On Sunday, Sept. 15, two of online poker's top high-stakes cash-game players began a heads-up challenge at Full Tilt Poker with big money on the line. Doug "WCGRider" Polk and Ben "Sauce1234" Sulsky (pictured) will be participating in a series of high-stakes heads-up no-limit hold’em matches with a $100,000 sidebet to be paid from the loser to the winner, alongside any winnings from the challenge.
According to Full Tilt Poker, the two stars will play 15,000 hands of $100/$200 NLHE over a number of sessions. Each session will come to a halt if either player builds an effective chip stack of more than 250 big blinds, and the player who is ahead at the time the 15,000th hand is complete will be awarded the $100,000 put up by the losing player.
"I’m really looking forward to this. It’s hard to get a game with these stakes against anyone nowadays,” Polk said before the match began. “Also, I’ve never gotten to play in a challenge-type format, which certainly changes the dynamic substantially. I think that Sauce is definitely a great player, a pioneer of modern-day poker strategy.”
Polk got out of the gate early and took a big lead on Sulksy in the first battle on Sunday. The two played heads-up for more than eight hours, with Polk walking away up $227,000 on his opponent.
In the biggest pot of the match, Sulsky opened with a raise to $600 and Polk responded with a three-bet to $2,200. Sulsky four-bet to $5,444, and Polk called to see a flop. Polk check-called a bet worth $5,872, and the came on the turn. Polk checked again, and then called Sulksy's bet of $12,379. The arrived on the river and Polk checked for a third time. Sulksy moved all in and Polk called immediately. Sulsky showed for an overpair to the board, but his kings were clipped by Polk who tabled for a flopped set.
According to the Full Tilt Poker blog, Polk won four pots bigger than $50,000, while Sulksy only managed one. Sulksy got his money in good in the second biggest pot of the match, but Polk managed to outdraw him on both runs to scoop a big $71,883 pot. With the board reading , Sulsky was all in for $27,341 with for top set, and Polk had for a flush draw. The two agreed to run the river twice, and the on the first run and on the second run shipped the entire pot to Polk.
Polk and Sulsky will resume their match at noon ET on Wednesday, Sept. 18 for a three-hour session. Stay tuned to PokerNews for updates on the challenge.