Negreanu halves deficit but can he really make a comeback?


The bitter feud that kicked off the heads-up high stakes match between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk was an entertaining one, with Polk claiming that odds of 4:1 against him were lucrative ones and at the same time he would soon be backing up a truck to fill with his rival Daniel Negreanu’s money.


After 10,000 hands, Polk was up by close to a million dollars and while the balance had levelled out a little by the 12,500-hand halfway stage, many thought it obvious that Daniel Negreanu’s best play at that stage would be to quite while he was behind by six figures.

Kid Poker decided to fight on.

Since then, fortune has certainly favoured the Canadian, with five straight wins in sessions amounting to 2,750 hands meaning that the six-time WSOP bracelet winner is now down by a much more manageable $484,073.

According to a tweet from Negreanu, he’s currently running under EV by almost $200,000 too, so if all was fair in love and all-ins, he’s be less than $300,000. Chump change to the GGPoker ambassador.

Negreanu’s current deficit equates to 12 buy-ins to the $200/$400 NLHE tables he plays against Polk (two tables run at the same time), not a small amount but not an insurmountable number either given there are 9,750 hands of poker still to play.

Polk himself has been unusually contrite in recent times, with far fewer threats to open up the truck door and fill up the back with DNegs’ hard-earned money.

As he put it later, however, Polk was more than happy to credit his opponent.

“I gotta say, [Negreanu] is playing just night and day better than at the start of the challenge. I still think I have the edge, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s pretty low at this point. Gotta give credit where credit is due.”

Is Polk giving credit where credit is due, or could this be a cunning ploy to manipulate the betting markets? Well, let’s take a look at them. Where Negreanu was 15/1 to book a win just a few weeks ago, the best price available for the Canadian to win the challenge is 8.50. In digital terms, Polk is still nailed-on, only available at 1.08, but like we just said, that could be quite a chunk if you bet enough and there are some deep pockets in the poker community.

Mike Matusow has waded into the furore, stoking the already roaring fire by asking his audience if, after five winning sessions on the bounce and reducing his arrears from $985,000 at one stage to half a million dollars less, Negreanu could win the match.

Overwhelmingly, ‘The Mouth’s followers have voted in the negative, with a whopping 68.9% giving Negreanu just a 10% to 25% chance. With 22.5% believing Negreanu has a 25% to 40% chance of the win, only 8.6% think the Canadian poker legend has a better than 40% chance.

The value isn’t there given popular opinion sides with Polk at least 91.4% of the time to back Negreanu at 8.5, and that’s presuming the ‘Over 40%’ demographic all think Negreanu would win, which of course doesn’t apply to some of their number.

Matusow is not put off, stating: ‘I’ll take 7 to 1 on [Negreanu] for $2,000 if anyone wants to DM me!”

Brave talk from Matusow. We wonder if Polk is blocked or whether he’s tapping out a message to The Mouth as we speak.