Hellmuth, Negreanu, Polk, Tony G Tangled in Proposed Heads-Up Challenges

Phil Hellmuth challenging Doug Polk to a heads-up match sparked a chain reaction of potential heads-up competitions, although we may never get to see any of them.

phil hellmuth doug polk

There’s virtually no way Phil Hellmuth and Doug Polk will actually play. (Image: YouTube)

Polk recently finished off a beatdown of Daniel Negreanu in a 25,000-hand heads-up match. He won $1.2 million at $200/$400 stakes, completely obliterating his rival. Afterward, the “Poker Brat” popped off, criticizing Negreanu’s play. The 15-time bracelet champion, in the same interview with PokerGo, said he challenged Polk to some heads-up poker.

Polk, however, claimed in a tweet that the offer was unreasonable, so he turned it down. He has said numerous times recently that he has no interest in playing new challenges, even if Negreanu asked for a rematch, although he hasn’t officially said he’d for sure turn down the offer. Just don’t expect him to play, as he’s made it clear he no longer enjoys poker.

Hellmuth Challenge Brings Others Out of the Woodwork

If Hellmuth really is serious about playing heads-up and Polk refuses his offer, there are two other high-profile pros waiting to take their shot at the 1989 WSOP Main Event champion, starting with Negreanu.

After Hellmuth criticized his play, Negreanu essentially said, “bring it on.” Negreanu called Hellmuth out and challenged him to back up his criticism with some heads-up poker.

Yo @phil_hellmuth you said you watched “zero” of the match but seem to have strong opinions on the play. I’ll play you a heads up match live, online, at any stakes you feel comfortable with for as many hands as you would like. Wanna play big guy?” Negreanu wrote.

Shots fired. That wasn’t the end of it. Antanas Guoga, better known in the poker world as Tony G, wants Negreanu to step aside. That’s because he wants a piece of Phil Hellmuth instead. Those two poker pros have fought on the felt in the past, but have never played heads-up.

The PokerStars YouTube channel recently featured the Hellmuth/Tony G rivalry. In one memorable hand on the old Big Game cash game show, Guoga, who had a suited A-K in the big blind, tricked Hellmuth into calling an all-in bet with A-J by pretending he hadn’t looked at his hand before he raised.

Hellmuth fell for the trick, lost all three runouts, and then stormed off complaining about Tony G’s lack of poker etiquette, which is funny considering the source.

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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