Polk vs. Negreanu: Polk Holding Slim Lead After $205K Win

13 min read
After two big losses, Daniel Negreanu struck back against Doug Polk with two wins.

While the heads-up $200/$400 no-limit hold'em match between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk started off swimmingly for the former, things have turned in a hurry once play moved online.

Over the course of two sessions played on WSOP.com, the favored Polk took back the six figures he lost live in the PokerGO Studio and then some, racking up nearly $400K in winnings and opening up a decent-sized lead of $268K.

However, "Kid Poker" struck right back in about equal force as he won the next two sessions, moving into a small lead of $25K with still shy of 10% of the hands in the books. Each player would then book wins north of $200K, but a $93K win by Polk left him clinging to a small lead after 3,799 hands.

Learn everything there is to know about Polk vs. Negreanu!

Day 2

Negreanu had slightly the better of the early play, but the first huge all-in pot went against him after he three-bet a $910 open to $4,140 and 624 flopped. Negreanu continued big for $6,210 and Polk peeled to see the 10 turn. Negreanu checked this time and Polk bet $6,830. Negreanu shoved and Polk snap-called for his last $29K.

Negreanu: J9
Polk: 64

The A meant a $92K pot for Polk.

A bit after that, they played two big ones simultaneously on dangerous boards. With 8910K3 on the felt, Negreanu shoved a set of nines and got called by J7 for a jack-high straight, sending over a stack on the cooler. On the other, he got small value betting $6,410 into $32K on 8Q910A, showing down 54 for a flush.

Overall, Negreanu took the worst of it and was stuck $50K.

They were over $50K deep on one table when they got it in preflop with Negreanu holding pocket tens and Polk having coolered him with queens. The ladies held and a six-figure pot went to Polk.

About halfway through the session, Polk got a four-bet to $11,219 in and Negreanu shoved on him again. Once again, Polk had the queens, this time dominating AQ shown by Negreanu to scoop up another $47K from his rival.

After that, Polk just continued to win most of the five-figure pots. He slowly but surely increased his lead until he was up an estimated $200K, holding stacks north of $160K on both tables while Negreanu sat with around $40K.

As the session was heading into the final stretch, Polk three-bet preflop to $3,768 and got a call from Negreanu. Polk continued for the same amount on 858 and they saw an 8 turn. Polk potted for just over $15K and Negreanu called again, bringing the 9 river. Polk stuck the last $42K in and Negreanu looked him up with 97 but was shown the AA to lose a $130K pot.

That was enough for him to book a win north of $200,000.

Hands Played: 424
Results: Doug Polk +$218,292
Full session video

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Day 3

Almost right off the bat, Polk got aggressive when he three-bet pre to $4,110 and Negreanu called. Both players checked the flop for a board of 7J9Q and Negreanu went with a large sizing of $6,165 after Polk checked again. Polk called and checked the 4 river. Negreanu bet big again with $15,412 and Polk shoved all in. It was only $21K more effective into a pot approaching $75K and Negreanu decided he couldn't get away from Q9. That proved a sound call as Polk was bluffing with 109.

Things continued to progress well for a bit for Negreanu as he squeezed out some small value in a four-bet pot with ace-king against ace-queen on a board of 101054 before both checked the 9 river.

The rest of the first hour progressed relatively tamely, but Polk inched his way from -$55K into a small lead by winning enough small pots combined with one where he check-raised all in on a pretty dry jack-high board on the turn after calling a four-bet preflop and a tiny flop bet.

Polk continued to further his edge until the last half hour, when a huge pot occurred in a single-raised pot. Negreanu check-called a small bet of $763 on K73 and check-called an overbet of $5,016 on the 8 turn. The 5 river led to a final check, and Polk shoved for $41K effective into the $13K pot. The overbet gave Negreanu significant pause but he ultimately called with K5. His kings up were pipped by K7 though and the deficit hit six figures for the day.

Polk solidified his win with simultaneous pots. In one, Negreanu barreled very small twice after three-betting as 59A2 hit the board. After the second bet, Polk put in a big raise from $2,317 to $13,187, about the size of the pot. Negreanu called and both players checked the 10. Polk showed down KJ, appearing to give up on a bluff, but it was actually the best hand as Negreanu missed a combo draw with K4.

On the other table, Polk won a $23K pot when he bet $3,131 into $4,674 on a completed board of 510479 and sniffed out a bluff as Negreanu made it $9,463. "Kid Poker" could only show down K6 for a straight blocker, while Polk had top pair from the get-go with K10.

Shortly after, Negreanu was left staring at a second straight six-figure defeat.

Hands Played: 382
Results: Doug Polk +$166,239
Full session video

Day 4

A big pot developed right from jump on the stream, as Negreanu three-bet and called a four-bet then called two very small sizings as the board ran Q7QJ10, bringing a slew of backdoor possibilities. Negreanu checked the river with only $18K left to play and $43K already in the middle. Polk went for the expected shove and Negreanu tank-folded to give up an early lead.

Polk added another pot north of $40K when he picked off a river check-raise bluff on 5428J, with Negreanu having missed a massive draw with Q3 and Polk having hit top pair with AJ following turn checks by both players. Negreanu faced an overbet of $6,821 into $4,547 and tried popping it to $18,897 to no avail.

Things continued to go Polk's way over the course of the next hour or so as he showed down a few winners in $20K and $30K pots and also blasted in some river shoves that went uncalled, enabling him to build a lead of almost six figures.

However, what looked like it could be another ass-kicking for Negreanu turned in his favor during the second half. It started with a preflop cooler finally going his way, as he picked up kings against jacks and earned $47K from his rival.

With less than half an hour left, Negreanu surged into the lead as Polk went for a daring bluff about 150 blinds deep. He four-bet to $12,876 preflop in position and Negreanu called. On the A84 flop, Polk bet small with $5,149 and Negreanu called. Polk fired the A turn for another $11,986 and Negreanu stuck around for the 4. Negreanu checked again and snapped it as Polk jammed for $34K effective, with Polk turning over QJ for a bluff and Negreanu having AQ for aces full, earning a pot of $129K.

Aggression turned up shortly after that as a four-bet pot and five-bet pot went down simultaneously. In the five-bet pot, Negreanu put in $29K pre but then checked a 279 flop. Polk went very small with just $8,795 in position, and Negreanu called. Both players checked the 7 to see an A river with $76K in the middle. They checked again and Negreanu won with AK. Polk told the commentators afterward he had pocket jacks.

On the other table, Negreanu barreled off with kings on 67364 and Polk looked him up with AJ to drop a $90K pot. Suddenly, Polk found himself in hole of around $150K.

Polk did earn one final stack in fortunate fashion when he check-raised all in after a 652 flop in a four-bet pot with 1010 only to run into JJ. Luckily for him, he made a backdoor flush with running hearts to avoid a complete disaster day.

Hands Played: 366
Results: Daniel Negreanu +$87,166
Full session video

Day 5

The first big pot came about half an hour in, and it was a simple flip with Negreanu five-bet shoving AK and losing to 1010 when Polk flopped a set.

Negreanu, however, just about erased that by winning across the rest of the hands, so when he stacked Polk just shy of an hour in, it was he who grabbed a buy-in lead. He three-bet preflop and then bet tiny with $1,600 into $8,479 on 723. Negreanu kept firing for $8,761 on the 5 turn, and he then jammed in just under pot on the 6 river. Polk snap-called with 64 for the turned flush but Negreanu nailed a sneaky nut straight with the 98.

Polk squared it up on a sick hand where he four-bet to $11,060 preflop and Negreanu peeled, bringing an 837 flop. They checked to the 6 and Negreanu shoved for $31K effective. Polk tank-called with just A5. It was good, though, as Negreanu was drawing weaker with Q10. The 5 river missed him and Polk scooped it.

It was Negreanu's turn to win a stack when he three-bet and 8J10 flopped. He checked over to Polk, who bet $2,798 on the coordinated texture. Negreanu called and the 6 hit. Polk continued to bet, this time bigger with $11,542. Negreanu stuck around for the K river. He check-called all in for $28K and it was a savage cooler with Negreanu's AQ getting there against Q9.

A similar board came up after another Negreanu three-bet as 7108 flopped. Again, Negreanu checked after three-betting and again, he faced a small sizing of $2,798. This time, he check-raised to $9,596. Polk continued to the 3 turn. Negreanu ripped it in for just under the $27K pot and he had Polk smoked with AA against K10. The river didn't save Polk.

Negreanu again picked up aces versus top pair for a stack, this time three-betting and barreling off on 9455Q. Polk couldn't find a fold with 109 and fell further behind.

Two more medium pots later, including one where he rivered a set, Negreanu quit with a hefty $206K win.

Hands Played: 365
Results: Daniel Negreanu +$206,994
Full session video

Day 6

Things looked to be going Negreanu's way again early on as he was up about $40,000 already when he flopped quads in a four-bet pot. Unfortunately for him, Polk put in a small c-bet and then simply checked back the turn and river on the 1010297 board.

Negreanu then looked poised to grab a stack on 5KQ after calling a three-bet and shoving over Polk's large continuation sizing, earning a quick call. It was Negreanu ahead with Q5 against AA but the K river made his two pair worthless against the blades.

A wild hand developed when Polk three-bet and 563 flopped. Polk bet fairly big with $5,505 and Negreanu peeled to the 4 turn. Polk slowed down on the four-liner and checked. Negreanu bet very small with $3,600 and Polk called, bringing a 9 river. Polk checked again and Negreanu shoved for a hair over the $26,428 in the pot. Polk tanked awhile then clicked call. Negreanu showed 22 for the low straight and Polk had called shockingly light: AK.

Most of the ensuing 90 minutes or so would see the players hovering around even as neither player could take a significant edge. Finally, a breakthrough came when Polk called a three-bet and 8KQ flopped. Each player checked, bringing a Q. Negreanu check-called $5,634 and then checked the 7. Polk went with an overbet of almost $30K into the $19,680 pot. Negreanu called but was shown Q6 for trips.

Polk won another nice pot just shy of $50K to close it out when Negreanu three-bet and fired big with $6,180 on 788. Both players checked the 6, bringing a 9. Negreanu checked a final time and then called a $13K bet, but Polk showed Q10 for a flush.

That was enough to push Polk into a medium win in the longest session to date.

Hands Played: 637
Results: Doug Polk +$93,542
Full session video

Day 7

The first big pot would see Polk three-bet about five minutes in and continue with a small sizing of $2,300 on K58. Negreanu called and the Q hit. Polk bet big this time with $9,602. Negreanu stuck around for the 7. Polk shoved for $24K effective, and Negreanu found the call with K10. Polk had air with AJ.

Then, it was Negreanu's turn to bet a king-high texture small after three-betting, putting in $2,000 on K105. Polk responded with a raise to $5,987 and Negreanu continued to the 2. He checked and Polk bet $10,049, half the pot. Negreanu shoved and Polk quickly called off his last $20,119 with J10 for a pair plus flush draw. He was behind as Negreanu held KQ and the brick river sent the $80K to Negreanu.

Negreanu continued to win on the table where those pots went down until he had accumulated a $200K stack about 40 minutes in. Overall, he was up six-figures on the day.

It would be almost another hour before the next stack changed hands. Negreanu was the three-bettor and fired $2,000 on 756. Polk raised on the dangerous texture to $5,987 and Negreanu shipped. Polk called to create a $97K pot.

Polk: QQ
Negreanu: AK

The 8 missed Negreanu but the 10 was the ticket to ship the most classic of races.

One of the biggest single-raised pots came up late in the session when Negreanu checked a 995 flop and Polk bet $599. Negreanu peeled and the K hit. Polk barreled again for $2,021 and Negreanu raised this time, to $5,642. Polk called the small raise for a 3 river. Negreanu bet $10,727 and Polk called but couldn't beat 109 for trips.

Negreanu didn't need such a monster in the last big pot, when he called a three-bet and then Polk bet $5,505 on the 224 flop. Negreanu peeled for the 3 turn. Another bet of $6,345 was met another call, then both players checked the 10. Polk had the nut low: 75. His may have regretted his decision not to bluff when Negreanu showed AJ.

Negreanu wound up with a stack of $275K on one table by the time they called it quits, and his profits were also north of $200K fo his best day yet.

Hands Played: 591
Results: Daniel Negreanu +$222,832
Full session video

Day 8

The two played a big pot almost right off the bat as Negreanu three-bet then bet $6,155 on 24Q. Both players checked the 4 and the 2 double-paired the board and brought home the backdoor flush. Negreanu checked and called $13,745. Polk showed Q10 but his attempt to squeeze out some value backfired as Negreanu had J9 for the flush.

Polk put the pressure on when the board came 9J344 in a pot he opened on the button. After a normal sizing on the flop, he overbet the turn for $5,016 into $3,344 then blasted in $20,065 on the river. Negreanu called with a worse hand than AJ.

A flop of 583 hit after a Negreanu three-bet and he put in $6,155. Polk called the big sizing then faced a shove of $30K effective, well over the $20,515 pot, on the 7. He called with 65 but was in bad shape against 99 and didn't find any help on the K.

Polk got a lucky runout in a three-bet pot when he fired the flop and turn to build a $28K pot on 773Q5. Finally, he checked the river and Negreanu bet $21,155. Polk snap-called with 96 for the flush, and he'd been in rough shape from the get-go against 97.

Polk got a little more when a dangerous board developed as Negreanu three-bet then checked a 675 flop. Polk bet small with $2,816 and Negreanu called. He check-called more barrels of $4,676 on the 8 and $15,759 on the K but Polk showed J9 for the top-end four-liner and won the $55K pot.

Negreanu took one of the viral pots of the match when he three-bet and continued for $2,000 on 5AQ. Polk called and the A turned. Each player checked to see a 3 river for free. Negreanu bet big with $9,155 and Polk just jammed. Negreanu snap-called for $31K more since he had AA and Polk showed he'd been coolered with K8.

Polk scooped a couple of decent pot down the stretch, including one where he turned a flush against Negreanu's nut straight only for the board to double-pair on the river and cost him value when they both checked. It wasn't enough to erase the loss completely, but he did wind up only down about half of a buy-in.

Hands Played: 457
Results: Daniel Negreanu +$24,156
Full session video

Day 9

Negreanu looked to continue his streak and got off to a pretty nice start 20 minutes in when he raised and called a three-bet, then Polk checked to him on 579. Negreanu sized down with $2K and Polk fired in a sizable raise to $10,185. Negreanu called, and Polk shoved for $32K into $28K on the 2. Negreanu was in there in a hurry, having flopped a set with 77 and Polk saw his KK mucked when he couldn't find a bigger set on the river.

It was Polk showing up with the cooler on a 95429 runout as he bet the flop big and the turn small after three-betting preflop. He jammed for just shy of $40K effective on the end and Negreanu called with J10 to create a pot of almost $110K. Unfortunately for him, Polk had the K7 for a bigger flush.

Negreanu got a look at one of Polk's light four-bets when all the money went in on 735 following Polk's overbet jam from the button. Negreanu rolled with his 66 and was fading a pile of cards since Polk had Q4. The 7 turn and 4 river left Negreanu with a winning straight.

Neither player had managed to gain much of an edge across the first hour, but that would change in a major way after the break.

Polk tried to play a $150K pot when Negreanu three-bet and sized up for $6,534 on the 274 flop and $16,336 on the 9. The 6 finally prompted Negreanu to check and Polk shoved in for $50K, just under the pot. Negreanu instantly mucked.

Another potential six-figure pot actually came to fruition when Negreanu four-bet to $10,420 and Polk called, bringing a K105 flop. Polk checked and called $4,400. On the 9 turn, Polk opted to lead small for $8,891. Negreanu called, and the 5 river had Polk jamming in for Negreanu's $28,260. Negreanu called pretty quickly with QJ but his straight had been wrecked on the river as Polk showed 1010.

The theme of the final hour was Polk shoving river in $30K and $40K pots. Each time he blasted off, Negreanu opted not to look him up, and Polk's lead swelled until he was up more than $200K by the time they called it quits. That was enough to pull him back in front overall.

Hands Played: 377
Results: Doug Polk +$205,521
Full session video

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