Polk-Negreanu HU Grudge Match Has Brought Up Some Interesting Lessons

Doug Polk & Daniel NegreanuThe much-awaited heads-up grudge match between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk finally kicked off earlier this month, and so far both have played over 1,300 hands across four sessions, with Polk currently in the lead.

The initial results don’t come as a surprise though, as many had projected Polk to win, given his excellent track record in HU NLHE. But some prominent pros are also betting on Negreanu, who has built a reputation for being one of the best live tournament players of all time.

Let’s not forget as well that the match is still in its early stages, meaning the outcome could change as play progresses.

Both players faced each other live at the Aria during the first 200 hands of the heads-up grudge match, with Negreanu initially ahead by $117,000, but the subsequent rounds have since moved online, and Polk quickly recovered, leaving his opponent down by $385,000 through the next 800 hands. They’ve already completed four sessions, and Polk is currently holding a profit of $180,865. Negreanu only won one huge pot during the online sessions thus far.

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The match will involve at least 12,500 hands of $200/$400 NLH, which means it’s still too early to tell who will emerge victorious, but both players’ performances during the first four sessions give us an insight into their style, as well as the weak and strong aspects of their play, and how it could affect their chances of winning the match.

Large Bet Sizes Are Working for Polk

If you’ve been closely following the match, you’d notice that most of the pots that went to Polk involved large bets on the river, and while it’s hard to figure out exactly whether the American poker pro was really holding strong cards or was just bluffing most of the time unless both go on showdown, his style actually worked for him.

Polk’s frequent bluffing enabled him to win pots, but there were also instances when Negreanu also managed to make successful bluffs. Therefore, it is wrong to say that the former All-Time Money List leader avoids making big bluffs as he is clearly not afraid of taking risks. However, it is Polk who has had the most success so far.

Civility in Rivalry

It’s also worth-noting that both Negreanu and Polk has remained cordial since they met face to face at the PokerGO Studio during the first session. This is despite the fact that both players had been involved in numerous nasty verbal disputes on social media. So far, they’ve kept everything civil, and hopefully things stay that way through to the end.

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