When Doug Polk pulled ahead during Day 2 of his heads-up match with Daniel Negreanu earlier this month, many poker fans watching the challenge thought that it could be the last time that we would see Negreanu with the lead in the match.
Polk followed that session up with another convincing victory during Day 3, as some poker writers began to write Negreanu’s obituary in the match (not me of course). But on Day 4, something changed — Negreanu staged an impressive comeback to win his first live session.
Can Negreanu keep it up?
On Friday, he followed that up with his biggest victory yet, a $206,994 score to regain the overall lead by $25,916.87, the first time that he held a lead at the end of the day since Day 1. Check out the session here in its entirety:
As one of the greatest poker players of all-time, it’s not really that surprising that one of poker’s greats would win two sessions in a row, even at a game that he admits himself that he is an underdog in. What is impressive, was how quickly it happened, reversing the direction of the challenge by nearly $300k in two sessions.
Of course, there is still a long way to go in the Doug Polk/Daniel Negreanu heads-up challenge (1,700 of 25,000 hands played) but what has happened over the last two sessions doesn’t appear to be just a lucky run of cards for Negreanu. Indeed, poker odds site PokerShares now has Polk as just a -154 favorite versus a -667 favorite a few days ago. In simple terms, the smart money thinks Polk has gone from an 87% chance to win the challenge to “just” 60% now.
This Kid Poker guy could be for real, and if you don’t think so, there is some great value for you at PokerShares.
Polk and Negreanu react after Day 5
Even Doug Polk seems to be changing his tune a bit after the two winning sessions. Going from “backing up the fucking truck” to making this comment after the Friday session:
The worst part of todays session wasnt getting stacked repeatedly for 200k, it was also seeing dnegs making less and less errors in other pots.
If the challenge keeps going this direction may need to trade in the truck for a used honda civic.
— Doug “Truck Driver” Polk (@DougPolkVids) November 14, 2020
Negreanu is taking a cautious and humble approach to his turn offortunes over the last few days:
Big win today puts me back in the lead in the match:
Hands Played 1737
A long way to go to the finish line but very happy to be ahead obviously.
Next session Monday.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) November 14, 2020
Reaction from the poker community
The poker community has so far enjoyed a competitive match, with players and fans alike sharing their thoughts on Twitter:
Doug Polk getting smashed by Daniel Negreanu.
This is what I came to see.
So many wrote him off. This man has been winning for 20 years. Even if he did lose, he is a legend.
No more to be said.#Pokerfeud #DNEGS
— Fxxka (@FxxkaPUBG) November 14, 2020
Jonathan Little breaking down a hand while being impressed with Polk’s play:
NEGREANU vs POLK | MAX VALUE for Polk – In this hand Polk really shows why he was once considered one of the best heads up players in the world. Would you have managed to get stacks in by the river? Watch the full analysis here: https://t.co/cG2JdBRaEy pic.twitter.com/aXV3WL9eEP
— Jonathan Little (@JonathanLittle) November 14, 2020
Congrats to @RealKidPoker for a great session today vs @DougPolkVids! I saw some great adjustments as well as running pretty good helps! Keep up good work and show everyone what’s possible! #winning
— Mike Matusow (@themouthmatusow) November 14, 2020
I’m rooting for not too much blood Daniel to win by 1 dollar…….everyone entertained and GG
— Bill Perkins (Guy) (@bp22) November 14, 2020
As usual, Negreanu and Polk are taking the weekend off to recuperate, relax and probably do a bit of studying. Day 6 of the High Stakes Feud Heads-Up Challenge is set for Monday at 5:30 PM ET. You can watch Negreanu vs Polk through one of three “official” streams: