With roughly 1500 of the hands played in what was expected to be a fairly easy match, Doug Polk has suffered several setbacks over the past week. In his battle with Daniel Negreanu, Polk had been able to jump out to an early advantage. Over the past few sessions, however, Negreanu has been able to claw his way back to what is essentially even, with Negreanu up less than a buy in.
The week would start off well for Polk. He came into action on Monday (the duo has been playing two-hour sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this past week) with a lead of slightly over $100,000 ($101,792, to be exact). Monday’s action would see Polk stretch that advantage out a bit, earning a $166,239 profit for the day. “Got my hand caught in the cookie jar early,” Polk Tweeted to his followers, “but we rallied back for another strong session.”
After that Monday session, Polk was obviously feeling confident as he made this statement:
Thus, with action set to go on Wednesday, the stats looked like this in the Negreanu/Polk Heads-Up Duel:
Hands played: 1002 (of at least 12,500 to be played; player behind at that point can opt out)
Standing: Polk + $268,031
And that’s where the wheels came off for Polk.
…But Ended Badly for Polk
Heading into the action on Wednesday, Polk was confident, but he was also realistic about how early in the challenge it was. With barely 4% of the play in the books (25K is the planned total of hands to be played), Polk stated on Twitter, “Excited to get back in the mix today…nice early lead going but its (sic) all in play in any session of HUNL.”
The Wednesday action saw some of the races end up in Negreanu’s pocket. The twosome played 366 hands over a couple of hours and Negreanu was able to chop out $87,166 from the edge established by Polk. It could have been worse for Polk except he was able to catch a ten when he was massively behind in a race situation, Negreanu’s pocket Jacks versus Polk’s pocket tens, to “only” limit it to the loss of a couple of buy ins (each hand starts with a $40,000 stake).
Friday saw the fifth session of play for Negreanu and Polk and it was the best session of the entire duel for Negreanu. After another 365 hands of action, Negreanu crushed the session for a $206,994 profit. “Had some unfortunate spots today…what you gonna do?” Polk questioned over Twitter. “The worst part of today’s session wasn’t getting (beaten)…it was seeing dnegs making less and less errors in other pots.”
For his part, Negreanu didn’t gloat over retaking the lead on Friday.
Both sides are looking to increase the hands played in the near future, which means we should be getting sessions that last longer than a couple of hours (the dueling broadcasts can be found on Polk’s Twitch account and on Negreanu’s GGPoker.tv feed on YouTube). The longer sessions would favor Polk in theory, as the entirety of the duel being played online at WSOP.com works to Polk’s advantage over Negreanu’s live prowess. Usually sessions have begun at 5:30PM (Pacific Time), but it is advised to subscribe to notifications for one, the other or both so you can catch up with the action when it happens.