Doug Polk Issues a $5 Million Challenge to Tom Dwan via YouTube

September 8th, 2017 | by Brian Corlisse

Social media-savvy poker pro Doug Polk has issued a $5 million high stakes challenge to one of the best no-limit hold’em heads-up players in the world, Tom Dwan.

Doug Polk $5 million challenge

Doug Polk has issued a $5 million challenge to Tom Dwan in a comedy video posted on his YouTube channel. (Image: World Poker Tour)

Following Dwan’s recent return to the spotlight as part of Poker After Dark’s new season, Polk has taken his opportunity to try and coax the respected player into action. Using the power of social media to get his message out the masses, Polk called out Dwan via his YouTube channel.

A Fun Way to Issue a Serious Challenge

Although Polk was clearly having some fun during the video, he insisted that he was serious about the challenge. While the exact details haven’t been laid out, the high stakes player said he’s prepared to play Dwan heads-up for $5 million even though he’s an underdog.

Assessing his chances of success at around 20 percent, Polk said that he likes those odds if it means he gets to defeat one of the best ever. Naturally, given Dwan’s recent history with heads-up challenges and not completing them, Polk wants the money to be placed into an escrow if the match ever happens.

Naturally, “if” is the operative word here, but Polk is doing everything in his poker to make the dream match a reality. Calling on his followers to tweet, message, and generally pressure Dwan into at least acknowledging the offer, Polk clearly has his finger on the pulse of the poker community when it comes to self-promotion.

Social Media Making Poker Players Viral

The strategy of using social media to gain some exposure is something more young pros are becoming aware of. With platforms such as YouTube giving the likes Polk a way of reaching a wide audience, it’s now seen as the best way to build up a ‘brand’.

During the poker boom, it was often the case that established pros would attract the most sponsorship and TV coverage. This often frustrated many of the online players that felt they weren’t getting the exposure they deserved.

Today, however, poker sites give a lot more value to a player’s social media presence. Like Polk, players such as Jamie Staples and Jason Somerville have not only become popular streamers on Twitch and YouTube, but secured sponsorship deals with PokerStars because of it.

Polk’s video clearly falls into this new narrative, which is why it’s likely to generate a lot of interest across the industry. Although TV is far from dead, it’s not the only player in town and that’s something Polk is clearly using to his advantage as he aims to entice Dwan in to a big money showdown.


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