Daniel Negreanu Triumphs in Opening Battle Against Doug Polk

November 6th, 2020 | by Greg Shaun

Daniel Negreanu has raced to a commanding leading in his much anticipated (and bet on) match against Doug Polk.

Negreanu vs. Polk

Daniel Negreanu has raced out to an early lead in his high stakes match against Doug Polk. (Image: MasterClass)

The two rivals played the first 200 of 25,000 hands inside the PokerGo studio in Las Vegas on November 4. The decision to start the match in a live setting was something of a last-minute change but it clearly suited Negreanu.

Kid Poker is more experienced in face-to-face showdowns and that allowed him to open up a $117,000 lead.

Daniel Negreanu Sniffs Out Bluffs

The match started well for Negreanu after Polk attempted a bluff on the very first hand. With the board showing K♦2♠9♥6♣8♠, Polk made a play for the pot with A♥4♣. Unfortunately for him, Negreanu had K♠3♥ and, after a moment’s thought, he called.

That hand set the trend for the rest of the session as it looked as though Polk was more intent on bluffing than value betting. Of course, his aggressive tactics may simply be a ploy.

With more than 24,000 hands left to play, Polk could be playing on his reputation as an aggressive online guy to set up something later on.

Then there’s the visual aspect of the match. It won’t have escaped the attention of either player that the action was being streamed on PokerGo.

As much as the match is about asserting dominance and winning money, it’s also entertainment. Putting on a show is all part of the schtick and both Negreanu and Polk know that.

This could be the reason for some of the bluffs. Or it could simply be that Polk made bold moves in potentially profitable spots, but his timing was off. Or, maybe, Negreanu was hot on his reads during the session.

Doug Polk Still Alive but Daniel Negreanu Looks Strong

Whatever the reasons for why the first 200 hands went down the way they did, the fact remains Negreanu is in a commanding position. That’s not only good news for Kid Poker but those backing him.

Mike Matusow has $10,000 on his friend to win, while Bill Perkins has booked $1 million worth of action. The question now is whether Polk can come back.

He has plenty of hands to reverse the deficit. Moreover, he’s more accomplished online than Negreanu. With the remainder of the match set to play out on WSOP.com, this would suggest Polk is still a favorite.

However, Daniel Negreanu can never be counted out. He’s taken on the game’s best for two decades and often comes out on top.

The only certainty at this point is that Negreanu vs. Polk is off to a flying start and things are only going to get better.


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