Poker on screen special: Negreanu draws first blood against Polk

It was always going to be entertaining, but last night’s premiere of the PokerGO programme Negreanu vs. Polk: Heads-Up Feud got real.

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With 25,000 hands to play in their epic heads-up battle, the fact that Daniel Negreanu ended the night six figures up will not overly worry Doug Polk, who will pay the other 99.2% of the match online where he is something of an overwhelming 4/1 favourite.

The manner of the victory for Negreanu will annoy Polk. That’s no shock; virtually everything Negreanu does annoys Polk and it’s clear to see that from the intro and outro to the entertaining 3 hours and 43 minutes that PokerGO put out for free to their fans last night. A couple of Kid Poker’s calls on Polk’s bluffs will have given the latter pause for thought, however.

Before we talk about the show, let’s get down to watching it if you haven’t already. It’s great stuff.

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The match started pretty aggressively with the opening hand earning Negreanu a big lead, Polk’s bluff picked off by top pair. Negreanu would build and build upon that lead, with Polk never at any point holding the chip lead, but it was the smallball manner that Negreanu was allowed to do so which will anger Polk’s fans.

Of course, that situation is to be more than reversed, and this reporter for one is a little disappointed that there isn’t more of a split between the hands that will take place between live and online. A weekly live showdown followed by the same time at the virtual felt for four days a week would be ideal, especially in terms of keeping it a little more balanced but we have what we have and the rest of the fight will currently go on via WSOP.com and feature live commentary that includes WiFi lag along with the wisecracks.

While Negreanu will be delighted with the win, it’s only a very small head-start and he’ll be taking nothing for granted. ‘DNegs’ needed the fast start and he acknowledged that after the show.

One particularly big hand was one where Negreanu flopped trips and managed to get Polk to bluff his entire stack into the middle on the river. Even at that point, there was some deliberation with Negreanu’s decision but he made the right one and was happy about the session overall on Twitter afterwards.

The war may be far from over, but the first blood in the battle has gone the way of Daniel Negreanu. A huge fan of the Rocky films he may be, but this fight has got many more enduring rounds to go.

Ding-ding.

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