An epic heads-up match is scheduled to begin November 1 as Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) and Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) finally agreed on the details regarding the online challenge, to settle a 6-year period of bad blood between them.
The Arena Is Set
The online match was initially agreed in July with only the details remaining to be finalized, and now both players reached an agreement on the basics. A match of 25,000 hands, granting the wish of Doug Polk who insisted on this amount of playing hands, will take place at two $200/$400 No-Limit Hold’em simultaneous tables at WSOP.com.
Negreanu would prefer the match to take place at GGPoker, the network for which he is an ambassador and more acquainted with the software, but as both players are residing in Las Vegas, there was no common sense in setting up a travel requirement, especially during times when health and safety concerns occupy people’s minds. Hence, they agreed to meet at WSOP.com, while being in the comfort of their homes.
Daniel Negreanu wanted to play significantly less hands, in the region of 10,000, but it looks as he conceded his first loss during the match details negotiations. Midway through the match, both players would have two options: to agree on raising the limit, or for the losing player to quit. At first glance, option number 2 seems like a no-go for both the online heads-up specialist Polk and the live pro challenger Negreanu, but one never knows what the future has in store.
Both players will begin the match with 100 big blinds and will have their stacks automatically topped-up to avoid getting in situations where one of them is short and limited in his play options. No details regarding their schedule of play have been revealed so far, besides that RealKidPoker wants to play up to 2 hours per day, 4 days in a week.
Years-Long History of Bad Blood
The feud between Negreanu and Polk started in 2014, when the live poker specialist stated that, with some practice under his belt, he could easily beat the high stakes games online, a claim to which Polk who was one of the best online heads-up players then responded by calling him “naïve”.
In 2015, PokerStars introduced a rake raise and Negreanu who was working for the poker room at this time, defended the increase by stating that it was for the benefit of recreational players, a position which earned him mocking from the poker community. Polk even went further and posted a billboard outside the Rio in 2018, in which he directed people to the website MoreRakeIsBetter.com.
There was a period of calm before the storm between them, until an outburst by Negreanu against a Twitch viewer got him banned from the streaming service network. A viewer commented on Negreanu’s wife, former World Poker Tour host Amanda Leatherman, during the 2020 World Series of Poker Online Event #24, triggering Negreanu who lost his handle and lashed at him with both barrels. Besides speaking out against the actions of the live pro, Doug Polk posted on YouTube a parody of Negreanu’s Masterclass commercial.