Monster win for Negreanu in last two sessions cuts Polk’s lead to $565,709; Polk changes strategy as end draws nearer

The recent turn of events has seen underdog Daniel Negreanu making a much needed comeback just right after opponent Doug Polk broke the $1 million mark. With less than 6,000 hands left on the clock, the last few sessions are highly crucial for the iconic Poker Hall of Famer.

The swings have been massive throughout the 32 sessions completed with the battle showing both players relentlessly fighting for the ultimate victory. While Negreanu scored over $436K in the last two sessions, Polk remains in the lead for a total of $565,708.96 across 19,362 hands. As the end draws nearer, the heads up pro’s strategy has surprisingly changed with the risk of turning the tables heavily increased as Negreanu landed the substantial score.


Big win for Negreanu

It seemed almost like a slam dunk win for Polk as he cruised through the $1 million lead following four consecutive winning sessions. Interestingly however, this is clearly not the case as Negreanu extended a win of close to $400K in last Friday’s match. Bouncing right back after a huge downswing, Negreanu is undeniably back in the game with the last few sessions teeming with excitement as the concluding 6,000 hands begin to play out.

“We had the biggest single loss of either play of the entire challenge today. Really, really tough spots throughout. Lots of really shitty situations where we had reasonable bluff catching candidates.”, Polk tweeted right after the 1,046-hand match.

Having booked his biggest win of the challenge, Negreanu ended the 32nd session with yet another profit, albeit a smaller one. A much shorter match of only 438 hands, Negreanu added a $46K score to cut one buy-in off of his half a million dollar deficit. While the value is nowhere near that of the previous session’s, what surprised viewers is how Polk’s game changed tremendously following the six-time bracelet winner’s massive record.

Most recent session sees a less aggressive Polk

Monday’s session showed a different side of the highly aggressive Polk as the heads up pro adapted a new strategy on his way to an awaited victory. Taking a more passive and conservative route than usual, Polk was seen limping some hands on the button – a definite first for the entire duration of the challenge. With a lot at stake for both players, this massive shift in Polk’s style as the end draws nearer lessens overall variance to possibly enable him to make his way through the last few sessions. Although this may be beneficial for Polk who currently holds a considerable lead, it is yet to be known if this strategy would continue on for the remaining 5,368 hands.

Relatively shorter than that of the duo’s recent matches, Negreanu decided to end the session at the two-hour mark to utterly rethink his gameplay in combat to Polk’s newfound style. In a post-game interview streamed on the GGPoker Youtube channel, Negreanu supposes this is his opponent’s way of minimizing the risk of losing huge pots. He highlighted how this passive style surely cannot win and comments on Polk’s fear and concern for the general outcome of the challenge. While Polk may have even bigger side bets on the line, the question remains how much is he willing to lose in the next few sessions given he continues this strategy.

Latest tally

To date, 32 sessions have been completed with Polk remaining in the lead for $565,708.96 across 19,362 hands. With the challenge close to 80% concluded, viewers are anticipating the shift in strategies for both players as the pressure increases. The upcoming 33rd session will be greatly crucial as another huge score from Negreanu will instantly turn things around and possibly cost Polk the coveted success.

Play is expected to resume this Wednesday and Friday at 2:30pm PST with a live stream of the nearing match available on GGPoker TV and Polk’s official Youtube channel.


Session Hands Completed Daniel Negreanu Doug Polk
1 200 $116,500 ($116,500)
2 424 ($218,792) $218,792
3 382 ($166,239) $166,239
4 366 $87,166 ($87,166)
5 365 $206,994.59 ($206,994.59)
6 637 ($93,542.68) $93,542.68
7 591 $222,832.70 ($222,832.70)
8 457 $24,256.82 ($24,256.82)
9 377 ($205,521.74) $205,521.74
10 852 ($117,624.38) $117,624.38
11 416 ($120,023.59) $120,023.59
12 684 ($332,178.14) $332,178.14
13 476 $17,780.32 ($17,780.32)
14 788 $13,015.31 ($13,015.31)
15 452 $46,581.88 ($46,581.88)
16 824 ($160,348.99) $160,348.99
17 662 ($101,713.33) $101,713.33
18 980 ($173,362.61) $173,362.61
19 834 $143,642.37 ($143,642.37)
20 534 $117,962.28 ($117,962.28)
21 904 ($114,140.26) $114,140.26
22 279 $40,214.10 ($40,214.10)
23 500 $27,005.80 ($27,005.80)
24 750 $98,579.92 ($98,579.92)
25 750 $27,945.80 ($27,945.80)
26 750 $132,648.63 ($132,648.63)
27 600 ($119,609.84) $119,609.84
28 650 ($26,198.60) $26,198.60
29 608 ($73,728.29) $73,728.29
30 770 ($298,984.93) $298,984.93
31 1,046 $390,032.13 ($390,032.13)
32 438 $46,854.50 ($46,854.50)
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Janette Dee

Graduated from De La Salle University, Janette works as a full time teacher in Manila, Philippines. She has long joined the local poker community as a recreational player for the last decade. Having a natural love for the game, she decided to branch out into a different avenue of poker. Currently, Janette works for Somuchpoker as a content writer reporting local and international news for the site.

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