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How good of a poker player is Doug Polk?

How good of a poker player is Doug Polk?

Tue Apr 20 2021 01:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Some of the people who watched his matches might say that Doug Polk is the best heads up no-limit player of all time and they are probably right! Polk is a strategic player who knows how to play with the hands that he is dealt with and has managed to win countless matches throughout his career.

At the young age of 25, Polk became a professional poker player. His playing style allowed him to continue his ascent to the top as one of the richest professional players in the industry at the age of 29. Know all about Polk’s net worth, career, and his decision to leave the poker industry here!

How Doug climbed up the ranks as a poker player

Earlier years

Doug Polk created his account in PokerStars with the screen name ‘WCGRider’ in college. His username was influenced by Warcraft 3, which is the game that brought him to the world of cyber game tournaments. 

He started participating in low stake games at PokerStars and moved to more significant stakes after he improved his skills and made progress with his gameplay. He quickly became passionate about poker and made a name for himself, especially in high-stakes Heads up Texas Hold ‘em.


Photo taken from Cardplayer.com

Professional career

Doug Polk was considered one of the best online cash game players of heads up and no-limit Texas Hold’em starting 2013.

His first notable win is the 15,000 hand match against fellow professional poker player, Ben ‘Sauce 123’ Sulsky. After the poker tournament, Polk walked away $740,000 richer. Moreover, he won a $100,000 victory bonus.

In 2014, Polk won $100,000 Super High Roller Bowl Poker at Bellagio, Las Vegas. It was also in that year that he earned his first World Series of Poker bracelet in the $1,000 NLHE Turbo event.

Right after Doug won his first gold bracelet, he began to focus more on high-stakes tournaments and established a poker training site called Upswing Power. He also established a Youtube channel that later became the most popular poker channel on the platform.

In 2016, he started a challenge called ‘Bankroll Challenge’ where he pledged to turn a $100 bankroll into $10,000 through online poker games. Despite aiming to complete the challenge in two months, it took Doug two years and 58 game sessions to achieve his goal.

Although the challenge wasn’t achieved in the time frame he initially thought, 2016 turned out to be a fantastic year for Doug and his career. He won many competitions including the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) event where he took home $115,000. He also made a record-breaking win at the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) where he left with $455,000.

It was also in 2016 when Polk won his second gold bracelet. This time he earned it from a tag team event in the 2016 World Series. One of his teammates was Ryan Fee who he became good friends with. Fee ended up becoming one of the coaches on Polk’s Upswing Poker website.

His third gold bracelet is a memorable achievement as it is one of his most notable career victories after winning a total of $3.687 million in the NLHE High Roller for One Drop at the 2017 World Series.

During this competition, Polk won against several professional players like Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Hellmuth, and his fierce rival in the world of poker, Daniel Negreanu.

For almost a decade, he played poker until he announced on his Youtube channel that he will be taking an indefinite hiatus. He told his fans in his video, ‘I’ll probably play occasionally from time to time for fun’.

This gave people hope that this wouldn’t be the last that they would see of the heads up poker legend.

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Doug Polk vs Daniel Negreanu

Despite announcing his hiatus in 2018, Doug Polk made it back out again in the professional poker scene to fight in a grudge match against his fierce rival, Daniel Negreanu. The much-awaited poker battle between the two rivals began on November 4, 2020 and ended on February 3, 2021.

There were a total of 25,000 hands played in the 36-day battle between the two elite poker players. Doug Polk won 19 out of the 36 matches which made him the victor of the grudge match where he took home a total of $1,202,807.

After this momentous win, Doug Polk reaffirmed his decision to step out of the professional poker scene and shut down any news of a rematch with Negreanu.

Polk confirmed that his confidence in his skills didn’t waver and his only concern was how it would look like if he denied Negreanu a rematch. Regardless if there would be a rematch or not, he solidified his title as one of the best poker players in the world through this grudge match against Negreanu.

Doug Polk’s poker retirement

In his youtube video explaining his decision to retire, Doug Polk shared that he had a blast during his poker career. However, he felt like it’s a chapter in his life that was coming to a close. Moreover, he was ready to move on and explore new avenues for his career.

According to the poker player, his reason for stepping away from the professional gambling scene is because he doesn’t enjoy the game anymore. He mentioned in his channel that ‘it felt like work’ to him.

Furthermore, Polk shared that his tendency to fall into a dramatic rift with other players became one of the reasons why he retired. However, he didn’t completely leave poker. Instead, he focused on his Upswing Poker website as well as his Youtube channel.

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Doug Polk’s net worth

Doug Polk’s poker career started at the young age of 19 and he quickly became one of the wealthiest in the industry at the age of 29. During his six years as a professional poker player, he amassed a net worth of $10 million.

Unlike what most people would think, Doug Polk’s net worth didn’t drop because of his retirement in 2018. Instead, it continued to rise through the various business ventures that he established while he was still a professional poker player.

Words by: Ana Gabrielle Gundran


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