Can Daniel Negreanu make a comeback against Doug Polk?

Poker game

The high stakes feud between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk has seen 16 sessions of poker take place so far, and despite and early lead and a rally after half a dozen sessions, it is now looking extremely likely that Doug Polk will make it to the crucial halfway stage with a massive lead.

After the 16th session, according to Polk’s Twitter page, the 7,921st hand concluded with the man himself ahead by a massive $674,000. Negreanu, who famously deposited a million dollars onto the site to take part in the challenge is looking at a potential seven-figure rebuy situation if he drops much more behind his younger opponent.

In truth, Negreanu hasn’t played badly at all, even if he was first to admit that he butchered suited queen-ten in the latest session.

That saw a win in the session for Polk to the tune of $160,348, and the ever-reflective one looked back on his action on the site over the years.

Polk’s experience and sheer volume in heads-up is starting to show, but what can Daniel Negreanu do to keep on his coattails, let alone attempt to turn the tide? Polk’s attitude to the game was summed up in one of his responses during a Q & A about the grudge match on Reddit.

“I think there is basically no strategic intrigue, you spend enough time grinding the solvers you will get better,” he said in one comment. “If you like playing poker as a hobby I think that’s cool. Expect to lose though, unless you are in extremely soft games. If you actually want to win, its going to take hundreds/thousands of hours of study and/or some very fortunate runs.” 

That could be taken by inspiring by some, but to others, it is reason why Polk is looking to leave the game a little in his slipstream after this challenge. Although that thought might be premature if one Tweet this week is anything to go by:

Negreanu’s comment to a Twitter anti-railer was revealing in itself as he admitted, “I’m losing because he is better and I’ve been unlucky.”

Negreanu may need a few live sessions to work his way back into contention, and this is something that Polk was loosely interested in when he put a Tweet out there and requested 25,000 retweets to show “occasional” hole cards.

If he can’t get the tide turning in his favour, however, then Negreanu may be thinking of emigrating… if he is, then he is touting Bollywood as an early destination front-runner. If the betting market opens, you heard the scoop here first.

With just over 4,500 hands until the decision needs to be made whether to stop or go on at 12,500 hands (the halfway stage), how the next few sessions go could determine the pattern of the second half of the grudge match… or call time on it before the crowd have got their money’s worth.