Poker Stories: Poker’s Biggest FEUD!
After 6 long years of bitter conflict, the intense rivalry between two of poker’s biggest stars has reached its fateful conclusion. This is the story of how it all went down.
Daniel Negreanu—aka Kid Poker—is a true legend of the game, with a big personality to match his big skills. In fact, he even served as a role model for prominent YouTuber and heads-up master Doug Polk.
#More Rake is Better
It all started in 2015 when Negreanu was doing an interview on a podcast and defended a rake increase from Poker Stars—a website who also happened to sponsor him. He said that a higher rake weeds out the sharks, brings in more recreational players, and makes the game better overall.
Polk immediately challenged the idea, leading a back-and-forth on Twitter where Negreanu tried to defend himself and Polk kept at him.
Things escalated when they both played in a Super High Rollers tournament and—as luck would have it—they got seated next to each other. Polk took off his sweater to reveal a “more rake is better t-shirt”. Negreanu may have gotten the last laugh since he came in 2nd in the tournament and Polk busted out of the money, but that still didn’t stop Polk from going so far as to buy a billboard at outside the Rio in Vegas saying “More Rake is Better” and even creating a “#more rake is better” meme war.
After more back and forth, including a diss track from Polk and a shouting match on Negreanu’s Twitch stream that got him a ban on the platform, they decided that they needed to settle the score once and for all. Polk challenged Negreanu to a heads-up poker match.
Years of Heads Up Poker
Polk is a world-renowned heads-up player, and Negreanu knew that he would be at a disadvantage. Still, they were eventually able to come to terms and the games began.
What came next was a years-long grudge match that consisted of 25,000 hands played between the two. Polk kept expanding his lead from session to session. Negreanu would claim its bad luck, before going on a massive heater to win $400,000 in one session. “That stung a bit,” said Polk, and he also lamented his bad luck.
In the end, Polk won $1.2 million off Negreanu. With this victory, however, came something very surprising.
Perhaps it was the catharsis of battling it out in the ring, but within this past year Polk invited Negreanu onto his podcast and the two seemed friendly to say the least. “I’m glad we managed to get past that time,” said Polk. “I’m thankful to have you on today.
Negreanu agreed, saying that they “got in the ring, went balls to the wall, and then ‘respect’.” And while the grudge match may be over, we undoubtedly have lots to look forward to from both of these colorful poker personalities.