doug polk vs daniel negreanu

Doug Polk vs Daniel Negreanu: $200/$400 Grudge Match Rules

The most-anticipated heads-up challenge in recent memory will begin on November 4th.

After beefing for years, Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu will square off at $200/$400 on for at least 12,500 hands.

We’ve already covered what led to the match in this article, so today we’re going over the rules.

Table of Contents:

The Negotiation Process

Keeping up with the negotiation process of the challenge has been difficult.

Polk officially challenged Negreanu to a heads up challenge on July 28th and Negreanu quickly accepted.

But even though the match was agreed upon, Kid Poker refused to iron out the details right away because he wanted to wait until the conclusion of the online World Series of Poker.

It wasn’t until early October, more than two months after the original call out and a month after WSOP online concluded, that we started to gain some clarity on the details of the challenge.

After several back-and-forth battles on Twitter, we finally have some more clarity as to the rules.

The Rules

I went through every tweet to parse out the rules that the two players have agreed on. Some rules may be added or altered before the match begins, but this is how they stand as of now.

Rule #1: The match will be played at $200/$400 on 2 tables at a time

The challenge will be placed at the nosebleed stakes of $200/$400 and the players will have two tables going simultaneously. 

Each player will have the “Auto Top-Up” feature on, meaning every time a stack drops below 100 big blinds, it will automatically top-up to the starting stack of $40,000.

When stacks get much deeper than 100 big blind effective on a table, the two players will likely start a new table with fresh $40,000 stacks. This is not a formal rule, but standard practice in heads-up matches.

Rule #2: The match will be played on

There was a bit of a negotiation on this rule.

Daniel wanted to play on GGPoker using play money, but Doug insisted on using which is the only legal online poker site in Nevada.

Daniel agreed, and both players say they have loaded $1,000,000 into the site.

Rule #3: 12,500 hands with a 12,500 hand extension option for the losing player

Doug wanted more hands, Daniel wanted less hands, so they agreed to meet in the middle.

The duration of the challenge will be 25,000 hands, but there is a caveat.

Whoever is losing has the option to back out after 12,500 hands.

Rule #4: No HUDs or hand trackers may be used

Rule #5: The players will play live with hole cards on PokerGo for the first session

There wasn’t much of a debate on this.

Doug offered to have both players show hole cards for the entire match, but was willing to accept less. Daniel agreed to show hole cards for a portion of the challenge at the PokerGo studios and Doug accepted.

The two players will start their 12,500+ hand battle with 200 hands played live in the PokerGo studio, which will be streamed for free on

Rule #6: Kane Kalas will be the commentator for the PokerGo portion of the match

The exact details of this have not been released yet, but it seems as though Kane Kalas will be commenting on parts of the challenge on PokerGo.

How to Watch the Challenge

Unfortunately, it is not possible to view tables unless you are in a regulated online poker state (NV, NJ, or DE).

But don’t worry, because we are going to make sure fans can watch this match.

PokerGo will be broadcasting the first 200 hand session of the challenge, which will be played live. You can watch that first session for free on on November 4th at 5pm PT.

Upswing Poker will be live streaming the rest of the challenge on Doug Polk’s YouTube channel and Upswing Poker’s Twitch channel. Subscribe/follow those channels now to get notified when streams go live.

How Do You Think This Challenge Will End?

Vote in the poll and explain your reasoning in the comments below!

Regardless of the final details of this challenge, it’s clear we are in for a treat.

Note: Learn step-by-step how to become the best player at the table when you join the Upswing Lab training course. Elite pros have been adding new content every week for the past four years, and you get all of it when you join. Learn more now!

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Home > Doug Polk vs Daniel Negreanu: $200/$400 Grudge Match Rules
Home > Doug Polk vs Daniel Negreanu: $200/$400 Grudge Match Rules
About the Author
Patrick Harvey

Patrick Harvey

Graduate student trying to make money in poker so that I don't end up having to drive Knish's truck.

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