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Negreanu and Polk Set for September NLHE Showdown

Two Swords

The Twitter world has been blowing up recently over the online heat between Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu and Doug “WCGRider” Polk. The pair, who have long been bitter online rivals, recently came to verbal blows once again following Negreanu’s ban from the live streaming service Twitch. It was this that led Polk to make fun of his archnemesis in a comedic video which was posted to YouTube. While the video has since been removed, it led to more virtual beef between the two.

Now, a grudge match has been set up between the two poker pros – although it took multiple back-and-forth tweets for them to come to an agreement on the terms. The match, which is expected to occur in September, will see Negreanu and Polk go one-on-one in what KidPoker described as Polk’s specialized game - No Limit Hold'em Heads-Up. Furthermore, the match will also be taking place at online poker sites rather than live, and it will be a cash game with no rising stakes – two more points that Negreanu was quick to point out as being in Polk’s favor.

Negreanu/Polk Challenge

The Lead Up to the Challenge

Men Arguing

Daniel Negreanu has been quite the central focus on both Twitch and Twitter over the past few weeks. He was first witnessed going into a rage on July 10 over a software crash, which occurred while he was competing in WSOP Event #10 – a $600 buy-in NLHE Monster Stack tournament. Yet, it wasn’t this outburst on Twitch that led to him being banned but another outrageous moment a couple of weeks later.

Daniel NegreanuDaniel “KidPoker” Negreanu

On Friday, July 24, Negreanu lost his cool once more, raging at an online troll who had made remarks about his wife, Amanda. That saw him launch into a tirade at the troll, shouting numerous profanities for the entirety of his Twitch followers to witness.

While some people who merely have ignored the comments, KidPoker couldn’t keep his Canadian cool. It was this that led to him being banned from using the streaming service due to breaching the terms of service regarding violence and threats. Yet, as if this ban wasn’t enough, Negreanu soon had to cope with the trolling of his archnemesis about his recent outbursts.

Polk would proceed to create a video that featured several of KidPoker’s raging moments, perhaps as somewhat of a taunt to his rival. It’s not uncommon for Polk to garner the upper hand in their online spats, but it seems like this time, it has led to the aforementioned grudge match being set up.

Polk Suggests the Format and Asks for Re-Tweets to Return

Tweet From Joe Ingram

It was on July 28 that Joey Ingram (who was recently in the news for uncovering a video of a supposed poker grind house in China) suggested that Negreanu and Polk settle their beef by playing a game against one another. Polk didn’t take long to respond, stating that he wanted to make the stipulations before Negreanu came in with a request for 9 Card Omaha or 12 or lower Stud. Instead, he said outrightly that he wanted a 25K hand, four-table heads-up No Limit throwdown. He then proceeded to ask his followers for at least 1,000 re-tweets to return to poker for NLHE against KidPoker.

Doug PolkDoug “WCGRider” Polk

While Polk didn’t initially believe that his rival would accept any challenge from him, Negreanu did come back with a response. However, he questioned the validity of the challenge, calling it unfair in the first instance. In his tweet, Negreanu mentioned that the game request was for a format that Polk has studied the most and he hasn’t before questioning if Polk wanted him to stream the game too so that Doug could see his hole cards.

Negreanu Responds to Polk

Polk Makes Counter-Offer but Negreanu Accepts Initial Challenge

While his initial challenge seemed quite reasonable, Polk saw how it could be deemed unfair and made a counter-offer. He requested that they both choose a game and the challenge be split between both formats to make it more even. He even said that he would be willing to move it down to two tables instead of four.

It didn’t take long for Negreanu to accept the challenge from Polk although it seems like he’s ready to proceed with the initial offer rather than the counter-offer from his rival. In a post on the Full Contact Poker website – a platform that he built up with his own money, may we add – Negreanu explained his reasons for accepting the challenge.

In the post, Negreanu made it clear that he is definitely the underdog in the challenge. After all, he only studied the NLHE format for a six-week period prior to Black Friday occurring. However, when it comes to Polk, this format is one that he has studied and played for most of his poker career. Negreanu also made mention of WCGRider being the self-proclaimed “best in the world” at playing this format.

In the same post, Negreanu said that he has accepted that the odds are heavily against him. However, he promised to do his best in the challenge regardless of the outcome in the end. The match-up between the two has generated a heavy amount of interest from the poker community, and Negreanu understands that it’s something many fans want to witness. Negreanu then put forth his own comments on what he believed would be a better challenge format for both players, stating:

I thought it would be more fun and exciting to play deep stacked freeze outs where you start 250 bbs deep for 1000 hands and make it a best of 5. It would be unlikely with that many hands that it goes past that so it is essentially a cash game freeze out. He refused. He wants $200-$400 the whole way through for a set number of hands. Again, we are playing on his turf and by his rules.

Negreanu Explains His Acceptance Further

According to Negreanu, the number of hands to be played is still to be decided upon. He has agreed to play between 10,000 and 25,000. This led to Negreanu making mention of the number of people who have suggested that some sort of charity also benefits from the event, but Daniel stated that Polk is against giving anything back to the community.

So, why did he accept the challenge if the odds are stacked against him so much, as he claims? Well, he stated that he is doing it to give the people what they want. After having been trashed and mocked so much by Polk over the years for what he deemed as “personal gain disguised as standing for some noble cause,” Negreanu said he has finally reached his limit.

Daniel made note of the fact that he has never made a video targeting Polk and that he has barely even referenced him in more recent years. On the other hand, Doug has spent a lot more time bringing KidPoker’s name up, and if that was his method for finally getting Daniel to play a match with him, Negreanu said it was “well played.”

Fans Anticipate the Action


Of course, when it comes to social media, nothing is ever accepted as being completely black and white. Fans of both players came out to support their favorite, with some suggesting that Polk was willing to create a fairer game for them both to compete in, and others agreeing with Negreanu’s opinion of the match. Of course, Polk has been known for expressing his opinions and pushing his ego around the online world a lot. It was just a couple of years ago that he attacked Bitcoin Cash supporter Roger Ver, accusing him of hypocrisy and more.

Further details on exactly when the match will take place and the finer points surrounding it will likely be released in the upcoming weeks. However, Doug Polk tweeted on Saturday, Aug. 8 that Negreanu was not responding to his DMs:

Doug Polk Tweet Complaining About Negreanu

Could this mean that KidPoker is getting cold feet and will ultimately pull out of the challenge? The more likely explanation is that Negreanu is busy with online WSOP events at GGPoker, where he is a sponsored pro, and will have to wait until these tournaments have concluded before he can engage in any serious heads-up matches.

[UPDATE: Oct. 8, 2020]

The two poker rivals have finalized the terms of their heads-up battle. The match will consist of 25,000 hands at $200/$400, but the loser will have the opportunity to forfeit after 12,500 hands. At this same halfway point, they can raise the stakes by mutual agreement. They will play two tables at the same time with 100bb stacks and auto-top up enabled.

The grudge match will take place on It is set to begin Nov. 1.

[UPDATE: Nov. 12, 2020]

The high stakes competition between Negreanu and Polk actually began on Nov. 4, taking place at the PokerGo Studio in Las Vegas. The online poker challenge was agreed to be turned into a live poker contest during its the early days, but only 200 hands would take place on a physical felt. From there, the poker site in Nevada was selected for the remaining 12,300 hands.

Polk would be the one to land quite the massive blow when their grudge match went online, winning $218,000 in the opening session. This came following Negreanu's $117,000 lead, which he booked during the live session.

Of course, most people expected things to turn in Polk's favor because the two-table HUNL online sector is his area of expertise. He's widely regarded as being the best in the world at this particular style of poker play. During this first bout on Friday, Nov. 6, Negreanu also made some very questionable moves clearly showing that he was still finding his feet with this variation of poker. Various near misses and other odd plays saw KidPoker drop more than five buy-ins for the day.

This past Monday, Nov. 9, saw the pair battling it out again, and following that, Negreanu found himself down over $250,000. Session three, during which they played 382 hands, cost him a total of $166,239.

This came despite KidPoker getting off to a decent enough start against Polk, claiming a $93,000 pot in the first pot of the day. That success didn't last very long though. Several more debatable decisions and curious moves meant that Polk was able to bring the game back in his favor. However, Polk gave all dues to Negreanu via Twitter, posting a far from scathing response to KidPoker's gameplay.

The latest session occurred on Wednesday, Nov. 11, and it actually saw Negreanu pull things back quite a lot. He scored some big pots and was well on his way toward winning the whole session. Yet, he suffered at the mercy of a brutal final hand, putting quite the damper on KidPoker's success.

With a few well-played bluffs and baits, Negreanu had managed to bag himself a $95,000 pot initially, and as gameplay continued, Polk would suffer losses equating to $170,000 altogether. But, it was all to come crashing down as KidPoker fell victim to quite the crushing river card in the last hand. An $81,812 pot was available for this last round, and Polk scooped it with a runner-runner flush.

That being said, Negreanu remained in profit for session four, claiming $87,166. He still trails behind Polk by $181,365, and had he won that final hand, Polk would only have been about $100k ahead.

Play resumes on Friday, Nov. 13 at 2:30 PM PST.

[UPDATE: Dec. 10, 2020]

To date, 16 sessions of poker have taken place between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk in their high stakes feud. And it's currently looking like Polk will make it to the halfway stage with quite the large advantage over his nemesis.

Following the 16th session, Polk's Twitter page noted that the 7,921st hand had concluded with him holding a $674,000 lead on Negreanu. With this being the case, KidPoker himself is looking at a potential seven-figure rebuy situation, should he fall behind by much more. That's quite the circumstance, considering that both he and Polk deposited $1 million on the platform to be able to take part in the feud.

Negreanu has stated on several occasions that he believes his heater is coming...eventually. Yet, in his most recent session against Polk, it appears as though he'll need much more than that to catch up. Judging by the current standings, KidPoker should be down to just over $300,000 from his $1 million start. Of course, he does have a couple of things currently working against him. In a post-game interview with GGPoker on Monday Dec. 7, he said that he is constantly missing draws. However, he's also suffering at the hands of a heads-up specialist in Polk, who is frequently mixing up his bet sizes and getting Negreanu to call him down.

KidPoker has managed to pick off various bluffs throughout the competition, and these have been when facing large-sized bets, too. Yet, he's also paying Polk off frequently with the worst hand. If you're in the position of running bad and being outplayed, then it's quite difficult to win overall, and that's something Negreanu is learning the hard way in this high-stakes challenge.

Upon entering Day 16, Negreanu had managed to win three straight sessions previously. However, this had only allowed him to gain a combined $77,000 in profit. Polk easily managed to erase that during the gameplay on Monday, before adding an extra $100,000 onto his own bankroll on top. The two players would compete for another four hours and during that time, 824 hands were dealt on the client. By the time this had ended, Polk had claimed a $160,349 victory, bringing his total profit to $674,000, although an official tally is yet to be released.

With such figures, it's looking quite unlikely that the competition will go to the full 25,000 hands originally suggested. At the 12,500-hand mark, the player in losing position does have the option to quit without any penalty or continue with the remaining 12,500 hands. By the midway point, Polk is on target to be up by $1.1 million, and if that is something that happens, there's very little incentive for Negreanu to continue with the challenge.

Just over 4,500 hands remain to be played until that midway point. Therefore, how the next few sessions proceed will determine the pattern of the second half. Of course, time could be called on it without a second half ever occurring.

Betting Odds

Followers of the two poker combatants will no doubt be cheering on their favorite player and making side bets as to who will prevail. If you also wish to put action on the match but don't want to have to negotiate a private bet, with all the uncertainty and risk that's involved with that, then you can place your wager at a trusted online bookmaker instead.

One of the online sportsbooks that's offering odds on this match is The betting options, as of Aug. 12, are:

Doug Polk: -275
Daniel Negreanu: +215

Doug Polk is the clear favorite, and for every $275 you put down on Polk, you stand to only win $100. Betting on Negreanu may be the better value play because you will receive $215 in winnings for every $100 you wager should KidPoker prevail. These odds imply that Daniel is about a 70/30 underdog, and while Polk may be the more experienced NLHE player, the nature of the game is such that it's almost impossible for one individual to be so heavily favored against anyone halfway decent. shows the date of this match as “Saturday, Sep 12, 2020.” However, the fine print reveals that bets will remain valid so long as the match takes place before Jan. 1, 2021. Thus, your bet will stand as long as Polk and Negreanu play each other within the next few months.

Play Your Own Poker Games

Chips and Playing Cards

If you’d like to watch the showdown between Polk and Negreanu, then it has been suggested that it all be streamed live for free online. However, if you’re more interested in participating in your own games of poker, there is a guide to finding the best online poker rooms for U.S. players here.

While Negreanu is an ambassador for the GGPoker brand, this is not a site that provides its services to U.S. poker players. He was previously with PokerStars as an ambassador for 12 years although this platform is only available in two parts of the United States: New Jersey and Pennsylvania.