Daniel Negreanu’s Emphatic Comeback Against Doug Polk

Daniel Negreanu produced a stunning comeback in his $200/$400 heads-up no-limit hold’em head-to-head against Doug Polk. Going into the 31st session of the contest, Negreanu had fallen behind by nearly $1 million at different stages of the match. But DNegs produced one of the most unlikely returns on Friday, January 22, winning $385,000 over 1,000 hands – the biggest win in a single session so far.

Negreanu Attacks and Reaps Rewards at Critical Moment.

Negreanu attacked from the outset in Friday’s do or die contest, playing aggressively and winning an early stack for $3,199. Despite the pot shifting between the two players for much of the match, Negreanu took control and was up by two buy-ins early on.

His pot continued to grow throughout the day and, once Negreanu reached the $150k mark, signs were clear that he was heading towards a profitable session. Eventually, Negreanu surpassed his expectations and played himself right back into the marathon contest, playing Polk off the table and winning by nearly ten buy-ins.

Session 31 was a critical point for Negreanu, who still trails Polk by nearly $560,000 overall. The Canadian pro has given himself a chance of an incredible comeback and followed up his emphatic win last Friday with a $48,000 pot in session 32 on Monday, January 25.

Back to back wins have signaled a return from the dead by Negreanu, who could have quit at the halfway stage as he was behind by $770k after 12,500 hands. However, the more wins Negreanu puts together, no matter how big or small will increase his confidence and apply pressure on Polk as the head to head enters the final stages.

Unplanned Aggressive Play Pays off for Negreanu

Although Negreanu’s massive win appeared to be a final rally against Polk, the Canadian admitted that he did not plan for the contest to unfold that way. But he knew the $1 million deficit forced him to bluff more than he would usually.

“[I have to] be willing to give away EV and play hands sub-optimally to increase variance so that it gives me a better chance to win the match, I was a monkey just going click-click with buttons today,” Negreanu said after session 31.

Despite the heavy loss, Polk was expecting a big session for Negreanu to come up eventually in the head-to-head.

“I was hoping it wasn’t going to happen to me in this challenge, but early on when I talked about variance in heads-up and what can happen in a session, I said it a bunch of times. It happens that people win or lose 10 buy-ins in a session. I feel that because it hadn’t happened yet this challenge, it feels like it wasn’t really possible.” Polk explained.

Two more sessions will take place this week, and around 5,700 hands are still left to play in the contest. The pair have been facing each other in the $200/$400 heads-up no-limit hold’em head-to-head since Wednesday, November 4, 2020, and play will finish in early 2021.