Poker

Polk Crosses $1M in Winnings Vs. Negreanu


It looked for a minute like Rocky was making an epic comeback, but the underdog is back on the canvas with the ref counting to 10 in Doug Polk versus Daniel Negreanu.

After falling behind nearly $1 million in their $200/$400 heads-up grudge match, Negreanu rallied in impressive fashion. The GGPoker spokesman put together a string of seven wins in eight sessions to cut that number in half down to a $486K loss on Jan. 11.

However, complete domination by Polk has followed. He won the next four straight sessions, with the last being a crushing blow: a $298,000 win, his second-biggest of the match, on Jan. 20. Now buried seven figures with less than 8,000 hands remaining, “Kid Poker” finds himself truly up against it with everything stacked against him.

Learn everything there is to know about Polk vs. Negreanu!

Day 19

After the early action saw Negreanu take a small lead, Polk won a stack in a four-bet pot when he checked back the flop for a board of {j-Clubs}{4-Clubs}{9-Spades}{8-Clubs}. He put in a delayed c-bet for $7,062, a third of the pot, and Negreanu raised all in. Polk snap-called with top of set of jacks and had coolered his unfortunate opponent, who hit a set of fours and watched the $84K pot pushed the other way.

Negreanu then showed off some his newfound overbetting when he bet $1,500 in position in a single-raised pot on {j-Diamonds}{2-Hearts}{3-Hearts}. Polk called and then Negreanu went with big sizings of $7,400 on the {q-Clubs} and $30,600 on the {7-Spades}. Polk snap-called the river bet but was shown queens and jacks for the $80K pot.

A six-figure pot went to “Kid Poker” when he called a preflop raise and check-called flop and turn bets on a board of {5-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{2-Spades}{7-Clubs}{j-Hearts}. After potting the turn for $3,410, Polk blasted in $15,346 on the river, well over the pot. However, it was met by a check-raise all in for Polk’s remaining $33,602. He couldn’t get away from a set of sevens but was shown {6-Hearts}{3-Hearts} for the flopped nuts. Polk closed out the first hour stuck about six figures.

Polk was then able to recover somewhat, including picking off a river check-raise bluff by Negreanu, to get the deficit down to about a buy-in by the time they took a break.

Negreanu got a big river bet of $16K paid off when he flopped trip queens in a three-bet pot and slowplayed the flop and turn by just calling Polk’s barrels. Then, with $4,674 in the pot, Polk went for a bet of $3,832 on {8-Hearts}{7-Spades}{k-Hearts}{9-Diamonds}{j-Hearts}. Negreanu popped in a sizable raise to $13,089 and got paid off with {q-Clubs}{10-Clubs}, pushing his edge back close to six figures.

After a max win of nearly $170K, Negreanu saw a big chunk of that go back to his rival in a bit of a preflop cooler. Having three-bet preflop only to face a four-bet to $11K, Polk shipped it in for $55K and showed down {k-Hearts}{k-Clubs}, dominating Negreanu’s {j-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}. Four hearts hit the board and Polk scooped it with his superior flush.

Negreanu semi-bluffed off a stack when he called a three-bet from Polk, who led small for $2,300 into $8,217 on {q-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}{k-Diamonds}. Negreanu made it $6,601 then overbet shoved the {5-Hearts} turn for $29,288 effective. Polk found the call with {a-Clubs}{a-Hearts} and was in pretty good shape against {a-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}, successfully fading the river to get back to five figures of losses.

A massive pot of shy of $160K would be the biggest swing in the day’s play. They were almost 200 bigs deep when Negreanu put in a four-bet and made his usual small bet of $4,400 into $22K on {a-Clubs}{2-Clubs}{2-Spades}. Polk made it $14,652 on a check-raise and they went to the {j-Spades} turn. Polk bet again with $17,019 and Negreanu peeled, bringing a {7-Clubs}. Polk shoved the last $36K in and Negreanu was ready holding {a-Hearts}{j-Clubs}. Polk had been bluffing with {k-Clubs}{q-Hearts}.

Polk got one more stack back with bottom two versus top pair of aces, but it wasn’t enough to erase a deficit that amounted to $143K.

Hands Played: 834
Results: Daniel Negreanu +$143,642
Full session video

Day 20

Following more than a week off, they got back to it, and Polk took an unusual line early in the match when he four-bet to $10,953 and then just shoved $30,443 effective on the {4-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}{7-Hearts} flop. Negreanu looked him up with {6-Spades}{5-Spades} and was in great shape against {k-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}. The {3-Clubs} turn further improved him to a straight and left Polk needing a chop that the {j-Clubs} didn’t bring home.

Polk had recovered to almost even when the next huge pot went down, starting with a Negreanu three-bet then a check on {q-Clubs}{2-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}. Polk bet small with about $2,300 and Negreanu called, bringing a {3-Hearts}. Polk sized up with $8,777 but Negreanu again stuck around for the {k-Clubs} river. Polk shoved for just under the $30K pot when checked to, and Negreanu tanked a long time before clicking call. Polk could only muster pocket fours, no match for {q-Hearts}{9-Hearts}.

Negreanu kept the ball rolling on a board of {3-Diamonds}{k-Hearts}{9-Spades}{k-Clubs}{3-Spades}, getting a pot-sized bet of $21K paid on the river after the turn checked through and showing {k-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}.

A four-bet pot would see Polk, the aggressor, bet small with $4,552 on {a-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{4-Spades}. Negreanu peeled and the {5-Clubs} hit. Both players checked, bringing the {2-Diamonds}. Negreanu bet pretty big with $21,350. Polk shoved for $40,267 and was met with a snap-called as Negreanu hit a straight with {5-Spades}{3-Spades}. That was no good against {k-Clubs}{3-Clubs} for a flush, and Polk raked in $112K.

One more big pot went to Negreanu when Polk bet the river small for a third of the $18K pot on {4-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{9-Spades}{a-Spades}{2-Diamonds} and Negreanu raised to $29K. Polk called but couldn’t beat {4-Spades}{3-Spades} and they took a break with Negreanu up about $75K.

After the break, Polk three-bet and checked a {4-Spades}{3-Clubs}{6-Clubs} texture. Negreanu bet about $2,700, Polk raised to $8,491, and Negreanu ripped it in. Polk quickly called with {k-Clubs}{k-Spades} and prevailed against {5-Clubs}{5-Diamonds} when it ran {8-Clubs}, {10-Hearts} to earn a stack.

Play slowed down a bit from there. Polk reduced his deficit to about $65K then Negreanu worked back to a $130K win. That’s about where they sat for the remaining hour-plus until Polk closed things out picking off Negreanu, who went for a check-raise bluff for $21K over $4,794 on {4-Clubs}{5-Clubs}{j-Clubs}{6-Spades}{j-Diamonds} holding {5-Diamonds}{4-Hearts} against {9-Clubs}{3-Clubs}. It was only enough to get him down to a $120K loss.

Hands Played: ~600
Results: Daniel Negreanu +$120,000
Full session video

Day 21

Negreanu tried a five-bet shove early in the session but ran his {a-Diamonds}{q-Spades} smack into {a-Spades}{k-Spades}. All looked well for him on the {j-Diamonds}{q-Hearts}{4-Spades} flop but tens hit on both the turn and river to send the $80K pot to Polk’s Broadway. Negreanu got the stack right back a bit later when his own {a-Spades}{k-Spades} prevailed against {q-Diamonds}{q-Clubs} all in preflop, though.

Just shy of an hour in, Polk surged into a big lead. On one table, he got a pot-sized shove through for $29K on the river with a scary board of {8-Clubs}{7-Clubs}{5-Spades}{7-Hearts}{6-Hearts} out. On the other, he four-bet and called off for $50K with {j-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}. Negreanu had ripped it in with a smashed {3-Hearts}{3-Clubs} and the sweat was short when Polk flopped another jack.

Then, a float backfired for Negreanu as Polk three-bet then barreled pretty big with $5,505 on the {6-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}{4-Clubs} flop and $12,883 on the {j-Hearts} turn. Negreanu called and then faced a shove for the last $24K on the {8-Hearts} river. He quickly called with {q-Diamonds}{j-Spades} but saw he was hammered from square one as Polk held {q-Clubs}{q-Hearts}.

Negreanu three-bet preflop and went for $5,519 into $8,237 on a {4-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}{10-Spades} flop, with Polk calling to bring an {8-Spades}. Negreanu slowed down with a check and called a small sizing of $6,361. The river was the {2-Diamonds} and Negreanu checked. Polk shoved for $27,329 effective and Negreanu was in there right away with {q-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}. Second pair was no good, as Polk got max value with {k-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}.

One of the biggest preflop all-ins occurred a little more than two hours in when Polk four-bet to $12,360 and called Negreanu’s five-bet shove for $61,600. Negreanu showed {a-Spades}{k-Diamonds} and it was off to the races against {10-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}. A {k-Clubs}{9-Spades}{4-Spades}{8-Spades} left Polk all but done for the river and he couldn’t find his lone out.

They were more than 200 blinds deep on both tables by that point, so stacks stopped flying in as much. The potential did exist for a $200K pot when Negreanu four-bet and was called, putting a {5-Spades}{6-Spades}{2-Hearts} flop out with $21,567 in the middle. Negreanu continued for $10,800 and received a quick call, bringing the {9-Spades} turn. Negreanu barreled again, this time for a small sizing of $12,959. Polk called again, bringing the {q-Diamonds}. Negreanu crammed it in for a hair over the $69K pot but Polk snap-folded.

The deep stacks kept anyone from showing down anything too crazy as they played out the final hour-plus pretty evenly. One big pot did see Polk attempt a large bluff-catch on a board of {8-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds}{2-Hearts}{a-Clubs}{7-Spades}. Polk had fired the flop small and the turn big before checking river. Negreanu bet $18,897 into $28K and Polk looked him up light with {9-Clubs}{7-Clubs}. He was pleased to see Negreanu show {j-Spades}{10-Diamonds} and he put a stop to Negreanu’s winning streak with his own six-figure day.

Hands Played: 904
Results: Doug Polk +$114,140
Full session video

Day 22

After the marathon session on Day 21, less than 300 hands were needed to hit the halfway point. The players opted to get there in Day 22 and call it a year so they could take a break for the holidays until the calendar turned.

Things got started on a poor note for Negreanu when he called a four-bet to see a {6-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{2-Spades} flop. He checked, Polk bet about 20% of pot with $4,397, and Negreanu made it $9,339. Polk shoved for about $34K and Negreanu quickly called.

Negreanu: {q-Spades}{j-Spades}
Polk: {q-Diamonds}{q-Hearts}

Negreanu had a flush draw but was dead to a chop after the {2-Hearts} turn and made a worthless boat on the {j-Diamonds} river.

Another four-bet pot would see a more dynamic {5-Hearts}{9-Clubs}{a-Hearts} flop. Negreanu had four-bet this time and again small for $4,319. Polk peeled to bring the {4-Clubs}. Polk checked and Negreanu tried his another small bet of $9,070. Polk shipped for $34,797 and Negreanu snapped it off with {a-Diamonds}{j-Hearts}. He had Polk’s {a-Spades}{10-Spades} pipped and the {7-Spades} river didn’t help Polk.

The pendulum swung back to Polk in a three-bet pot when {j-Diamonds}{3-Hearts}{3-Clubs} flopped. He c-bet $2,997 into about $7,900 and Negreanu called. On the {q-Spades} turn, Polk check-called $5,553. He also checked the {4-Spades} and Negreanu shoved for $28K, just a bit over the pot. That was met with a snap-call and {a-Hearts}{a-Clubs} and Negreanu’s attempt to get value with {q-Hearts}{9-Hearts} cost him a stack.

Polk continued to run hot when he was dealt aces again, getting stacks in against Negreanu’s pocket jacks after a nine-high flop. He won a couple of more solid pots and soon had a six-figure lead.

The final 10 minutes saw a rush of money head to Negreanu, though. First, at about 200 blinds deep, Polk raised and went for an overbet of $2,416 into $1,933 on {a-Spades}{9-Clubs}{j-Diamonds}. Negreanu check-called and then faced a pot-sized bet of $6,767 on the {7-Clubs}. He check-called again, bringing a {4-Diamonds}. Negreanu’s final check was met by a huge overbet shove $69,414, more than triple the pot. That was fine by Negreanu since he’d slowplayed the {10-Hearts}{8-Spades} for the turned nuts, and Polk could only show down {8-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds} for complete air.

Polk tried firing off again as he barreled all three streets on {k-Clubs}{8-Spades}{q-Diamonds}{2-Spades}{8-Diamonds}. After a small flop bet in position versus Negreanu’s preflop three-bet and then check, Polk bet $9,161 on the turn and shoved river for $43,736 into about $32K. Negreanu quickly called with {k-Hearts}{10-Hearts} and was rewarded when Polk showed another bluff: {10-Hearts}{9-Hearts}.

Negreanu had turned a big loss on its head and booked a small win instead.

Hands Played: 279
Results: Daniel Negreanu +$35,000
Full session video

At this point, Negreanu had the option of waving the white flag on the challenge at the 12,500-hand mark. However, at a deficit of about $775K, he opted to keep playing.

Day 23

Polk kicked off the 2021 portion of the challenge by three-betting then betting flop and turn in the first big pot. He bet a little under half the pot with $3,313 on the {j-Spades}{6-Spades}{3-Hearts} then fired $9,725 on the {2-Diamonds}. A four-liner completed with the {5-Diamonds} and Polk finally checked with $23K left. Negreanu bet nearly all of that, leaving about $650 back for some reason, but Polk called and couldn’t beat {5-Spades}{4-Spades}.

Shortly after, Polk was again the aggressor pre and continued small on the {4-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{k-Hearts} flop. He bet bigger with $8,245 on the {4-Clubs} turn before making a pot-sized shove of $28K on the {9-Clubs}. Negreanu snap-called, having rivered a boat with {9-Hearts}{9-Spades}, and he’d gotten lucky versus {a-Spades}{k-Diamonds}.

A more successful hand for the Upswing founder came up a little over an hour in when Negreanu three-bet to $4,000 and bet small with $2,159 on the {3-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}{q-Hearts} flop. Polk called, and he called $8,251 more on the {k-Spades}. Negreanu emptied the clip with an overbet for $46,182 effective. Polk needed only a moment before clicking call with {k-Clubs}{j-Clubs} and was rewarded when he saw Negreanu had air from start to finish: {8-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}.

Negreanu looked to have generated significant value when he three-bet and continued for $5,519 on {9-Clubs}{5-Clubs}{10-Spades} before jammed the {2-Spades} for $30,360 into about $19K. Polk called with {5-Spades}{4-Spades} but he got lucky on the river against {j-Spades}{j-Diamonds}, making his flush with the {3-Spades}.

A preflop raising war would see Negreanu cram it in for $54K on that same table, getting snap-called by Polk’s {k-Spades}{k-Hearts}. Unfortunately for Polk, Negreanu showed him the aces and managed to fade the king to claim the six-figure pot.

That was the last major swing and it was enough to push Negreanu from a loser on the day to a winner.

Hands Played: ~650
Results: Daniel Negreanu +$27,000
Full session video

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Day 24

The first big pot of Day 24 would be ultimately inconsequential as Negreanu three-bet and barreled off all in on {6-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}{j-Hearts}{3-Hearts}{3-Clubs}. Polk looked him up with king-jack and Negreanu showed an identical hand to chop the pot.

Overall, a relatively slow first 90 minutes or so would see Negreanu build a lead of about a buy-in.

At about two hours in, things picked up in a big way. Negreanu three-bet to $4,000 preflop and continued for $2,159 on {10-Clubs}{6-Spades}{10-Diamonds}, with Polk meeting that with a call. Negreanu checked the {3-Hearts} and Polk bet $8,251. Negreanu called and checked the {j-Hearts}. Polk shoved for $43,310 effective, well over the pot. Negreanu snapped it off with {10-Spades}{9-Spades} for flopped trips, winning against a {9-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds} bluff to scoop $115K.

Negreanu continued to roll as he built his win to about $150K. Polk looked like he might start bringing it back when he got a bet-three-bet paid on a paired board of {7-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{6-Clubs}. Just $4,003 was in the middle when Polk bet $2,322 in position, and Negreanu made it $8,809. Polk came back with $19,621 and Negreanu called but couldn’t beat {9-Clubs}{5-Clubs}.

Polk had a change to bring it further back in simultaneous big pots. In one, he got a four-bet worth about $12K in preflop then c-bet $4,943 on {k-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}. Negreanu put in a check-raise to $11,087 and they went to the {2-Spades}. Negreanu checked again, this time folding to a small bet of about $13K.

On the other table, Polk got {q-Clubs}{q-Hearts} in preflop for $50K and was against {a-Hearts}{k-Hearts}. The {j-Diamonds}{a-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds} flop was grim for Polk but he settled for a chop when running diamonds hit.

A session with comparatively few big swings saw Negreanu up as much as $180K before winning just shy of $100K.

Hands Played: ~700
Results: Daniel Negreanu +$98,579
Full session video

Day 25

A back-and-forth first hour ended with a big swing as Polk got a three-bet in preflop then bet $3,313 into $7,888 on {j-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{3-Diamonds}. Negreanu peeled and then called $4,790 more on the {10-Diamonds}. Polk stuffed it for $28K, just over the pot, on the {a-Spades} river. Negreanu was ready with a snap-call having turned a flush with {q-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds} and Polk showed he’d gotten the worst river in the deck as he had {a-Clubs}{a-Hearts}.

Polk was down around $60K at break but worked his way back pretty close to even. Then, Negreanu threatened a $120K pot when he three-bet to $3,720 preflop and Polk called. The flop checked through for a board of {2-Hearts}{a-Spades}{8-Spades}{9-Hearts} and Negreanu checked again. Polk broke the ice with $4,983 only for Negreanu to wake up with a check-raise to $18,037. Polk called, and the {5-Clubs} completed the contested board. Negreanu shoved for $38,868 and Polk didn’t need much convincing as he folded pretty quickly.

Polk showed off his hero cape when he bet a {10-Hearts}{2-Spades}{2-Clubs} flop in position after calling a three-bet. Negreanu called the small sizing of $2,239 into $8K and the turn was a {4-Hearts}. Both players checked, bringing a {6-Spades}. Negreanu led out $8,358 and got looked up by just {a-Spades}{3-Spades}. The ace-high was good against {7-Spades}{5-Spades}.

Less than a buy-in separated the two when Negreanu three-bet and continued big for $5,358 on the {2-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{7-Clubs} flop. Polk jammed for $37,455 but that didn’t faze Negreanu as he called in a hurry with {10-Hearts}{10-Clubs}. It was a beautiful spot for him against {8-Hearts}{8-Spades} and he faded the turn and river.

Negreanu managed to squeeze out some big value when he three-bet preflop and continued for $5,358 again on {5-Spades}{9-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}. He barreled again for $12,538 on the {5-Hearts}, and the board double-paired with the {10-Clubs}. Negreanu bet $17,516 this time, and Polk looked him up but couldn’t beat {a-Hearts}{a-Spades}. They went to break with Polk still stuck, albeit less than two buy-ins.

A four-bet pot led to the next big spot, with Negreanu getting that in preflop and then betting $5,399 on {4-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}. Polk called and then took an unusual line when he led out $9,718 on the {9-Diamonds}. Negreanu responded with a shove and Polk called for $30K, just under the pot.

Negreanu: {k-Clubs}{k-Diamonds}
Polk: {7-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}

Polk was smacked by the bigger pair plus draw and the {a-Spades} didn’t help him.

Polk did grab the last four-bet pot, showing aggression after Negreanu declined to bet the {5-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{k-Clubs} flop. Polk led for a third of the pot, about $7,100 on the {4-Diamonds}, then shoved the {3-Spades} river and got through.

Negreanu was nonetheless able to book his fourth straight win.

Hands Played: 750
Results: Daniel Negreanu +$27,945
Full session video

Day 26

An unusual hand kicked things off in the first few minutes as Polk called a four-bet then came out firing with $6,479 into $21.5K on {7-Diamonds}{3-Hearts}{j-Clubs}. Polk slowed down with a check on the {k-Diamonds} turn. Less than pot remained to play and Negreanu shoved, with Polk snap-calling with {k-Hearts}{q-Clubs}. Top pair was no good as Negreanu had {a-Clubs}{a-Spades} and held on the river for the $85K pot.

An identically-sized pot was between them on the next big four-bet spot, with Negreanu again the four-bettor. This time, the flop checked through for a board of {6-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}{k-Clubs}{k-Hearts}. Polk again led $6,479 and again, Negreanu called. The river was a {7-Spades} and Polk shoved for $32K. Negreanu called pretty quickly with {j-Spades}{j-Hearts} and was good against {8-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}.

Polk had recovered some of his losses but was still down about $50K in the next big pot. He was the preflop aggressor with a three-bet and fired in a fairly large continuation-bet of $5,285 on {10-Clubs}{7-Spades}{5-Clubs}. Negreanu raised to $14,516 and Polk shoved. Negreanu quickly called off his $40K with {k-Diamonds}{10-Spades} and was up against a monster draw: {9-Clubs}{8-Clubs}. The {7-Clubs} got him there but the {7-Diamonds} river gave Negreanu a backdoor full house.

Polk finally regained some momentum when Negreanu barreled off all in on a board of {2-Hearts}{3-Clubs}{7-Clubs}{3-Spades}{k-Clubs} after three-betting preflop. Only half pot remained on the river and Polk snap-called with {5-Hearts}{3-Hearts} for trips, with Negreanu showing he’d gone for value with {q-Hearts}{q-Clubs}.

In a single-raised pot, Polk went for a triple-barrel on {a-Hearts}{k-Spades}{10-Spades}{2-Spades}{5-Diamonds}. He put in flop and river overbets, the latter for $21K into $14K, but got quickly picked off by {a-Spades}{10-Diamonds}. Polk had air with {9-Diamonds}{8-Spades}, having turned a draw that would have been worthless if he made it.

They could have potentially played a massive pot down the stretch when Polk opened preflop and bet small with $645 on {q-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}. Polk continued for $1,884 on the {6-Hearts} only to see Negreanu check-raise to $8,106. Polk called and they went to a {10-Clubs} river. Negreanu bet $13,039 and Polk shoved for $78,352. Negreanu thought a bit but ultimately let it go.

Still, he continued his winning streak with another big W.

Hands Played: ~600
Results: Daniel Negreanu +$130,000
Full session video

Day 27

Polk was up about a buy-in after a fairly tame first 45 minutes when simultaneous big pots went down.

Left table: {a-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}{3-Spades}{k-Spades}{2-Clubs}
Right table: {7-Clubs}{4-Spades}{q-Hearts}{j-Spades}{k-Spades}

On the right table, Polk three-bet preflop and triple-barreled all in. The shove was for $29K into $37K and Negreanu tanked a long time before folding. On the left table, Negreanu was the three-bettor and continued small on the flop, with Polk calling before taking over the turn and river betting when Negreanu checked. Again, Polk shoved for slightly under the pot, but this time Negreanu folded much more quickly.

Polk was up about $85K when the dust settled from those pots.

A cooler further cost Negreanu when he five-bet shoved $46K with queens, running into Polk’s aces and failing to find a lady on the runout.

A four-bet pot would be the first big one pushed to Negreanu when he c-bet small on {j-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{7-Clubs} and Polk check-raised small from $5,399 to $12,526. Negreanu jammed for $38,700 and Polk called with {k-Hearts}{j-Clubs} for top pair. He was beaten by {q-Clubs}{q-Diamonds} and didn’t improve, so Negreanu won the $99K pot.

Negreanu then three-bet to $4K and continued for $3,199 on {j-Clubs}{8-Hearts}{7-Spades}. Polk called, bringing the {5-Spades}. Negreanu bet big with $9,644 and Polk called. The river was the {3-Spades} and Negreanu shoved for $27,427, a little less than the pot. Polk tank-called with {j-Diamonds}{9-Clubs} and Negreanu showed {j-Hearts}{8-Diamonds} for jacks up to drag it.

Negreanu reduced a six-figure loss to around $20K before the final hour, but things went south again. One big spot would see him three-bet and then continue small for $2,159 on {j-Diamonds}{k-Clubs}{k-Spades}. Polk called and then faced another small barrel of $4,926 on the {10-Spades}. He called and Negreanu finally slowed down on the {2-Clubs}. Polk took the opportunity to fire big with $33,253. Negreanu called but couldn’t beat {a-Clubs}{q-Diamonds} for the turned gutter.

Negreanu did get $48K back when he picked up kings against {a-Hearts}{k-Hearts} but it wasn’t enough to prevent a six-figure loss.

Hands Played: ~600
Results: Doug Polk +$120,000
Full session video

Day 28

The announcers had barely introduced themselves when a four-bet pot kicked off the action. Negreanu raised to his favored $10,800 number and they went to a {10-Diamonds}{6-Clubs}{k-Spades} flop. Polk check-called $5,399 and then check-called the last $24,710 on the {2-Spades} turn. Negreanu was in awful shape as his dominating {a-Hearts}{q-Diamonds} had gotten about the worst board possible against {a-Spades}{10-Spades} and the {k-Hearts} didn’t help him on the river.

A single-raised pot would see a cooler develop a bit after that. Polk c-bet $763 on {k-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{9-Clubs} in position and Negreanu called. Polk barreled again on the {k-Spades} for $2,240. Negreanu check-raised to $9,268 and Polk called, bringing out a {5-Hearts}. Negreanu shoved for $36,833 effective, well over the $21K pot. Polk tanked a long time before calling with {k-Hearts}{7-Hearts} but was no good against {4-Clubs}{4-Spades}.

Negreanu was able to work up to a decent win of around $60K but then dropped a pretty big pot when he four-bet and c-bet small on the flop per usual before the turn checked through for a board of {2-Clubs}{7-Hearts}{k-Spades}{a-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}. Polk checked the river and Negreanu bet $21K, about two-thirds of the pot. Polk looked him up with {k-Clubs}{10-Clubs} and was good against {j-Spades}{10-Hearts}.

One of the biggest pots of the match developed with an innocent start as Polk raised preflop and then bet $1,311 into $1,957 on {6-Clubs}{7-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}. Negreanu check-raised to $5,094 and Polk called, bringing the {k-Spades}. Negreanu slightly overbet the pot on the turn with $13,361 and Polk stuck around for the {6-Diamonds}. Negreanu potted it, $38,869. Polk looked him up with {j-Spades}{7-Diamonds} and was good against {10-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}, swinging himself from stuck $50K to up on the day.

The swingy session continued with a preflop battle as Polk, facing a four-bet, opted to five-bet ship for about $53K. Negreanu went for the call with {9-Hearts}{9-Spades} and was happy to see he was in a dominating spot against {a-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}. He was even happier when no ace appeared to send him the $106K pot.

Negreanu three-bet preflop to a smaller size of $3,720 and they went to a dynamic flop of {a-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}. Negreanu continued small for $2,008 and Polk called, bringing a {7-Spades}. Negreanu potted for $11,456 and Polk snap-called, so they saw a {k-Clubs} river. Negreanu had barely checked before a bet of $23,025 was in front of Polk. Negreanu called but couldn’t beat {8-Hearts}{7-Hearts}.

They were almost dead even heading into the last 30 minutes when Negreanu four-bet and Polk snap-called to bring a {2-Clubs}{k-Clubs}{7-Spades} flop out. Negreanu bet $5,399 then both players checked the {7-Diamonds} to bring a {9-Hearts}. Negreanu potted for $32,396 and Polk snap-called again but was shown a rivered boat with {9-Diamonds}{9-Spades}.

Polk was able to erase that loss down the stretch though and even turned it into a small win.

Hands Played: 650
Results: Doug Polk +$26,198
Full session video

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Day 29

An interesting pot went down about 45 minutes in with Negreanu already up a little more than a buy-in. He three-bet and then checked an {8-Hearts}{7-Spades}{6-Spades} flop. Polk went with a small bet of $2,639 and Negreanu woke up with a big raise to $15,917. Polk shoved for $36K and Negreanu called.

Negreanu: {10-Hearts}{10-Spades}
Polk: {6-Hearts}{6-Diamonds}

It was an ugly flop for Negreanu and the {q-Hearts} turn and {a-Diamonds} river didn’t help him.

Polk had lost but regained the lead before the next big one, which saw Polk double-barrel the flop and turn small on {3-Spades}{j-Spades}{5-Clubs}{q-Spades}{8-Clubs} after three-betting pre. Polk gave up his betting on the river, and Negreanu shoved with just a little over the $24K pot left. Polk about beat him in there with {a-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds} and had Negreanu’s {q-Clubs}{6-Clubs} outkicked.

The big pots continued right after that with Polk three-betting and continuing for $2,208 on {k-Hearts}{5-Spades}{7-Hearts}. Negreanu called the small bet and then called $9,652 more on the {q-Clubs}. Polk had $24,793 left on the {a-Diamonds} river, which was less than the $31K pot, and he opted to check. Negreanu set him in and Polk snapped it off again, but this time his {a-Spades}{10-Spades} was inferior to {k-Clubs}{q-Hearts}.

Then they played a flip for $96K when Polk five-bet shipped {a-Clubs}{k-Hearts} and ran into {10-Diamonds}{10-Spades}. Polk hit the {2-Spades}{k-Spades}{8-Spades} flop but Negreanu turned him dead with the {10-Clubs}.

Negreanu then went for thin value as he three-bet pre and fired all streets, jamming river on a board of {6-Spades}{7-Hearts}{7-Clubs}{q-Hearts}{5-Hearts}. Small sizings on the flop and turn gave way to a $31K shove into a $25K pot and Polk had an easy snap with {q-Spades}{7-Spades}. Unfortunately for Negreanu, he’d gone for value with {k-Clubs}{q-Diamonds}.

Polk was the one caught slamming in top pair after Negreanu three-bet and c-bet small on {2-Clubs}{7-Spades}{a-Hearts}. Polk called and then Negreanu checked to him on the {4-Diamonds}. Polk piled in $8,251 into the $12K pot, with Negreanu calling to bring a {3-Spades}. Negreanu check-called off the last $25,988 and his {a-Clubs}{5-Clubs} had made a straight against {a-Spades}{9-Hearts}.

A sick cooler happened when Negreanu three-bet and Polk called, with Negreanu following up with $2,159 on {a-Clubs}{a-Spades}{10-Hearts}. Negreanu bet $4,926 on the {3-Spades}, and they went to a {2-Clubs} river. Negreanu bet $14,853 and Polk shoved for $33,797 more. Negreanu snapped with {a-Hearts}{10-Diamonds} and Polk had gotten a nasty turn with {3-Hearts}{3-Diamonds}.

Polk double-barreled a {2-Spades}{q-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{4-Clubs} board when they were already pretty deep to scoop a $40K pot and that set up one of the most interesting scenarios yet in the challenge: both players were more than 300 blinds deep on both tables. Polk was stuck about a buy-in but any one pot could massively swing things.

A single-raised pot would see potentially the biggest pot of the challenge threatened. Negreanu had opened for $1K on the button and continued for $799 on the {10-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{6-Spades} flop. Polk raised small to $1,985 and Negreanu called. Polk went for the double check-raise on the {2-Clubs} turn as Negreanu bet $3,998 and Polk went well over pot to $27,332. Negreanu called, so there was $60K in the middle heading to the {a-Clubs} river. Polk crammed in $101K effective and Negreanu tanked but folded.

Polk won a couple of $30K pots down the stretch and then an $83K pot with top pair of queens when he faded Negreanu’s {a-Spades}{k-Spades} on a queen-high board and Kid Poker gave up on the river. That gave him another win to boost his total once again.

Hands Played: 500
Results: Doug Polk +$73,000
Full session video

Day 30

There wasn’t tons of movement early on as Negreanu inched up about a buy-in but that slow start would not portend what was to come.

Stacks flew in after about an hour with Negreanu five-bet ripping {a-Hearts}{q-Clubs} and running into {j-Diamonds}{j-Spades}. The runout favored Polk as neither player connected, squaring things up on the session. Right after, Negreanu potted river on {6-Clubs}{6-Spades}{10-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{5-Spades} for $14,395 after the turn checked through, but he folded to a shove worth $36K from Polk, pushing the heads-up star into the lead.

Polk scooped up several more pots without showdown after that and built his lead to $100K. He kept creeping upwards with more non-showdown winnings until the next huge blow came following a {7-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{k-Hearts} flop. Negreanu had three-bet pre and put in $2,159 on the flop, with Polk responding with a call. On the {10-Clubs} turn, $8,251 more went in from both players, with Negreanu keeping up his lead. He then shoved the {4-Hearts} for $25K, just under the pot, but Polk was ready with {k-Diamonds}{10-Spades} for top two. Negreanu had gotten a nasty turn holding {10-Hearts}{7-Clubs}.

The brutal run continued for Kid Poker when he called a three-bet and then a big c-bet of $6,468 from Polk on {10-Spades}{6-Clubs}{7-Hearts}. He called another $13,953 on the {j-Diamonds}, so less than half-pot remained to play on the {9-Spades}. Polk shipped that last $22K in and Negreanu snapped it off with {8-Spades}{7-Spades} for a straight, but Polk hit a straight to the queen with {q-Spades}{8-Hearts} to drag $93K.

Up over $200K, Polk’s incredible run continued when he bet $1,506, a small sizing into $7,533, after three-betting preflop and seeing {a-Spades}{4-Diamonds}{5-Clubs} hit. Negreanu called and the {q-Spades} hit. Polk went for a big overbet with $16,092, and Negreanu responded by cramming in $81,295. Polk snap-called to create a pot of $173K. He had the best of it.

Polk: {q-Hearts}{q-Diamonds}
Negreanu: {7-Spades}{5-Spades}

Negreanu had a shot with his flush draw but the {a-Clubs} didn’t bring it home and he fell $300K behind on the day.

Negreanu got a stack back when he induced turn and river overbets from Polk, the latter for almost triple the $13K pot, on {j-Clubs}{2-Spades}{3-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}. Polk had {10-Spades}{6-Hearts} for an airball while Negreanu roped him in with {j-Diamonds}{8-Spades}.

Another huge bluff came out of Polk as he four-bet pre then bet $7,364 on {j-Diamonds}{k-Clubs}{6-Spades}. Polk continued blasting with $17,472 on the {7-Spades} then emptied the clip with the last $34K effective into $72K on the {6-Diamonds}. Negreanu found the call with {a-Hearts}{j-Hearts} and was good against {a-Clubs}{3-Clubs} for the pot just shy of $140K.

The wild swings continued with a stone cooler as Polk turned a nut flush versus Negreanu’s second nuts and got paid for a pot-sized river jam. He bluffed most of that right back with a bet and then a huge three-bet in what had been a small pot on {k-Hearts}{2-Spades}{4-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}{9-Hearts} holding {9-Clubs}{4-Clubs} against {q-Hearts}{10-Hearts}.

They were more than 150 blinds deep when Negreanu c-bet in a $3,199 in a three-bet pot on {8-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}{6-Spades} and faced a raise to $9,245. Negreanu ripped all in for Polk’s remaining $53K and he had an easy snap with {9-Spades}{7-Spades} for the nuts. Negreanu was smacked with {9-Clubs}{8-Clubs} but did turn some hope with the {9-Diamonds}. The {k-Hearts} didn’t got it for him on the river and Polk dragged $133K.

The biggest pot of the entire challenge to date went down in a single-raised pot with Negreanu betting the flop then potting the turn for $3,595 on {j-Clubs}{9-Spades}{5-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}. Polk made a monster raise to $20,675 and Negreanu peeled, bringing the {2-Clubs}. Polk slammed in the last $71,126 but Negreanu was waiting with {10-Spades}{8-Spades} for the nuts. Polk had {q-Spades}{8-Hearts} and watched the $187K go to his battered opponent.

Sizings started changing with the players more than 400 bigs deep at one of the tables down the stretch. Negreanu opened for $1,200 and called a three-bet to $4,338. Polk continued small for $2,328 on the {6-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{8-Hearts} flop and Negreanu peeled. Negreanu called another small bet of $4,465 on the {10-Clubs} then a huge bet of $33,691 on the {a-Hearts} river. Polk showed {8-Clubs}{8-Spades} for the flopped boat.

Polk earned one more stack with aces against king-queen on {5-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{q-Hearts}{5-Spades}{10-Spades} and that was the end of the insane session with Polk booking a near-record win of $298K.

Hands Played: 770
Results: Doug Polk +$298,000
Full session video



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