Polk and Negreanu Reignite Their Feud
Doug Polk has launched another personal attack on his fellow high-stakes professional Daniel Negreanu. On a podcast with his friend Joey Ingram, Polk was putting the poker world to right, and of course the subject was soon bound to come around to Negreanu.
The Problem with Poker
Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu have been locking horns for some time now. It’s not clear exactly when they really took a dislike to each other, but the episode where Negreanu was accused of publicly calling for higher rake in real money online poker cash games seems to have been a point where things turned nasty.
Polk has been keeping a low profile for a while since he decided to spend some time concentrating on his new cryptocurrency YouTube channel. He’s done well, and as of February 20th 2018 he passed the total number of subscribers that his poker channel has – around 175,000. But clearly Polk has been struggling with containing his feelings for a while.
Ingram and Polk were making a podcast about the problems with poker today, and this dredged up a lot of memories. Polk has ranted a lot in the past, and Negreanu has stayed calm for the most part, but this time he’s just not taking it lying down.
Negreanu’s interview from October 2016 where he said
“If the rake is too high the good players, what you’re left with is bad players… who are going to lose. But they’re losing less per 100 hands than they would be if the pros were playing with them. There’s a lot of games where that’s true. Where the rake is really high and it keeps pros away because they’re like “well we can’t beat this,” but overall for the game, it’s actually better because the pros aren’t playing.”
Polk condensed this into an accusation that Negreanu is being paid by Pokerstars to tell everybody that high rake is good for poker. Negreanu even tried to clarify the matter on his written blog by stating
“I do not believe that raising the rake is good for poker. Rake increases take more money out of the game and benefit whoever is collecting the rake. That is my position on rake. Period”
Over the Top?
After starting off with mildly insulting language, Polk calls Negreanu an embarrassment to the game and a little bitch. Reading through some tweets from Negreanu you can see maybe why Polk was getting angrier the longer he spoke.
“Dude, honestly, shut the **** up! He’s getting paid millions of dollars to be a hypocrite and tell you why taking your money is good, and why he should take more of your money, and then trying also to be the good guy. You don’t get to be both!”
Was Negreanu deliberately needling Polk with messages such as
“Many people come and go in the poker industry, moving on to other things, but I am a lifer. I love this game and plan to play a big role in the poker community for the rest of my life. I have lots of passions, but poker will always be #1.”
It didn’t help that that tweet was turned into a meme and retweeted by PokerNews – recently discovered to have been almost entirely bought out by Pokerstars. Everybody trying to annoy everybody it feels like.
The final gripe was Polk complaining about Negreanu’s backhanded comments, when he’s made a media channel that is full of that kind of behaviour.
After a couple of weeks to analyse what has been going on, people are now convinced that Negreanu is mostly annoyed at Polks inclusion on the American Poker Awards award for Poker’s Biggest Influencer. The nominees were Cary Katz, Negreanu, Polk and Matt Savage.
Negreanu said on his podcast
“As far as having a following goes – two people have one; two people don’t. As far as people being in the industry – two people are very well into the industry, one person spends time in the industry, and the other one spends time shitting on the industry.”
As it was, both ended up empty-handed, but the final word was people agreeing that Polk does what he does pretty much only for the views, and to promote his brand and video training website.
Vanessa Selbst also Taking Some Flak
Recently retired Vanessa Selbst wasn’t feeling the love on her return to action. The trainee hedge fund trader took to social media to broadcast her return to tournament play and was greeted with a few snide comments.
“Will any friends be at the Hard Rock this weekend? It's gonna be my first tournament as a rec and I'm actually giddy with excitement :)”
Selbst’s fellow hedge fund trader Dan Shak responded a few days later with the sharp
“Why retire 2 weeks before you play a tournament kind of doesn’t make sense. Why not just wait till after this one? Kind of an insult to all the press and people that reached out to wish you good luck on your new journey. Seems the same as the old.”
A few people thought this was a tad hypocritical, as Shak himself talks a lot about his amateur status. This is also a guy that has cashed for more than $9 million in live tournaments. Selbst didn’t get too angry though, but she did seem a little perplexed at the bad feeling out of seemingly nowhere. As it was she bubbled close to the money after getting pocket queens in pre-flop against pocket kings – what can you do eh?
Selbst does like to have the last word. That’s one thing we’ll always remember about her over the felt. She just couldn’t resist slipping in a word about her new nemesis in her final tweet.
“Such a weird world where so many people are mad that I played a poker tourney for fun after announcing retirement (I’ve been working full time for almost half a year). Like how is this a thing to be mad about? What a weird world. Go protest Trump, guys.”