Negreanu going for the title
The next round of High Stakes Duel 4 is set. PokerGO announced on Tuesday that for Round 2, Daniel Negreanu will take on old nemesis Doug Polk. Both players will buy in for $100,000. There is no set date yet, but the match-up will take place some time in August and streamed on the PokerGO subscription service.
Negreanu kicked off High Stakes Duel 4 by defeating Eric Persson in Round 1, pocketing a $100,000 total prize pool ($50,000 buy-in for each player). Both men are known for their table talk, so there was a chance things could get chippy, but overall, their competition was quite friendly.
“Kid Poker” was humble afterward, saying, “I just had all the hands. I had so many big hands, and he never really had much going on. He bluffed me a few times. I didn’t really do anything special. I just ran better than he did.”
Prior to High Stakes Duel 4, PokerGO laid out a new set of rules for the challenge in what seemed like an effort to reduce the duration of each season. It appeared that Round 2 between Negreanu and Persson for $100,000 each was supposed to be automatic, but in a congratulatory video, Persson said he couldn’t play because of a scheduling conflict. Enter Doug Polk.
With the new rules, if a player wins two consecutive matches, they are crowned High Stakes Duel champ for that season. Thus, if Negreanu beats Polk, he’s the champ. If Polk wins, Negreanu has the right of first refusal for a rematch at double the stakes – a little different than the earlier “automatic” rematch, but probably the right way to go. If Negreanu loses and decides to call it quits, a different challenger can step in, also at double the stakes, just like Round 2 is double the buy-in of Round 1.
Former bad blood
Polk and Negreanu have a bit of a history. Back when Negreanu was sponsored by PokerStars, he made some curious statements about a rake increase. Polk laid into him over social media for toeing the company line rather than siding with players and then took it to another level at the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl, wearing a “More Rake is Better” t-shirt when sitting next to Negreanu. Polk also paid for a billboard to display the same slogan.
In 2020, Negreanu went on a profanity-laced tirade during a stream of the WSOP Online when a viewer apparently said something rude in chat about his wife. Polk took him to task for that and eventually Joe Ingram got the two to agree to a heads-up match.
And Polk absolutely dominated Negreanu in the battle, finishing up $1.2 million after more than 25,000 hands. Fortunately, it seems like that might have settled some of their bad blood, as both players seemed to have respect for each other after the competition ended.