Doug Polk lost his cool during his latest heads-up session with Daniel Negreanu. On January 27th, the pair met again on WSOP.com for Day 33 of their grudge match, and at one point during the game, Polk temporarily sat out because of Negreanu’s frequent tanking.
Phil Galfond, who serves as the game’s mediator, had to interfere to settle the issue. While the RIO founder acknowledged that tanking isn’t illegal, he advised Negreanu to speed up his play, which the latter obliged.
When the Canadian finally stopped tanking, Polk went on a heater, reducing his opponent’s early lead of $60,000 to absolutely nothing, leaving him with a sizable $136,239 deficit by the end of the game which involved a total of 560 hands.
With 5,078 hands remaining out of the 25,000 hands the pair agreed to play, Negreanu is currently behind by $701,948.
Negreanu’s tanking prompted Polk to return to his usual bashing behavior, and for the first time since the match began, Polk was at it again, attacking his long-time rival on social media, describing his recent play as “pathetic” and a “total piece of sh*t“.
Completely pathetic showing from @RealKidPoker today
Tanking 20 seconds to open, tanking 20 seconds to check flop, tanking every single decision in an effort to slow the game down to nothing.
Total piece of shit move.
— Doug “Lock It Up” Polk (@DougPolkVids) January 27, 2021
Since the pair started their heads-up battle back in November, both had been noticeably cordial with each other. It’s exciting to see how the next sessions would play out, as their social media feud has now been rekindled.
Why Players Dislike Tanking
When a player tanks, he or she takes more time thinking about their next move, essentially slowing down the game. This frustrates a lot of players especially when a certain decision could have been made a lot faster. As a result of frequent tanking, fewer poker hands get played, prolonging the game.
Negreanu himself hates the practice, and even pushed for the use of a shot clock in poker to limit the amount of tanking in games. He also once tweeted about the shot clock feature on GGPoker to avoid frequent tanking in online poker.
This is why many were surprised by the Poker Hall of Famer’s sudden change of heart in his last session with Polk.
In his post-game interview, Negreanu explained why he was forced to tank in their latest match. It’s primarily because of Polk’s change of strategy since Day 32 of the battle. The Upswing Poker founder started to limp buttons pre-flop in a bid to lower variance and maintain his huge lead through to the end.
To counter Polk’s limping, Negreanu said he needed to have more time in making decisions, considering that his opponent has now adopted a “new, confusing” style of play.