Doug Polk

Doug Polk

aka "WCGRider, WCG|River"
United States
United States
GPI Rank 4,435
WSOP Bracelets 3
Total Live Earnings $10,493,952
The Hendon Mob Data provided by The Hendon Mob


Doug Polk is an American poker player, co-owner of The Lodge Poker Club in Round Rock, Texas, and one of poker's most outspoken commentators. He amplifies his voice through his YouTube channel Doug Polk Poker and through his podcast Doug Polk Podcast. His style of analysis has got him into several scandals.

Doug Polk, his wife, and his child are based in Austin, from where he travels occasionally to big games in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Doug Polk's net worth owes as much to cryptocurrency as it does to poker. He was an early adopter of Bitcoin and was a spokesperson for the failed Coinflex crypto exchange.

Doug Polk also runs Upswing Poker, a poker coaching site.

Doug Polk Background

Doug Polk got his first taste of competitive gameplay as a kid in Pasadena, California. His father taught Doug to play chess at the age of five. Polk developed this interest in strategy and gamesmanship into serious video game competition.

At the age of 15, Polk was competing at the World Cyber Games at Warcraft 3 until university stepped in and put a stop to it. During college at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, Polk discovered poker.

He quit before graduation to go full-time at the game.

Doug Polk Poker History

Doug Polk started playing poker online during the poker boom under the screenname WCGRider. Starting out at $0.01-$0.02 stakes, Polk was a breakeven "rakeback pro" for years before focusing on his heads-up game.

Polk soon made his name in poker by being one of the best Heads-Up No Limit Hold'em players.

Offline, he has three World Series of Poker bracelets. His most notable win was at the 2017 WSOP when Doug Polk won Event #6: $111,111 High Roller for One Drop.

Polk has also appeared on the beloved High Stakes Poker and also beat Daniel Negreanu for $1.2 million in their highly publicised heads-up battle.

Doug Polk's WSOP Bracelets

June 2014Event #23: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo1,473$251,969
July 2016Event #61: $1,000 Tag Team No-Limit Hold'em863$76,679
June 2017Event #6: $111,111 HIGH ROLLER for ONE DROP No-Limit Hold'em130$3,686,865

Is Doug Polk Good at Poker?

Yes. Doug Polk is one of the top players in the world at heads-up No Limit Holdem. Much of Doug Polk's net worth in the early days of his career came from grinding heads-up poker. He is well respected in the poker community for poker skills and

Polk cemented his status as one of pokers best in 2021 with his heads-up challenge against Daniel Negreanu (see below for more details on the Doug Polk-Daniel Negreanu Beef). Polk beat Negreanu for $1.2 million.

As well as crushing the games, Doug Polk is also a well-respected heads-up Hold'em coach and owner/operator of Upswing Poker.

Doug Polk $100k Heads-up Challenge

As part of the publicity for The Lodge Poker Club, Doug Polk issued the Doug Polk $100k Heads Up Challenge. He offered to take any comers at $200/$400 No Limit Holdem, played heads up on The Lodge Live Stream.

So far, Scott Ball, Daniel "Jungleman" Cates, and Bill Perkins have taken up the offer, battling it out with Polk on The Lodge Live Stream.

Wealth - What is Doug Polk’s Net Worth?

Estimating a player's net worth is always a tough process. Doug Polk owns several businesses on top of his poker income.

His shares in The Lodge Poker Club and Upswing Poker make up some of his net worth.

Polk is on record as saying the majority of his earnings have come from trading cryptocurrencies. Given the swings involved in that market, his net worth is likely somewhat variable.

However, the best estimate of his net worth comes from looking at his poker roll. When playing in a $1 million buy in-game, he wondered if he should sell some action. Although $1 million didn't seem too high to play, he was concerned about potential rebuys. Since cash game players are usually advised to have 20-50 buy-ins available, it seems likely that these suggest a good (if broad) range to estimate Doug Polk's net worth at between $20 million and $50 million.

How Did Doug Polk Make His Money?

Doug Polk made his money initially by playing poker. He built up his bankroll grinding for rakeback before focusing on heads-up poker and becoming one of the best in that field.

Polk invested his poker winnings in cryptocurrency. During bull markets in the cryptosphere, Polk earned a great deal. Polk also has income streams from occasional sponsorships (as with Coinflex) and from his businesses, including Upswing and The Lodge.

These investments and income streams have built him a net worth estimated at a minimum of $20 million.

Doug Polk Wife - Is Doug Polk Married?

In November 2021, Doug Polk married his long-time girlfriend Kaitlin née Karges. The pair have remained married, and in early 2022 they had their first child, Otis.

Doug, Kaitlin, and Otis Polk live in Austin, Texas.

Doug Polk on YouTube

As well as a successful career on the felt, Polk was one of the first poker players to take his talents to YouTube, where he has around 380k subscribers on his Doug Polk Poker channel alone. His videos regularly get 100k+ views.

Does Doug Polk Have a YouTube Channel?

Yes. Doug Polker Poker and Doug Polk Podcast are two of the most popular and influential poker Youtube channels.

Doug Polk Poker (informally known as Polker News) is a channel made up of a mix of poker news, gossip, and opinion in which Polk often takes on personal and community feuds.

On his podcast channel,

Does Doug Polk Have a Podcast?

Doug Polk Podcast is available in all the usual places you might get your podcasts. It is also available in part on Youtube.

Doug Polk - Daniel Negreanu Beef

Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu spent many years hating each other. Their personal antagonism was poker's gain though as it led to one of the biggest poker matches since the Nick Dandalos v. Johnny Moss game in the 1940s.

Why did Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu Hate Each Other?

Doug Polk frequently uses his platform to call out players he dislikes personally or who he sees as bad for the poker community. Daniel Negreanu, for years, seemed to meet both criteria. Doug Polk made several videos criticizing Negreanu, who in turn would frequently call out Doug Polk on Twitter and in interviews.

The pair's feud reached a breaking point in 2020 when they agreed to settle their differences over the heads-up poker table.

Do Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu Still Hate Each Other?

After playing each other for months, Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk seemed to find each other's humanity. They no longer appear to hate one another, despite their many years of acrimony.

Are Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu Friends?

While Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu do not hang out or spend time with each other, since their heads-up match, they seem on friendly terms.

Doug Polk and The Lodge Poker Room, Texas - Does Doug Polk Own The Lodge?

In January 2022, Doug Polk announced his purchase of The Lodge Poker Room in Texas. Andrew Neeme, Brad Owen, and Doug Polk joined together to buy the business with the aim of setting up a player-focused poker room in the nascent Texan market.

Doug Polk Controversies

Doug Polk controversies are semi-regular affairs in the poker world. He often courts controversy as a marketing tool, using his platform to poke fun, criticize, and sometimes just outright attack other members of the poker community.

While this often makes for entertaining content, it also gets Polk into trouble from time to time.

Doug Polk CoinFlex Scandal

Doug Polk was a spokesperson and major advocate of Coinflex. When Coinflex collapsed in mid-2022, Doug Polk received criticism for continuing to defend his involvement in the company. Polk also received criticism for the perceived hypocrisy of his attacks on Phil Hellmuth for advertising Bitcoin Latinum.

Polk resigned from CoinFlex but refused to apologize to the poker community.


In 2018, Doug Polk and Upswing Poker went to court with one of their coaches, Fernando "JNandez" Habegger. Upswing claimed Habegger breached contract, but the court ruled the contract was not breached, and Habegger was paid the money he was owed, plus court costs.

Habegger alleged that Polk and Upswing then conducted a smear campaign, using SEO to ensure that searching for Habegger's name and online handle would bring up pages alleging he was a bad actor in the poker community. In 2023, with support from Charlie Carrel and several other alleged victims of Doug Polk's online bullying, Habegger told the full story on Twitter causing Doug Polk to deny many of the accusations made by Habegger.

Charlie Carrel

For many years, Doug Polk accused Charlie Carrel of being a paedophile sympathizer. This came from a misreading of one of Carrel's tweets. Polk continued in this attack long after Carrel addressed the issue and spoke about his own childhood victimization. In 2023, Polk apologized for hurting Carrel.

Doug Polk FAQs

Who owns Upswing Poker?

Doug Polk, Ryan Fee, and Matt Colletta founded Upswing Poker together in 2015.

Does Doug Polk have a bracelet?

Doug Polk has three WSOP bracelets.

How did Doug Polk learn poker?

Doug Polk started playing poker at college before dropping out to go pro.

How old is Doug Polk?

Doug Polk was born on December 16, 1988. He turned 34 in 2022.

Does Doug Polk have Twitter?

Yes. Doug Polk is very active on Twitter under the handle @DougPolkVids.

PokerNews Covered Events

Event Place Prize
2023 World Series of Poker
Event #76: $10,000 WSOP Main Event World Championship
674th $27,500
2023 World Series of Poker
Event #8: $25,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship
2nd $313,362
2022 The Lodge Championship Series
Event #13: $3,000 Main Event
4th $142,000
2017 Poker Masters
Event #4 $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em
2nd $468,000
2017 Poker Masters
Event #3 $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em
5th $144,000
2017 World Series of Poker
Event #6: High Roller for One Drop - $111,111 No-Limit Hold'em
1st $3,686,865
2016 Run It Up Reno
$85 6-Max Turbo
24th $139
2015 Aussie Millions
$250,000 Challenge
3rd 1,041,500 AUD
2014 World Series of Poker
Event #23: $1,000 Turbo No-Limit Hold'em
1st $251,969
2014 World Series of Poker
Event #10: $10,000 Limit Omaha Hi-Low Championship
11th $33,949
2014 World Series of Poker
Event #3: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha
88th $2,274
2014 Aussie Millions
$100,000 Challenge
4th 860,000 AUD
2012 World Series of Poker
Event 12: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em
15th $20,674
2011 World Series of Poker
Event #58: $10,000 Main Event
592nd $21,295

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