The Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk heads-up match kicked off on November 4th when the pair played their first session from the PokerGo studios, with Daniel Negreanu winning by $116k. The session marked the start of the High Stakes Duel Heads-Up Challenge, which is expected to run through early 2021.

Where can you watch the heads-up match online?

You can view the sessions live through a variety of different ways on Twitch and Youtube:

GG Poker Official YouTube Channel
DougPolkPoker Official YouTube Channel
Upswing Poker Official Twitch Channel
Joey Ingram YouTube channel
Solve for Why YouTube channel

PokerGo broadcast the first day of action on November 4th with Negreanu and Polk playing 200 hands. Negreanu started the challenge on a strong note, winning $116k. You can watch that session here.

Note: The post was last updated late on November 25th, after Day 11 of the Negreanu/Polk Heads-up Challenge.

What do we know about the Doug Polk versus Daniel Negreanu heads-up match up?

The full details of the grudge match between Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu were set in the days leading up to the November 4th start date. Details were solidified in early to mid-October which you can read more about – The Top 8 things we learned from the Negreanu/Polk heads-up match.

In short, here are the main terms:

  • 2 tables of $200/$400 No Limit Hold’em
  • 25,000 hands
  • The player behind after 12,500 hands may quit the match at that point

What game is Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk playing during their challenge?

The pair are playing two simultaneous tables of heads-up $200/$400 No Limit Hold’em, which was confirmed from an early tweet from Daniel Negreanu.

Who is winning the Daniel Negreanu/Doug Polk heads-up match?

Doug Polk is currently winning in his heads-up match against Daniel Negreanu by $264,109 after 11 sessions (November 25th). Here’s a session by session breakdown:

Session #Day of sessionWinner on dayHands on SessionTotal HandsOverall Leader after sessionNotes
1November 4th (live session from PokerGo studios)Daniel Negreanu ($116,000)200200Daniel Negreanu - $116,000The session was broadcast live on PokerGo
2November 6thDoug Polk ($218,000)424624Doug Polk - $101,000First online session on
3November 9thDoug Polk ($166,239)3821,006Doug Polk - $268,031Watch session
4November 11thDaniel Negreanu ($87,167)3661,372Doug Polk - $180,865Watch Session
5November 13thDaniel Negreanu ($206,994.59)3651,737Daniel Negreanu - $25,916.87Watch Session during which Negreanu overtakes Polk
6November 16thDoug Polk ($93,542.68)6372,374Doug Polk - $67.625.81Watch Session
7November 18thDaniel Negreanu ($222,832.70)5912,965Daniel Negreanu - $155,206.89Watch session
8November 19thDaniel Negreanu ($24,156.82)4573,422Daniel Negreanu - $179,363.71Watch session
9November 20thDoug Polk ($205,521.74)3773,799Doug Polk - $26,371.78Watch session
10November 23rdDoug Polk ($117,624) 8524,651Doug Polk - $143,996Watch session
11November 25thDoug Polk ($120,023.59)4165,067Doug Pok - $264,109.75Watch session live at 5:30 PM ET on Wednesday
12November 28thWatch session live on Saturday at 5:30 PM ET.

When did the Negreanu/Polk Challenge start?

The match is confirmed to begin on November 4th at 8 PM ET. It will likely run over many weeks and run until 2021.

Neither side originally seemed to be in a significant hurry to get the match started, after agreeing to the challenge earlier this summer. Polk was originally happily (or unhappily?) to be training for the match while Negreanu was busy with the WSOP on GG Poker, where he is an ambassador. However, poker fans won’t 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 wouldn’t happen until sometime after the GG Poker portion of the WSOP, which concluded by mid-September. In late October, the pair agreed to the November 4th start date.

How many hands will Negreanu and Polk play in their heads-up Challenge?

The pair will play 25,000 hands.

It was suggested in August that the pair would play somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000 to 25,000 hands, with players ultimately agreeing on a 25,000 hand challenge. The number is typical of recent popular Challenges played by Phil Galfond, which also recently restarted. The losing player will have the option of throwing in the towel after 12,500 hands.

Can I watch the Negreanu/Polk Challenge?

Negreanu and Polk are both savvy when it comes to streaming, and both settled on PokerGo to host the first day of the challenge, which was streamed live from the PokerGo Studios (yes, in the first session the pair played face to face). On the first day of the challenge, PokerGo broadcasted the first 200 hands for free beginning at 8 PM ET.

Of course, there was virtually no chance that Negreanu and Polk didn’t use their established presence on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch to make it even more of a spectacle than it already was shaping up to be. The heads-up challenge then moved to, where it is being streamed by various Twitch and YouTube channels.

A variety of streams are being provided by both parties, allowing you view all the action being played on Top streams include the GG Poker YouTube channel, the Doug Polk YouTube channel and the Upswing Twitch channel.

On Day 6 of the Negreanu vs Polk High Stakes Feud, Joey Ingram also got into the commentary game, providing his unique and perspective. Early indications are that he plans to continue with live streams throughout the match.

When is the High Stakes Feud with Negreanu and Polk being held?

So far, Negreanu and Polk have been taking a relaxed approach, playing 2-3 times a week with breaks during the weekend. Most of the matches have started at 5:30 PM ET with sessions lasting a couple of hours and about 300 hands playing during each session.

What are the odds of the Daniel Negreanu vs Doug Polk heads-up match?

At the start of the match, Daniel Negreanu was around 4.60 — or around 18% — to win the event, making Doug Polk a heavy favorite. Those odds change by the day as bettors get more information and results.

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 of years and could be relatively rusty. He’s also very used to the pressure and will undoubtedly have lots of resources to improve. 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 in September, Doug Polk was a 1.25 favorite in the market compared to Daniel Negreanu’s 4.10 using European odds. This market effectively gave Polk a 80% chance of winning, which means that things have been relatively steady if not continuing to move in Polk’s direction.

After Day 11, Polk’s odds moved to the highest they had thus far — about a 10:1 favorite.

Who has been the luckiest player thus far?

Without knowing whole cards, we can say for sure which player is running good. However, an ongoing analysis is being made of all-in EV in the match. Through the first nine sessions, Negreanu is getting relatively unlucky with his all-in situations.

Who is betting on the match?

There are many people wagering on the market over on PokerShares. In fact, some high-profile pros are also getting in on the act. Mike Matusow even bet half of his $10k bankroll on the match. Phil Hellmuth and Bill Perkins have also bet a lot on the match with both favoring Negreanu at those odds.

What do Polk and Negreanu have to say about the match?

Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk haven’t exactly been best friends in the weeks leading up to the match (or forever for that matter). When the pair were finalizing match negotiations, there seemed to be some element of mutual respect developing. However, that was not the case in the days leading up to the match, where both Polk and Negreanu were interviewed by PokerGo in a hype video where they explained their feud.

Are they still fighting?

The tension between Polk and Negreanu seemed to have subsided a bit once the match began. There was a slight dispute on November 17th over hand histories, but that was resolved once Phil Galfond mediated the issue.

In a post-game interview after their session 9 match, Doug Polk said that he stood by the criticisms he made of Negreanu but that he did go “a little too hard on him on some of the attacks.”

What other heads-up matches can I watch?

Right now is a great time to be a poker fan, especially if you like heads-up matches. In addition to Negreanu/Polk, be sure to check out the Galfond Challenge (available multiple times a week) along with High Stakes Duel, available exclusively on PokerGo every few weeks.

Any other matches planned?

Although it’s still a bit in the “pipe dream” phase both Doug Polk and the Instagram King, Dan Bilzerian have each shown interest in their own heads-up match. Bilzerian hinted that a match between Polk was in the works in early November, which was fueled by a Tweet from Polk strongly hinting at the desire for such a match.

How we got here

Final details have been 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 prepare for the challenge.

After the highly-anticipated heads-up challenge was announced, Doug Polk hit 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:

In the early days, the 15,000 hands of training led to nearly $10k in losses, the equivalent of a -15.08 BB/100 rate. After “retiring” from poker, Polk has been 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:

He was able to bounce back but was down overall in his initial return to poker:

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