Final details have yet to be released on Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk’s highly-anticipated Heads-Up grudge match, but that is not stopping Polk from using the downtime to preparing for the challenge.
Over the last few weeks since the highly-anticipated heads-up challenge was announced, Doug Polk has been hitting the low-stakes heads-up tables with various players. Most recently, Doug Polk played some No Limit Hold’em heads-up during a two-hour session with poker vlogger Matt Vaughn on Americas Cardroom. The game $2/$4 No-Limit Hold’em, low stakes by Doug Polk standards and much lower than what he will ultimately play against Negreanu. Fortunately for Polk fans, the match was streamed by Vaughn and posted on YouTube:
As of last week, the 15,000 hands of training had led to nearly $10k in losses, the equivalent of a -15.08 BB/100 rate. After “retiring” from poker, Polk is freshening up on his skills by seeking out more heads-up opponents, including at higher stakes, which ultimately led Vaughn to take him up on the offer (although the pair decided to play $2/$4). Here’s what Polk had to say about the relatively difficult restart to his poker career:
After 15k hands of losing poker, its time to move up to where they respect your raises.
Looking to play some $5/$10 and $10/$20 now if anyone wants to play some HU
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) August 25, 2020
What do we know about the Doug Polk versus Daniel Negreanu heads-up match so far?
The full details of the grudge match between Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu have not been revealed but some information has trickled out to what the challenge will ultimately look like.
What game will Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk in their challenge?
We know that the pair will play two simultaneous tables of heads-up $200/$400 No Limit Hold’em, according to an early tweet from Daniel Negreanu.
When will the Negreanu/Polk Challenge take place?
Neither side seems to be in a significant hurry to get the match charted. Polk seems to be happily (or unhappily?) be training for the match while Negreanu is busy with the WSOP on GG Poker, where he is an ambassador. However, poker fans won’t likely have to wait as they have for the infamous Jungleman vs durrrr Challenge match. In a blog for Doug Polk’s Upswing Poker, it was suggested that the match likely wouldn’t happen until sometime after the GG Poker portion of the WSOP, which concludes by mid-September.
How many hands will Negreanu and Polk play?
It was suggested in August that the pair would play somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000 to 25,000 hands, although a final number has yet to be agreed to. The number is typical of recent popular Challenges played by Phil Galfond, which also could get underway over the next few weeks.
Can I watch the Negreanu/Polk Challenge?
Almost certainly. Negreanu and Polk are both savvy when it comes to streaming. There is virtually no chance that the pair don’t use their established presence on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch to make it even more of a spectacle than it already is shaping up to be. You can be sure that when final details are officially released that you will have a way to watch with popcorn in hand.
Who is likely to win this thing?
The circumstances for the match have led to some interesting dynamics in handicapping the match. On the surface, Polk seems to be a clear favorite since heads-up No Limit Hold’em is his signature game (whereas it is not for Negreanu). Polk will also benefit from an online format versus a live setting, where Negreanu is strong with his renowned hand-reading skills.
Favoring Negreanu is the fact that Polk has apparently not played much No Limit Hold’em over the last couple years and could be relatively rusty. Still, the smart money seems to be on the side that Polk will not have lost much during his retirement.
PokerShares has posted odds for the match and at the time of this writing, Doug Polk is currently a 1.25 favorite in the market compared to Daniel Negreanu’s 4.10 using European odds. This market effectively gives Polk a 80% chance of winning.