Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk are eventually going to play their heads-up poker match. Or, so we think and hope. But the feuding poker pros can’t seem to agree on the final details, namely the use of Real-Time Assistance (RTA).
What they have agreed to, at least in good faith, is to play 25,000 hands of No-Limit Hold’em at $200/$400 stakes on WSOP.com. Play is scheduled to begin Nov. 1, and both players have already said they’re ready to deposit $1 million. Each day during the challenge, they’ll play two tables at once for at least two hours per session.
Sounds like they have it all figured out and are ready to play some cards, right? Well, not exactly. They’ve agreed to the main details listed above, but there are still a few things to iron out.
Negreanu Wants RTAs Banned
Polk and Negreanu have been going back and forth on Twitter recently. “DNegs” wants the use of RTAs and HUDs banned from the challenge, and doesn’t want either player to be permitted to download hand histories from the challenge.
Many online poker pros use various forms of RTAs to assist them in making the mathematically correct decision in certain spots. GTO-minded players often use RTAs, solvers, and push/fold charts. GGPoker recently banned the use of RTAs and banned players they claim used RTAs during play.
Negreanu wants to play the match without the use of any “cheat sheets,” as he calls them. Polk says he simply wants to be allowed to use notes, not necessarily RTAs, to help him plan accordingly for various spots.
Then, 2 months after we have agreed to play, he throws in "oh yeah, let's not use preflop ranges"
This is an online poker challenge. Online poker has preflop charts and randomizers. That is the reality of those games. I prepared knowing this.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) October 9, 2020
“My biggest issue is dnegs is approaching this entire challenge like he gets to decide all the rules whenever he wants and then it’s on me to agree to whatever. I’ve agreed to the vast majority of them. But the reality is I’m not ok with him removing a large part of my prep work,” Polk wrote.
There is nothing wrong with studying charts and memorizing the content. That’s a skill that should be rewarded.
You dumb down all preflop strategy when both players have access to 100% GTO decisions.
It makes a mockery of the game.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) October 8, 2020
Polk said on Twitter Friday that dealing with Negreanu in planning the match “has been a nightmare.” He said he’ll agree to any rules set forth by WSOP.com, the host poker site. He then told the six-time bracelet winner, “I’m not wasting my time arguing this out on social media anymore.” The Upswing Poker founder then hinted at his opponent attempting to wiggle his way out of the challenge.
“He obviously doesn’t want to play and is trying to argue for stuff he didn’t even think about 2 months ago,” Polk wrote.
Negreanu then went on the defensive, and said he gave in and agreed to play Polk’s specialty — online No-Limit Hold’em heads-up.
“You act like you are getting screwed here when the table is set heavily in your favor across the board,” Negreanu told Polk.
2/3 I agreed to a start date of Nov 1st giving me just weeks to prepare after WSOP.
I’m giving you a massively +EV opportunity, but you need a cheat sheet too?
I could just say let’s play it all live. That way you can’t use your cheat sheets.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) October 9, 2020
The feud between Negreanu and Polk may never end.