What’s The Latest In The Daniel Negreanu/Doug Polk Heads-Up Match?

The Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk heads-up match kicked off on November 4th after the pair played their first session from the PokerGo studios on Wednesday night, with Daniel Negreanu winning the session by $116k. Where can you watch the heads-up match online? You can view the sessions through a variety of different ways on Twitch and Youtube:

GG Poker Official YouTube Channel
DougPolkPoker Official YouTube Channel
Upswing Poker Official Twitch Channel

PokerGo broadcast the first day of action on November 4th with Negreanu and Polk played 200 hands and Negreanu starting the challenge on a strong note, winning $116k. You can watch that session here.

Note: The post was last updated on November 12th, after the first day of the Negreanu/Polk Heads-up Challenge.

What do we know about the Doug Polk versus Daniel Negreanu heads-up match up?

The full details of the grudge match between Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu are now basically set for the November 4th start date. Details were solidified in early to mid-October which you can read more about – The Top 8 things we learned from the Negreanu/Polk heads-up match.

What game are Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk playing in their challenge?

The pair will play two simultaneous tables of heads-up $200/$400 No Limit Hold’em, according to an early tweet from Daniel Negreanu.

Who is winning the Daniel Negreanu/Doug Polk heads-up match so far?

Doug Polk is currently winning in his heads-up match with Daniel Negreanu.

Session # Day of session Winner on day Hands Total Hands Overall Leader after session Notes
1 November 4th (live session from PokerGo studios) Daniel Negreanu ($116,000) 200 200 Daniel Negreanu – $116,000 The session was broadcast live on PokerGo
2 November 6th Doug Polk ($218,000) 424 624 Doug Polk – $101,000 First online session on WSOP.com
3 November 9th Doug Polk ($166,239) 382 1006 Doug Polk – $268,031 Watch session
4 November 11th Daniel Negreanu ($87,167) 366 1372 Doug Polk – $180,865 Watch Session

When did the Negreanu/Polk Challenge start?

The match is confirmed to begin on November 4th at 8 PM ET. It will likely run over many weeks.

Neither side originally seemed to be in a significant hurry to get the match charted. Polk was originally happily (or unhappily?) to be training for the match while Negreanu was busy with the WSOP on GG Poker, where he is an ambassador. However, poker fans won’t have to wait as they have for the infamous Jungleman vs durrrr Challenge match. In a blog for Doug Polk’s Upswing Poker, it was suggested that the match wouldn’t happen until sometime after the GG Poker portion of the WSOP, which concluded by mid-September. In late October, the pair agreed to the November 4th start date.

How many hands will Negreanu and Polk play in their heads-up Challenge?

The pair will play 25,000 hands.

It was suggested in August that the pair would play somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000 to 25,000 hands, with players ultimately agreeing on a 25,000 hand challenge. The number is typical of recent popular Challenges played by Phil Galfond, which also recently restarted. The losing player will have the option of throwing in the towel after 12,500 hands.

Can I watch the Negreanu/Polk Challenge?

Negreanu and Polk are both savvy when it comes to streaming, and both have settled on PokerGo to host the challenge for the first session, which was streamed live from the PokerGo Studios (yes, the first session was face to face). On the first day of the challenge, PokerGo broadcasted the first 200 hands for free beginning at 8 PM ET.

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Of course, there was virtually no chance that Negreanu and Polk didn’t use their established presence on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch to make it even more of a spectacle than it already was shaping up to be. The heads-up challenge then moved to WSOP.com, where it is being streamed by various Twitch and YouTube channels.

A variety of streams are being provided by both parities, allowing you view all the action being played on WSOP.com. Top streams include the GG Poker YouTube channel, the “>Doug Polk YouTube channel and the Upswing Twitch channel.

What are the odds of the Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk heads-up match?

As of late October, Daniel Negreanu is around 4.60 — or around 18% — to win the event, making Doug Polk a heavy favorite.

The circumstances for the match have led to some interesting dynamics in handicapping the match. On the surface, Polk seems to be a clear favorite since heads-up No Limit Hold’em is his signature game (whereas it is not for Negreanu). Polk will also benefit from an online format versus a live setting, where Negreanu is strong with his renowned hand-reading skills.

Favoring Negreanu is the fact that Polk has apparently not played much No Limit Hold’em over the last couple of years and could be relatively rusty. Still, the smart money seems to be on the side that Polk will not have lost much during his retirement.

PokerShares has posted odds for the match and in September, Doug Polk was a 1.25 favorite in the market compared to Daniel Negreanu’s 4.10 using European odds. This market effectively gave Polk a 80% chance of winning, which means that things have been relatively steady if not continuing to move in Polk’s direction.

Who is betting on the match?

There are many people wagering on the market over on PokerShares. In fact, some high-profile pros are also getting in on the act. Mike Matusow even bet half of his $10k bankroll on the match. Phil Hellmuth and Bill Perkins have also bet a lot on the match with both favoring Negreanu at those odds.

What do Polk and Negreanu have to say about the match?

Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk haven’t exactly been best friends in the weeks leading up to the match (or forever for that matter). When the pair were finalizing match negotiations, there seemed to be some element of mutual respect developing. However, that was not the case in the days leading up to the match, where both Polk and Negreanu were interviewed by PokerGo in a hype video where they explained their feud.

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How we got here

Final details have been released on Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk’s highly-anticipated Heads-Up grudge match, but that is not stopping Polk from using the downtime to prepare for the challenge.

After the highly-anticipated heads-up challenge was announced, Doug Polk hit hitting the low-stakes heads-up tables with various players. Most recently, Doug Polk played some No Limit Hold’em heads-up during a two-hour session with poker vlogger Matt Vaughn on Americas Cardroom. The game $2/$4 No-Limit Hold’em, low stakes by Doug Polk standards and much lower than what he will ultimately play against Negreanu. Fortunately for Polk fans, the match was streamed by Vaughn and posted on YouTube:

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In the early days, the 15,000 hands of training led to nearly $10k in losses, the equivalent of a -15.08 BB/100 rate. After “retiring” from poker, Polk has been freshening up on his skills by seeking out more heads-up opponents, including at higher stakes, which ultimately led Vaughn to take him up on the offer (although the pair decided to play $2/$4). Here’s what Polk had to say about the relatively difficult restart to his poker career:

He was able to bounce back but was down overall in his initial return to poker:

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