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Is Daniel Negreanu going to lose over a million dollars?

Author: Vargoso Published: 10.12.20

Tilted. This is the perfect word to define Daniel Negreanu after Doug booked another massive victory and extended his lead to $784,560 (19 buy-ins). About 9,000 hands have been played across 17 sessions.

Is Daniel Negreanu going to lose over a million dollars?

Why I'm not losing more?: Daniel Negreanu

The last time we wrote about the grudge match between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk, the first one was losing $600k after 12 sessions. Ten days have passed since this, and now five more sessions were played, and Doug has managed to win $200k from Daniel.

On his post-match interview, where we could see Negreanu visibly tilted, he said:

"WTF is going on? I have trips, he has a *** flush, I turn straight, he has a **** flush. Heads-up poker is bananas. Why I'm not losing more? I feel I should be losing 29 million dollars. I even have to put more money in because I don't have enough to play. This is a joke."

We lost count of how many bad words Negreanu said during the 5 minutes interview. However, he insisted that what really upsets him is that he needs to deposit more money into his WSOP.com account.

Detailed results:

Session Winner Result Hands
1 Daniel Negreanu $116,500 200
2 Doug Polk $218,293 424
3 Doug Polk $166,239 382
4 Daniel Negreanu $87,167 366
5 Daniel Negreanu $206,995 365
6 Doug Polk $93,543 637
7 Daniel Negreanu $222,832 591
8 Daniel Negreanu $24,157 457
9 Doug Polk $205,522 377
10 Doug Polk $117,624 852
11 Doug Polk $120,023 386
12 Doug Polk $332,178 684
13 Daniel Negreanu $17,780 476
14 Daniel Negreanu $10,000 600
15 Daniel Negreanu $40,000 450
16 Doug Polk $160,000 600
17 Doug Polk $101,713 662
TOTAL Doug Polk $784,560 8,800

I expect to win $1.4M: Doug Polk

On the other hand, Doug is more than pleased with the results and created a Reddit thread to answer questions about the match so far. He recognized that Daniel had improved his range of bet sizes and post-flop game. Polk also outlined some details of his game strategy and explained some of his calls.

"I think overall my relationship with Daniel has gotten a lot better through this. I would say before we had a lot of animosity, now its subsided a good amount. We dont see eye to eye on a variety of issues but I don't think he is a bad person or anything. I dont see us being friends following this but yeah its at least on some reasonable terms now."

Doug was also asked about the possibility of Daniel beating him, and after a long answer with EV calcs and his current winrate (≈21 bb/100), he concluded that most likely he will win the match:

"If I had to predict, if this goes the full 25k hands I would say I expect to win ~1.4m."

Will Daniel quit after 12,500 hands?

If the losing trend continues, Daniel will be losing more than one million dollars when they reach the 12,500 hands milestone, when the losing player can throw in the towel as per the challenge rules. 

Doug Polk accepts playing 100k hands with Daniel

Although one may think: Daniel is desperately waiting to retire, in the interview, he said he would like to play 100,000 hands, something that was quickly accepted by Polk.

I wanna play 100,000 hands now.

Daniel Negreanu

The question here is: how much money is Daniel Negreanu willing to risk in the challenge? One million, five million?

How to recover from such a massive downswing?

Eight months ago, Phil Galfond faced a similar situation in his match against VeniVidi1993. Although everyone was thinking he was going quit after losing €900,000, he decided to face his downswing as follows:

  • Recognized he was depressed
  • Took a long break to revisit his strategy
  • Got tremendous support from his wife
  • Understood that the results were out of his control and had a clear goal in mind: to comeback.

We all know how well this worked out for Galfond as he managed to comeback and won the match. An important side note is that Negreanu is running $277k below all-in EV.

Will Daniel take a break or throw in the towel? All we know is that the match will continue to be played as scheduled, and both grinders will return to the tables today.

Session #17:

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