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Gossip Column: Doug Polk Wins Grudge Match Against Daniel Negreanu; Banks $1.2 Million in Profits! 

Dough Polk - Gossip Column
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  • Attreyee K. Ganguly February 4, 2021
  • 5 Minutes Read

It’s all over, folks! The Grudge Match of the century, aka the High Stakes Feud, has finally found a winner. And not surprisingly, it is the NLHE heads-up specialist Doug Polk who came out on top!

On Wednesday, we had reported that the retired poker pro was sitting on a $946,085.32 lead against GGPoker Ambassador Daniel Negreanu after a three-session winning spree. With 23,282 hands already played, Kid Poker never had a chance to bounce back. The last session of this epic HU challenge ended a couple of hours ago, with Polk emerging as the expected victory. He banked $1.20 Million in total profits across the 25,000-hand challenge that took 36 sessions to complete.

If you have been keeping tabs on the Grudge Match and the Galfond Challenge, you would have noticed that both Phil Galfond and Doug Polk had started their respective challenges on the backfoot. The lead changed hands quite frequently in both these challenges, but like Galfond, once Polk got the upper hand over Negreanu, he did not let-up till the end.

While Polk deservingly won the Grudge Match, we have to give props to Negreanu for accepting the challenge, fully aware of his disadvantage. Playing online heads-up matches is more of Polk’s specialty, but for a live tournament specialist like Negreanu to take him on with the entire poker community watching takes balls.

The Grudge Match that started in November last year saw a lot of action and controversies. But in the end, it seems to have done the trick as the two former arch-nemesis were able to work through their previous differences on the virtual felts. And to top it all, they seem to have developed a new-found respect for each other. Maybe it’s a stretch, but we’d like to believe that they’ve come out of this challenge as friends.

Let’s take a quick look at how the final session of the Grudge Match went.


Session #36

With just 1,718 hands remaining in the challenge, the duo ran through another marathon session to cross the finish line. Extending his winning streak to a fourth consecutive session, Polk closed out the last session strong with a $255,722 profit.

Daniel Negreanu & Doug Polk


The final tally after the 25,000 hands had Polk ahead for a convincing $1.20 Million.


Watch the highlights of the last session of the Grudge Match below.

With the 25,000 hands now in the books, here is how the Grudge Match progressed.

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$87,166Doug Polk - $181,365
5Online365Daniel Negreanu$207,281Daniel Negreanu - $25,916
6Online637Doug Polk$93,542.68Doug Polk - $67,625.81
7Online591Daniel Negreanu$222,832.70Daniel Negreanu - $155,206.89
8Online457Daniel Negreanu$23,000Daniel Negreanu - $179,000
9Online377Doug Polk$205,521.74 Doug Polk - $26,371.78
10Online852Doug Polk$117,624.38 Doug Polk - $143,996.16
11Online416Doug Polk$120,023.59Doug Polk - $264,019.75
12Online684Doug Polk$332,178.14Doug Polk - $596,197.89
13Online476Daniel Negreanu$17,780.32Doug Polk - $578,417.57
14Online788Daniel Negreanu$13,000Doug Polk - $565,417.57
15Online452Daniel Negreanu$46,581.88Doug Polk - $514,000
16Online824Doug Polk$160,348.99 Doug Polk - $674,000
17Online662Doug Polk$101,713.33Doug Polk - $784,560.96
18Online980Doug Polk$173.362.61 Doug Polk - $957,932.57
19Online834Daniel Negreanu$143,642.37 Doug Polk - $814,290.2
20Online534Daniel Negreanu$117,962.28Doug Polk - $696,327.92
21Online904Doug Polk$114,140.26Doug Polk - $810,468.18
22Online279Daniel Negreanu$35,000Doug Polk - $775,468.18
23Online500Daniel Negreanu$27,000Doug Polk - $748,468.18
24Online750Daniel Negreanu$98,579.92Doug Polk - $649,888.26
25Online750Daniel Negreanu$27,945.80Doug Polk - $616,722.56
26Online750Daniel Negreanu$132,648.63Doug Polk - $484,073.93
27Online600Doug Polk$119,609.84Doug Polk - $603,683.77
28Online650Doug Polk$26,198.60Doug Polk - $629,882.37
29Online608Doug Polk$73,728.29Doug Polk - $703,610.66
30Online770Doug Polk$298,984.93Doug Polk - $1,002,595.59
31Online1,046 Daniel Negreanu$390,032.13Doug Polk - $612,563.46
32Online438Daniel Negreanu$46,854.5Doug Polk - $565,708.96
33Online560Doug Polk$136,239.17 Doug Polk - $701,948.13
34Online1,384Doug Polk$34,855.96Doug Polk - $736,804.09
35Online1,976Doug Polk$209,281.23Doug Polk - $946,085.32
36Online1,718 Doug Polk$255,722 Doug Polk - $1,200,000


Rivalry Dissipated

At the very core of this much-awaited Grudge Match was the high-profile rivalry between WSOP bracelet winners Polk and Negreanu. It seems like the Grudge Match may have helped these poker pros in resolving whatever difference they may have had in the past.


Polk Says No to Rematch

With the Grudge Match now over, Polk has been approached by a few poker pros and enthusiasts, such as entrepreneur Bill Perkins and Millionaire playboy Dan Bilzerian, for a similar heads-up challenge. But Polk has categorically refused, not just to a rematch against Negreanu, but all other offers.

Polk explained why he will not be taking up any more challenges in the near future in a rather longish tweet.


Galfond Still Looking For Opponents

While Polk may have “yet again” lost his desire to play poker, the Run It Once founder Phil Galfond, on the other hand, is on the lookout for a worthy opponent to embark on a new challenge. The three-time WSOP bracelet winner, who has won all three of his past Galfond Challenges, the latest one being against fellow poker coach Chance Kornuth, has at least three more challengers lined up, namely, Bill Perkins, Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates, and Luke Schwartz. However, given the shortage of choices in the US to play poker online and travel restrictions in place because of the prevailing pandemic, when these challenges will take place is uncertain.

Phil Galfond
Phil Galfond


Currently, Galfond’s choices are limited to players located in or those who can travel to Nevada or New Jersey to play him on WSOP.com, the site that hosted the Polk-Negreanu Grudge Match.

We can’t wait to find out who takes on mighty Galfond next!

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