What it Will Take for Daniel Negreanu to Pull off a Comeback Against Doug Polk

3 min read

What’s it going to take for Daniel Negreanu to pull off a miraculous comeback against Doug Polk? Luck, skill, patience … certainly. But, mostly luck as he’s facing a daunting challenge to rally from a massive deficit with limited time remaining.

Daniel Negreanu Doug Polk
Daniel Negreanu remains a heavy underdog in his match against Doug Polk. (Image: YouTube/Jonathan Little)

Negreanu lost $26,198 during Friday’s session — Day 28. He now finds himself down by $629,882 through 16,500 hands with just 8,500 remaining.

For the GGPoker ambassador to pull off a stunning upset, he’ll need to win an average of one-fifth of a big blind per hand for the rest of the way. That wouldn’t be an easy task against an average grinder, but he’ll have to do it against arguably the best heads-up No-Limit Hold’em player ever.

So, for Negreanu to pull off a comeback that would rival the first Galfond Challenge in 2020, he’ll likely need Polk to be a bit off his game at times. Polk doesn’t make many mistakes, however. That’s why the luck factor may be needed for the Poker Hall of Famer to win this 25,000-hand, $200/$400 challenge.

Unfortunately, for “DNegs,” he can’t control the luck. If the cards come his way, they do. If the deck smacks Polk in the face like it has throughout much of this challenge, he’ll just have to take the loss. But Negreanu isn’t so far behind that he can’t make up the deficit if variance is on his side for the rest of the way.

Negreanu Must Bring His ‘A’ Game Daily

Heading into Day 29 on Monday, Negreanu trails by just under 16 buy-ins. Given approximately 700 hands are dealt each session, with 8,500 hands left to be played, 12-13 more sessions likely remain. That means the GGPoker ambassador will need to average a profit of a little more than one $40,000 buy-in per match.

In theory, that isn’t too far out of the question. After all, from Day 19 to Day 26 (eight sessions), he won an average of 1.5 buy-ins per session. If he can win at that rate over the final dozen or so sessions, he’ll win this challenge. But in reality, Negreanu will need the luck to be heavily on his side going forward, while also playing near-perfect poker.

During Friday’s session, Negreanu lost two massive pots on failed bluffs. Clearly, to win in heads-up No-Limit Hold’em, you must have plenty of big bluffs in your arsenal. But at this point in the match, Negreanu can’t afford for too many of his five-figure bluffs to fail to get through.

Polk and Negreanu will get back to the virtual felt at 2:30 pm PT on Monday. You can catch all the action live on the YouTube channel of your choice (Joey Ingram, Upswing Poker, or GGPoker).

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