polk didn't pass up the opportunity to poke the gregarious Canadian.
Polk trolled Negreanu many times before ("More rake is better!") and Negreanu took shots at Polk on Twitter.
Polk didn't squander an opportunity to troll Negreanu again and Polk went for it "instead of walking away with dignity and grace" and posted a video, and KidPoker punched back, everyone gathered around and posted popcorn emojis... and now we have a heads-up challenge.
Polk said Negreanu was one of his favorite players, but he fell out of favor on how he treated other poker players. Negreanu is sick of Polk and how he trolls him for content, cash, and the likes. The two decided to rumble.
Polk, a former HU specialist, has not played actively in a couple of years while he delved into content creation and Crypto.
"Negreanu is the underdog," said Polk. "At least that's the tale he's trying to tell."
In Negreanu's statement, KidPoker explained, "You have me who has a total of approximately 6 weeks total playing this format in my 46 years on the planet."
KidPoker used the Shaq vs Steph Curry in a 3-Point Contest analogy. I think he's Shaq and Polk is Curry?
Polk doesn't deny he used to be like Curry, but he's rusty. Negreanu plays regularly, bur HU NL cash games is not his usual poker diet.
"Why am I doing this? To give the people what they want," said Negreanu. "For many years now this man has made a living off of trashing me on a regular basis, well past an unhealthy obsession, regurgitating the same attack lines over and over. Not because he truly believes I'm an evil monster, but purely for personal gain disguised as standing for some noble cause."
Negreanu has a legion of fans on a global scale. It's one of the main reasons PokerStars paid him as their top pitchman for over a decade. Negreanu's popularity is also why GGPoker wanted him as their pitchman while they sought to expand their site and brand. Negreanu is one of those polarizing personalities in poker because you either love him, or hate him. That's why a challenge like this will draw a slew of railbirds wither egging him on, or goading him. Polk also has a fair share of fans and haters alike that will tune in.
Hey, we all love Phil Galfond and he's a GOAT when it comes to HU PLO. And Galfond pulled off a sick and insane comeback against VeniVidi earlier in the year, but even that remarkable conclusion of the Galfond Challenge does not have the same drama and excitement to it as the impending KidPoker/Polk Challenge. It's sorta like finding out two kids at school that hate each other are finally going to throw down behind the gym after school. The first thing you want to do is rush down to get a good seat, and the second is pick a side and bet on it.
But for the folks that pay attention to the bottom line, KidPoker inspired new players and brought scores of poker fans from around the globe to PokerStars and now GGPoker. At one time, Polk was one of those enthusiastic poker players.
Here's Polk with his recent video officially accepting the challenge...
And KidPoker appeared on the DAT Podcast with Terrance Chan and Adam Schwartz...