Thursday night saw the resumption of hostilities in another program that has been specially created by the minds over at PokerGO. High Stakes Duel has proven to be popular with its ability to bring in superstar players in a heads-up format and with massive amounts of cash on the line. In the latest iteration, the fourth overall, Daniel Negreanu walked off into the sunset as the champion after a two-round victory, the final round against nemesis Doug Polk.
Quick Session to Capture the Title
In what was a rapid three hours, Negreanu was able to put Polk away. To say that there were massive swings and exciting moments would be inaccurate, as the play was primarily determined between two men who knew their opponent well and looked to whittle down their stacks. Thus, small battles were the predominant action of play on Thursday evening.
Not to say there were moments of exceptional heads-up play. Polk would raise an early hand with a 5♣ 4♣ and Negreanu put him to the test with a three-bet while holding an A-J off suit. A very intriguing A-7♣ 3♣ flop then hit the felt, giving something for both men to consider.
Negreanu, who had flopped top pair with a strong kicker, did the right thing with a continuation bet of 4000. Polk, who had flopped the world (double gut shot straight draw, flush draw with possible straight flush outcomes), also did the right thing after he considered his options, coming up with 12,000 as a good answer to Negreanu. Negreanu would make the call and the duo was off to the turn.
A black King came on the turn, but it didn’t help Polk as it was a spade and not the club he was looking for. Negreanu check-called another bet out of Polk, this time for 21,000, and the river brought a 2♣ to give Polk his baby flush. After Negreanu checked, Polk popped the pot with an all-in move and Negreanu went in the tank.
“I think they (the viewers) would be annoyed if I paid off and we were done for the day,” Negreanu remarked as he considered his options, accurately reading Polk for the hand he had. After some more consideration, Negreanu went on to lay down his hand and preserve his chips for battle another day as Polk took a nearly 2:1 lead.
The Return of ‘Kid Poker’
Negreanu did not let that momentary setback stunt his game, however. Negreanu ground the stacks to draw closer, then seized the lead when he flopped the nut flush against a rapidly firing Polk, who missed everything on a 4-8-10-2-7 board but continued pushing stacks. In winning that hand, Negreanu reversed the earlier actions from Polk and took his own 125K-75K lead, which led to the final hand of the match.
On that final hand, Polk would raise the action with a 9♠ 7♠ and Negreanu called with an A-10 off suit to see a 6-K-8 flop. Negreanu would check-call a flop bet out of the aggressive Polk, only to see an Ace come on the turn to reward him for his efforts. The unknowing Polk would once again fire away, and an all too happy Negreanu just called to let him hang himself.
The river Queen didn’t change anything and Negreanu continued his slow play by checking again. Polk, as he had all match long, pushed all in once again and Negreanu wasted hardly any time in making the call and capturing the victory.
Because he had defeated Eric Persson in Round One of this particular High Stakes Duel and vanquished Polk in Round Two, Negreanu had the option of ending this version, which he did happily while pocketing a $150,000 payday for winning two rounds of the made-for-streaming match. “I’m done,” Negreanu said emphatically. “I win the belt, right? I don’t want to put the belt on the line. But they can come back and get it in Round 1 if they want it, and I defend it that way.”
The only question is who will challenge Negreanu? Will there be a fifth version of High Stakes Duel? Only TPTB at PokerGO knows the answer to that question.
(Photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)