Doug Polk dominated Daniel Negreanu one last time on Wednesday as the two players’ epic, heads-up challenge came to its conclusion …. finally. Afterward, he praised Negreanu’s effort and dedication.
The poker pros finished up a 25,000-hand, heads-up No-Limit Hold’em challenge. Playing at $200/$400 stakes, Polk’s had this thing all but wrapped up for quite some time.
Entering Day 36, the Upswing Poker founder held a $946,085 lead with 1,718 hands remaining. There simply weren’t enough hands left for Negreanu to mount a rally.
On Wednesday, Polk put the cherry on top with a massive win, posting one of his most dominating performances of the challenge. The three-time WSOP bracelet winner busted out to yet another fast start and was up $165,000 quickly. Negreanu, however, would battle back, like he often did, and would not only erase that deficit, but also build his own six-figure lead.
That lasted only a short while during the five-hour session. Polk completely obliterated his opponent from that point on thanks, in large part, to hitting numerous massive hands and Negreanu bluffing in the wrong spots far too many times. When all was said and done, Polk extended his $946,000 lead by around $250,000. He ended the challenge up $1,202,000, or just over 30 buy-ins.
Changing Their Tones
When this challenge began in November, it was no secret that Polk and Negreanu despised each other. They’d been going at it for years and finally decided to settle the dispute with a heads-up poker competition. After three months of battling on the virtual felt, it’s now clear they have great respect for each other. At the conclusion, Polk glowingly praised his long-time rival.
“Negreanu did a really impressive f—–g job with a lot of the stuff he did,” Polk said in his post-game interview on his YouTube channel. “I did not think he would play this well at all.”
Polk, arguably one of the top heads-up No-Limit Hold’em players ever, then assessed Negreanu’s skillset in a format that the GGPoker ambassador doesn’t specialize in. He said early on in the challenge, Negreanu made too many mistakes, but admitted his game evolved drastically throughout the challenge.
“His tendencies are more conservative and he’s someone who might want to go for a light call instead of a light bluff,” Polk said of Negreanu’s biggest weakness. “I think he needed to be willing to fire more aggressively to win.”
Polk went on to say that Negreanu likely wouldn’t beat the top pros who specialize in high-stakes, heads-up No-Limit Hold’em. But, he claims Negreanu’s game is so strong that he’d crush anyone else in HUNL.
Over on the GGPoker YouTube channel, Negreanu expressed frustration with how poorly he ran throughout the heads-up competition. But he gave credit where credit is due.
“First, I’ll start by saying congrats to Doug, he obviously is a great player, the favorite going in,” Negreanu said. “It was a fun challenge. I felt like there were ebbs and flows, of course. He’s happy, he’s a big winner on the match, and deservedly so.”
Polk recently said he has no interest in a rematch or tackling a new challenger, and that he’s lost his interest in the game once again. Negreanu, on the other hand, may eventually take on another opponent, but we’ll have to wait and see.