Poker Stories of the year: Negreanu and Polk’s high stakes feud


It’s been a busy year in poker for many players, but it’s hard to think of one who has been putting out content with the regularity and energy of Daniel Negreanu.


The 46-year-old, known as ‘Kid Poker’ is a big fan of the Rocky movies, but he found himself up against the ropes across the 12,000 hands played in the first half of the challenge.

It all started so well for Negreanu as he took a six-figure lead in the live portion of the challenge, which constituted a fairly thin 200 hands, all broadcast on PokerGO. Master of the live arena, Kid Poker banked a decent profit, but Polk was always going to be fine with that given the next 24,800 potential hands would be at the felt where he is king.

Negreanu may have drawn first blood, but Polk got back into the match and was in the lead after a couple of online sessions. There was a min-revival for the Canadian, however, when he won 5th session by over $200,000 and took a surprise lead.

Polk was undeterred, though. After a dozen sessions, Negreanu being ahead was a distant memory, with Polk up almost $600,000 after a stunning 12th session where the American won by over $330,000 in just 684 hands of carnage at the felt.

While the technicalities of sidebets was questioned by Negreanu-bettor Bill Perkins in mid-November, by the middle of this month, we felt it only fair to critically analyse whether Negreanu could make a comeback or whether he might be better off quitting at half-time.

The latest session took place on December 23rd, where Doug Polk was a big winner again.

With the challenge likely to get ugly for Negreanu in the New Year it could already be much worse, with the Canadian poker legend and six-time WSOP bracelet winner having been down almost a million dollars a couple of thousand hands ago.

The start of a comeback or the reducing of arrears? It looks like the latter for now. For Doug Polk, he may need to hire a bigger truck to carry away the cash won if things carry on as they are, but if he takes his eyes off the road, he could easily head for a crash.

Expect some high-octane stuff once rivalries resume in January, with Daniel Negreanu heading into 2021 as a 16/1 underdog and Polk as an overwhelming, almost unbackable favourite.