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There are two thrilling high-stakes heads-up matches currently ongoing at WSOP.com. We begin this feature with updates on the Daniel Negreanu vs. Doug Polk Grudge Match. This high-stakes $200/$400 NLHE feud between the arch-rivals began with a 200-hand live session at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas on November 4. Polk has won the two online sessions since Negreanu drew first blood with a six-figure profit in the opening round. The latest of them – Round 3 – saw Polk close out the session with a $166,239 profit, bringing him a whopping $268,032 ahead of Negreanu!
Moving over to the Galfond Challenge, the latest session between Run It Once Poker (RIOP) founder Phil Galfond and poker coach Chance Kornuth in the high-stakes PLO challenge saw Galfond coming out ahead by the slimmest of margins, i.e., $1,000. That would be little consolation for the PLO legend, who is staring at a $267K deficit after 10,750 hands in the challenge.
Doug Polk’s Hot Run in Grudge Match Continues, Wins Round 3 For $166K
The Grudge Match of the century has picked up steam, and by the looks of it, former poker streamer Doug Polk is giving Daniel Negreanu a run for his money! Round 3 of the heads-up battle played on WSOP.com on Monday. And Polk, who’d inked a lead of $101,792 in Round 2, booked a second consecutive winning session.
Watch the Round 3 highlights below.
Polk had a rough start to the session but was able to bounce back and in style. Over 382 hands, Polk added a six-figure profit of $166,239 to his tally, extending his overall lead to $268,031!
Polk tweeted an update after the session.
Got my hand caught in the cookie jar early, but we rallied back for another strong session (+$166,239.03 over 382 hands)
This brings the total up to +$268,031.82 over 1006 hands. So far so good!
— Doug "Truck Driver" Polk (@DougPolkVids) November 10, 2020
He added – “At the end of the challenge, I’ll give my thoughts on Negreanu’s play, but until then, not going to say much. I will say he is obviously running bad in a bunch of standard cooler spots. His game does have some issues, though.”
We can sing peans of Polk for the enormous reputation he holds on the virtual felts, but Negreanu is no rookie either. The GGPoker Ambassador has been pegged as a big underdog in this 25,000-hand NLHE challenge that began last month. He turned his detractors wrong (at least temporarily) when the duo met at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas for a short and only live session in the challenge. Negreanu closed out the 200-hand session with over $116K in profits.
But the equation has entirely reversed since the match moved online. Polk has won two back-to-back sessions, and though only 1,006 hands have played out yet, Polk has already created a quarter-of-a-million distance between him and Negreanu.
Negreanu also tweeted an update, revealing that the match now resumes on Wednesday.
Action resumes Wednesday same time 2:30pm PST.
Early stages the sessions will be 2 hours and we will gradually get in longer ones.
Down 6.5 buy ins after 1006 hands., just over 4% of the match complete.
Subscribe to https://t.co/bQbUgEp2OK
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) November 10, 2020
From the way Polk is going, it looks like he’s found soft ground to dig his heels into. It’s still early days in the challenge, and we all know Polk is coming out of a prolonged hiatus.
There’s a lot more than just pride riding on the outcome of this challenge. While Negreanu doesn’t have any publicly known side bets on the match, Polk, on the other hand, has taken up several side challenges.
There is a long road up ahead as the 25,000-hand challenge is still only 4% done. It’ll be interesting to see how Negreanu adjusts his strategy to come out of this hole.
Galfond Books a $1K Profit in Session #20, Still $267,500 Behind Kornuth
If Negreanu has been facing the heat in his Grudge Match with Polk, Phil Galfond should be able to empathize with his friend as the going has not been too different for him in his heads-up PLO challenge against Chance Kornuth.
The duo played the 20th session of their $100/$200 PLO match on November 7, where Galfond made another futile attempt to recover some lost ground. The session lasted all of 500 hands, and by the end of it, Galfond managed a paltry $1,000 profit. That’s like a drop into the ocean for the massive $276,500 lead Kornuth currently enjoys over Galfond!
Like Run It Once Poker (RIOP) admitted in its tweet, this is the smallest winning margin in the match yet.
Last night's back and forth battle ended with @PhilGalfond escaping with a $1,000 win, which is the smallest winning margin yet. @ChancesCards and Phil will continue the fight on Tuesday! #GalfondChallenge pic.twitter.com/X3UE7t0vU0
— Run It Once Poker (@RunItOncePoker) November 7, 2020
Even though Kornuth has all the balls in his court (at the moment), he didn’t seem too happy about his run in the last session.
Played shitty down the stretch today. Lost 2k. Gonna enjoy some relaxing time off before we play 5 days next week
— Chance Kornuth (@ChancesCards) November 7, 2020
Does this mean the sands are sifting in Galfond’s favor after all? Galfond has remained unbeaten in his two prior heads-up challenges against ‘VeniVidi1993’ and Ioannis ‘Action Freak’ Kontonatsios and has a reputation of pulling off big comebacks. Still, Kornuth is proving to be a formidable adversary.
A total of 10,750 hands have been played so far across 20 sessions, and the duo resumes the challenge on Tuesday. They plan to play five days this week, so we can count on the challenge taking a giant leap forward quickly.