And just like that, Doug Polk regained the lead in the glorious heads-up challenge between himself and Daniel Negreanu that will supposedly settle the long-standing beef between the two. During a tough 2020 in which most of the poker world got turned upside down with the pandemic, fans across the globe were treated with a classic battle between two poker pros that hate each other's guts (according to their social media jousting), but were willing to put their hard-earned cash where their mouth is.
Even Polk gave Negreanu props and kudos for accepting the heads-up battle and running gauntlet against one of the premier NL heads-up players in the world (before he retired). They agreed to play $200/$400 NL for 25,000 hands (with an opt-out after 12.5K if the loser wants to call uncle, or the option to raise the stakes if they're stuck badly).
The first 200 hands were played at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas last week and aired live for the poker world to see and sweat. While the two played for seven figures, poker players and fans were gambling on the two combatants from Mike Matsuow gambling half his roll to Bill Perkins.
At the Aria session, Negreanu struck first blood and jumped out to nearly $117K lead. KidPoker surged ahead late in their match and banked the profit after 200 hands that lasted nearly four hours. The two were cordial and friendly during their live match and you never would've guess the two were beefing.
Negreanu needed the boost because Polk held the edge once their challenge headed to the virtual tables, where they would be two-tabling the action. After the second session and the first one online at WSOP.com, the too slugged it out for 464 hands. Polk surged ahead with a $218K score.
Hey, it's super early in their match (now at 624 hands), but Polk demonstrated why he was the favorite coming into the High Stakes Duel and why Negreanu was a 4/1 underdog.
- Total Hands: 624
- Current Leader: Polk +$101,792.78
- Session 1 Hands: 200 (Live)
- Session 1 Results: Negreanu +$116,500
- Session 2 Hands: 424
- Session 2 Results: Polk +$218,292.78
"Felt good today," tweeted @DougPolkVids. "Obviously ran hot in some important spots. Much happier to be back on the online felt."
"Long way to go and I'm excited to get back to it!" tweeted Negreanu.
"I won 200k but I still feel bad because I made more misclicks in my session than a man 2 tabling in a recliner," add Polk.
In case you're wondering, WSOP.com will return rake to the combatants.
"The match is raked, but we are getting it all back from WSOP," confirmed Polk. "So we just average out the rake post session."
The action resumes at WSOP.com on Monday at 2:30pm PT with 24,336 hands to go. The two will joust on Wednesday and Friday this week as well at the same time. Per rules of the challenge, they will play a minimum of two hours per session and then determine if they'd like to extend each session on an hourly basis.