It happens to every poker player at some point. You make all the right moves, set all the right traps, have your opposition right where you want them…and they slip off the hook. Usually, the reaction to this is to get irritated and go “on tilt.” Thus, it is somewhat comforting to see it happen to one of the greatest ever, Daniel Negreanu, in his Heads-Up battle against Doug Polk after what has been a trying week of poker.
Coolers Add Up to Major Losses
Negreanu and Polk have been battling now in their Heads-Up duel for about two weeks and, other than the start of the event that was played live, Negreanu’s been playing from behind. Starting this last week, Negreanu had racked up over $784,000 in losses, including some brutal coolers when Negreanu thought he was the best. But the worst was yet to come for the Poker Hall of Famer.
Wednesday’s action didn’t get any better for Negreanu. After nearly 1000 hands during Wednesday’s action, Polk added another $173,000 and change to the total to ring up the losses to nearly one million dollars ($957,932.57, to be exact). Negreanu would get some of it back on Friday, winning slightly more than $143,000, but he would finish the week down to Polk:
Hands played: 10,784
Standing: Polk, +$814,290.20
Expletive Laden Rants Following Big Losses
Naturally, Negreanu wasn’t very happy with some of these things that occurred. He would step to the “post-game show” with Jeff Platt and Pastrik Tardiff following the action on Friday and probably should have taken a few moments to get control of himself following the loss.
Will Negreanu Say “No Mas?”
With the approaching 12,500 hands plateau, Negreanu is facing some serious questions. As per agreement prior to the match, the player who is down at the halfway mark of the Heads-Up Duel has the option of ending the match and taking the results at that mark. If the player doesn’t, then the battle continues to the ultimate 25,000 end.
Negreanu at this point is down nearly a million dollars and, extrapolated out, it is entirely possible that he could be as much as two million dollars down by the end of the match. Of course, there is also the possibility that Negreanu can change around the course of the match and claw back some of the money, but at what point does a player admit that they aren’t having the better of the matchup?
For Negreanu, he has to carefully separate his ego from the financial realities that are going on. No poker player likes to admit that they aren’t the best, even the greenest rookie on the felt. Negreanu has enough experience and background that he knows he is in tough shape at this point in the match. If he has no plans for changing the course of the event, save for “not run into coolers,” then it might behoove him to ‘take the L’ on this one, regroup and perhaps go for another challenge at another point (and maybe negotiate more live action into the mix?).
When it comes to the money, Negreanu might not be hurt by it but we don’t know. Most any player couldn’t handle a million-dollar beating, financially or otherwise. Even if you can take the financial loss, why would you worsen it by chasing those losses? Isn’t one of the tenets of a profitable poker player not to chase your losses?
We will be approaching the 12,500-hand mark, probably sometime on Wednesday, but Negreanu surely is thinking about what to do going forward this weekend. Negreanu (jokingly?) has talked about expanding the current Heads-Up challenge with Polk beyond the 25K hand mark to 100,000 hands. If he continues to rack up losses at the rate he’s going, that might not be in the best interest of Negreanu’s bankroll.