Flashback Friday: The Beginning of the Polk-Negreanu Feud

Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk’s feud didn’t begin with the “More Rake is Better” trash talk. It actually started a few years prior, back in 2014. And it all started with a petty little dispute that turned into something much bigger.

Daniel Negreanu Doug Polk

Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk have been feuding ever since 2014. (Image: WSOP.com)

The poker masters are currently in the midst of a lengthy, high-stakes heads-up battle. Perhaps it will finally put an end to the longstanding feud that began six years ago. Or, maybe not. Time will tell.

Negreanu entered Friday’s session with a lead of more than $170,000 in the heads-up challenge. They’re still in the relatively early stages of the match so Polk, who entered as a heavy favorite, still has plenty of time to erase that deficit.

What Negreanu Did to Irritate Polk

Polk recently admitted that he was a big fan of Negreanu’s early in his poker career. Somewhere along the line, however, he lost some respect for the former PokerStars ambassador. Because of that, he’s attacked the six-time WSOP bracelet winner on social media and his YouTube channel numerous times.

Among the attacks, Polk has gone after Negreanu over the Canadian poker pro’s defense of PokerStars increasing rake and removal of its high-roller loyalty rewards program. But the argument that started the feud took place in 2014.

Negreanu has never been a high-volume online poker player. He’s more of a live pro, despite serving as the face of two major poker sites (PokerStars and GGPoker) for the past 15 years. He made a comment in 2014 claiming that he could, after just two weeks of study, jump into the $25/$50 6-Max No-Limit Hold’em cash games online and crush them.

Polk, an online poker grinder, took offense to that comment. He thought it was a slap in the face to the many high-stakes regulars who put in the work to hone their craft.

“I actually got a chance to talk with Daniel, and I think that when he originally said that, I think that he was saying that it’s something that he could do if he set his mind to it,” Polk said in a 2014 interview. “And he said he’d bet $1 million, but then it kind of became apparent that he wasn’t really interested in doing it. Basically, he said that he doesn’t want to have to leave to go abroad for two months because his life is already so awesome.”

Polk wasn’t able to convince Negreanu back then to take on a $1 million challenge and prove he can beat the $25/$50 cash games on PokerStars. Now, six years later, he finally has his rival locked into a high-stakes heads-up match.

Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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