Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu Agree to Heads-Up Grudge Match

Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu's grudge match takes place online on November 1.

It is no secret that Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu do not see eye to eye. The vocal, opinionated duo have clashed several times on social media. Those clashes resulted in the high-level stars agreeing to a heads-up grudge match.

Polk has never hidden his destain for Negreanu, seemingly targeting the Canadian whenever he put a foot wrong. Negreanu is not a person who shies away from fighting his corner.

The ill feelings between the pair intensified after Twitch banned Negreanu for a vitriolic rant during the online series. One of Negreanu’s viewers took a cheap shot at Negreanu’s wife and Negreanu exploded.

Joe Ingram, at the time, tweeted: “Can Doug and Daniel settle this by playing poker against each other HU a some point please???” That was on July 28 and Ingram gets his wish on November 1.

Details of the Polk Versus Negreanu Match Emerge

Polk and Negreanu will sit down at two tables of $200/$400 No-Limit Hold’em and lock horns for 25,000 hands. Both agree to play 100 big blinds deep and reload their stacks whenever it drops below 100BB.

Each session lasts at least two hours, but can go on longer if both parties agree. This means the superstars will fight it out for approximately 80-hours.

Negreanu hoped the match would take place at GGPoker, the online poker site who he’s an ambassador for. That’s not happening, however, the battle commences on

It looks likely Poker Central will stream and commentate on the Polk versus Negreanu match. Negreanu appeared on a podcast recently and said he will not be showing his hole cards.

“I don’t see how it makes any sense. It seems like it would be a massive mistake. I’m not gonna give him cards up, the capability to dissect my betting percentages and stuff like that so him and his team can break it down.”

Different Paths To Stardom

Both Polk and Negreanu are poker superstars in their own right. They come from completely different backgrounds, yet both have legendary status.

Polk flew under the radar for several years, grinding full-ring cash games. He played at PokerStars mostly, starting at $0.01/$0.02 and working his way to $1/$2. Polk turned a $20 deposit into $10,000.

This was in 2007 and he attempted to transition to six-handed cash games a year later. It didn’t work out and he went back to full-ring. Polk switched to heads-up poker in 2009 and it was the best decision he ever made.

Polk became a regular in $50/$100 games only a few months after starting at $2/$4. Heads-up came naturally to Polk and he soon became feared at the tables.

His live tournament skills are up there with the best, too. Polk has three WSOP bracelets and $9,454,008 in earnings.

Negreanu needs no introduction because he’s one of the best-known players in the world. Negreanu started his illustrious career as a cash game player in the 1990s, but is better known for his immense multi-table tournament prowess.

The Canadian has $42,053,305 in winnings and six WSOP bracelets. More than 40 first-place finishes show Negreanu has some serious heads-up skills.

Negreanu is predominately a live poker player and rarely plays online poker. Some see that as a major disadvantage but remember Polk retired from poker earlier this year.

PokerShares Make Negreanu a Huge Underdog

PokerShares, the gambling company set up by poker pro Mike “Timex” McDonald, makes Polk a significant favorite for this match. Polk is a 5-to-1 favorite to defeat his nemesis at the tables.

Polk has been grinding online heads-up cash games again in preparation for this battle. It’s not gone to plan with him needing 30,000 hands to get back to breakeven at mid-stakes. He also lost 10 buy-ins, $100,000, when he took a shot at $50/$100.

The match is an intriguing one and poker fans from around the world are tingling with anticipation. I’m of the opinion Polk will win this match but it won’t be as clear cut as some people think.

Matthew Pitt

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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