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Gossip Column: Negreanu & Galfond Take Winning Strides in Their Respective HU Challenges

Daniel Negreanu, Doug Polk, Phil Galfond & Chance Kornuth - Gossip Column
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis November 20, 2020
  • 5 Minutes Read

Once a legend, always a legend! At least that’s what Daniel Negreanu and Phil Galfond are proving to the global poker community. Both poker pros were stuck for six figures in their respective heads-up challenges. They have both turned the equation by either bursting into the lead or by mounting a significant recovery.

First up, let’s talk about the Grudge Match, aka, the High Stakes Feud between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk. The Canadian pro has snatched the lead away from the online heads-up specialist and now enjoys a commanding $179K lead on Polk.

On the other hand, Galfond registered two back-to-back winning sessions, bringing Chance Kornuth’s lead down to just $31,000. However, the 28th session went Kornuth’s way, with the poker coach extending his lead to $79,500.


Grudge Match: Daniel Negreanu Books $179K Profit in Session #8

Kid Poker is back with a bang! Daniel Negreanu recorded a $23K profit in the eighth session of his Grudge Match against arch-rival Doug Polk. He now holds an overall lead of $179K.

Daniel Negreanu & Doug Polk
Daniel Negreanu & Doug Polk


Polk, a HUNL expert, was pegged as the overwhelming favorite to take down this Grudge Match at the start. Looking at the current scorecard, Negreanu seems to have taken the bull by his horns. The sixth session had seen the GGPoker Ambassador losing his $25,916 lead to Polk. By the end of it, Polk had booked a $67,625.81 instead.

Day 6 was followed by some Twitter drama, fueled by Bill Perkins. He had tweeted that Polk has been studying Negreanu’s hand histories from the previous sessions, which, according to Negreanu, violated the match’s agreed-upon rules. Polk and Negreanu had asked Phil Galfond to step in as an impartial judge to arbitrate the matter. The issue was eventually resolved, and the duo moved ahead to their seventh session on November 19.

Day 7 Recap

This session ran majorly in Negreanu’s favor right from the first big pot of the day that he won. While Polk did fight hard and won a lot of the smaller pots, but Negreanu took down most of the bigger pots, including a $40,000 pot where both players had flopped a diamond flush.

Negreanu had apparently predicted the massive winning session and had tweeted about it as well.

Day 7 was the best session yet for Negreanu in the match as he booked a whopping $222,832.70 profit after playing 591 hands.

Watch the highlights of the session below.


Day 8 Recap

The eighth session played out on November 20. It proved to be yet another winning session for the six-time WSOP bracelet winner, who registered a profit of $23K, taking his overall lead to $179K.

Watch the highlights of the session below.


With eight sessions now in the books, here is how the Grudge Match has gone thus far:

SessionLive/OnlineNo. of Hands PlayedWon ByProfitOverall Lead
1Live200Daniel Negreanu$116,000Daniel Negreanu - $116,000
2Online424Doug Polk$218,292.78Doug Polk - $101,792.78
3Online382Doug Polk$166,239.03Doug Polk - $268,031.82
4Online366Daniel Negreanu$87,166 Doug Polk - $181,365
5Online365Daniel Negreanu$207,281Daniel Negreanu - $25,916
6Online637Doug Polk$93,542.68Doug Polk - $67,625.81
7Online591Daniel Negreanu$222,832.70 Daniel Negreanu - $155,206.89
8Online457Daniel Negreanu$23,000Daniel Negreanu - $179,000


Dan Bilzerian Calls Out Doug Polk

After Perkins stirred some Twitter drama, it was time for his partner in crime to create some mischief. The self-proclaimed ‘King of Instagram,’ Dan Bilzerian, trash-talked Polk after one of his biggest losing sessions on Day 7 of the match.

Dan Bilzerian
Dan Bilzerian


It got a lot of responses, with Perkins being one of the first to comment.

Never one to back down from a fight, Polk responded by asking Bilzerian if he would like to play him next.

While Bilzerian did not reply, his friend Perkins sure did.

Will Bilzerian really take up Polk’s challenge? We’ll just have to wait and see.


Galfond Challenge: Phil Galfond Cuts His Deficit Against Chance Kornuth to $48K

The Heads-Up Challenge between Phil Galfond and Chance Kornuth has been another roller coaster. But the Run It Once founder has been steadily fighting to get back the lead from Kornuth – something he has gained a lot of experience doing from his previous heads-up challenges. After the completion of the 28th session, Kornuth’s lead has dwindled down to $48,000.

Chance Kornuth & Phil Galfond
Chance Kornuth & Phil Galfond


When we had last checked in, 25 sessions had played out, and Galfond had bounced back by registering his most significant win at the challenge yet, after a $123,000 winning session. Nevertheless, he was still trailing Kornuth by $221,5000.

Let’s do a quick recap of how the last three sessions went.

Session 26

The 26th session saw Galfond get hit by one of the worst coolers of the challenge when his quads lost to Kornuth’s straight flush. The three-time WSOP bracelet winner still managed to bounce back, ultimately registering a $47,000 profit in the session to cut his overall deficit to $174,500.

Watch the highlights of the session below.


Session 27

The next day, session 27 saw Galfond book a six-figure win of $143,000. He reduced the gap with Kornuth to $31,000, bringing the challenge to a neck-to-neck battle.

Watch the highlights of the session below.


Session 28

November 20 saw Kornuth return to his winning ways. He posted a $48,000 profit, taking his overall lead to $79,500.

Watch the highlights of the session below.


The next session is scheduled for November 21.

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