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In what has been one of the most interesting battles on the high-stakes tables at Full Tilt Poker, 2014 World Series of Poker bracelet winner Doug WCGRiderPolk (pictured) has been squaring off against Denoking, with both players pulling out sizeable victories. Special thanks to HighStakesDB for the data used in this article. Last week, Polk took the action to Denoking on the $300/$600 No Limit Hold'em tables at Full Tilt and, after a long session, walked off with a $736,000 win. Thus, when Denoking returned to the felt on Monday night, Polk was poised to add some more of Denoking's ducats to his virtual wallet. As the session played out, however, it was Denoking who had the last laugh. Deciding on a shorter session than their previous matchup, Denoking came out of the gate rapidly. Inside an hour of play, Denoking was able to ratchet up a $300,000 edge. In one hand, after Polk three bet pre-flop, Denoking decided to just call and see a monochrome Qc-7c-10c flop. Polk check-called a bet from Denoking and, with both players having more than $100,000 on the table, saw a 9h on the turn. Polk once again check-called a bet and, on the 6c river, pushed his chips all in for the nearly $200,000 pot. Denoking made the call and, after Polk showed a Qh-10h for a flopped two pair, Denoking showed Ac-Qs for the rivered four-flush to take down the $279,000 pot, the biggest of the match. Polk didn't back off, instead reloading his stake and going back for more. Polk's big strike of the day came after four-betting Denoking off the button to see an innocuous 2-5-8 flop. Denoking fired out on that flop and Polk three-bet, which Denoking simply called. The turn was an ace and Denoking slowed down with a check. Polk fired off $22,000 into the $160,000 pot and Denoking called to see an eight on the river. Both players pulled back with checks, at which point Polk showed pocket queens to win on the very dangerous board. Now it was Denoking's turn to make a bit of a comeback, as he won several smaller hands before taking down the last six-figure pot of the matchup. As Denoking's roll continued, Polk took a pause from the action to gather his thoughts. As he waited, Denoking reminded Polk that it was a "short session" and, without a reply, stood up from the table and booked a $308,000 win. Although losing on Monday to his rival was a bit of a hit, Polk seems to have rebounded nicely. During action Tuesday on Full Tilt Poker, Polk soothed his wounds by booking a win of his own, taking down nearly $137,000. Since the start of 2014, Polk has played 95 sessions according to HighStakesDB and almost 27,000 hands. As of Wednesday, Polk has racked up $971,711 in winnings, good enough for fifth place. For his part, Denoking has had a tough week. Although he was able to start the week with a small win, the battles with Polk have resulted in his bankroll taking a bit of a hit. After the clash with WCGRider, Denoking's overall loss for the past week sits at roughly $436,000. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
In August, Daniel Negreanu took to Twitter to offer his commentary on the play during the 2014 World Series of Poker and, in particular, the "online" players he faced. Negreanu was less than complimentary of the attacking style employed by many online players and fell back on his success in live cash games to demonstrate his knowledge. This led to some in the Twitterverse deriding him, stating he couldn't even beat a $5/$10 cash game online. Not one to back down from a challenge, Negreanu issued a challenge. In response to a person who questioned whether he could beat the $25/$50 six-handed PokerStarscash games, Negreanu responded, "It would take two weeks of work and I'd be a winner." He added, "I couldn't be any more serious. Two weeks, five hours playing, four hours studying numbers daily… (I) would bet a million (that I would be a winner)." Naturally, this boisterous proposition by Negreanu raised the ire of some of the regular online cash game pros. One of those was 2014 WSOP bracelet winner Doug WCGRiderPolk (pictured above), who responded to Negreanu's claims in an interview with CardPlayer. Polk said once Negreanu was called out, "Kid Poker" introduced several caveats to what he stated on Twitter. "This whole thing started with Negreanu posting that with two weeks of study, he could beat $25-$50," Polk answered in the interview with CardPlayer's Julio Rodriguez. "So, I took that to mean that if given two weeks of study, he could beat $25-$50. Apparently, what Negreanu meant was that he'd be given two weeks of study and then get a whole year to beat $25-$50, along with another year of play if needed with some consequences or something." "The question is, am I willing to bet against Negreanu beating $25-$50 over the course of two years while cherry-picking his spots and getting coaching?" Polk asked. "No, of course not. But that's not what he originally said. The terms that I think are reasonable for the bet, he would never agree to." Polk moved on to say that he and others in the online cash game world were "insulted" by Negreanu's insinuations that he could beat their game so easily. "I think Negreanu is a fantastic live tournament player. He has great results and is a great ambassador for the game of poker, but he is not a good high-stakes online cash game player. He's just not. There are guys who spent a lot of time and energy making their way to that level and winning and he's basically dismissing their effort by saying he could just jump in and beat them. Most of the older, more recognizable live pros just don't have the skill set to win online." Polk seems to be one of those who has made the online-to-live jump quite successfully. Although he dismisses reports of his online performance, his last eight months of live action have been impressive. In addition to winning a WSOP bracelet, Polk finished fourth in the Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge in February for a big six-figure score and, in July, took down the Bellagio $100,000 Super High Roller Event for $1.6 million. In his live tournament career of only three years, Polk has racked up over $3.6 million in earnings, according to the Hendon Mob. Although it makes for excellent fodder for poker gossip, the battle between Negreanu and Polk would be fascinating to see come to fruition. Do you think that "Kid Poker"' may have bitten off more than he could chew? Or could he actually, with two weeks of training, become one of those top online cash game pros? Leave a comment here and let us know! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
In a series of Tweets posted last week, it was revealed that Doug Polk (pictured), who is known in the high-stakes online poker world as WCGRider, had his Bank of America accounts frozen. The bank's actions came in advance of Polk wanting to head to Canada for the ongoing WCOOP on PokerStars. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- According to HighStakesDB, "When Polk tried to change his more anonymous 'WCGRider' screen name to just 'Doug Polk', a security alarm of some kind in the Bank of America system must have been raised." Polk promptly took to Twitter to warn other poker players who may bank with BOA, saying: Members of the industry responded to Polk's comments by saying they've had similar experiences in the US and UK, with Polk remarking at one point, "Yeah, I'm tired of getting treated like a criminal." When asked why BOA shut his accounts down, Polk simply told the community, "They told me they do not reveal that information." The issue involving poker players and well-known banks doesn't seem to be isolated to BOA, either. For example, Jason JCarver Somerville (pictured) described his experience with Chase, saying, "Chase did basically the same thing to me a few years ago that BOA is doing to you. I'd be a little cautious w/ them too." WCGRider is 74th on the list of biggest winners tracked by HighStakesDB, which makes the news more high-profile. He is $1.23 million in the black in high-stakes games that the tracking site has logged since late 2009. According to the Hendon Mob, Polk has $3.6 million in career live tournament winnings, including a victory earlier this year in a $100,000 No Limit Hold'em Super High Roller event at the Bellagio in Las Vegas for $1.6 million. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
With the event headed into the homestretch, four poker pros have built up an edge over a specially-created poker playing bot in a first-of-its-kind demonstration. On April 24, four players – World Series of Poker bracelet winner and online guru Doug WCGRiderPolk (pictured), Dong Kim, Jason Les, and Bjorn Li – set out in the "Brains vs. Artificial Intelligence" competition being held live at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. Their opponent was the latest creation of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science, a poker playing program known as Claudico. The challenge for the two sides was to play 80,000 hands of No Limit Hold'em on laptops linked together and, in the end, whomever had won the most money would be determined the victor. The four humans are playing for a $100,000 bonus. The competition is unique in that this is the first time a computer program built for poker was taking a stab at No Limit Hold'em. Other programs and competitions from the past, including the University of Alberta's Polaris, were playing Limit Hold'em, a far more statistical game than the No Limit version. Even the program that supposedly has "solved" poker – Alberta's Cepheus– has only solved the Heads-Up Limit version of the game. Over the past 12 days, the four men have played 1,500 hands per day against Claudico, with two of them playing on the floor of the Rivers Casino and the other two in an "isolation room" taking part in their own heads-up matches. The players are all using the same cards against Claudico and, as the experiment draws to a close, the players are the ones cleaning up. Heading into the final few days of play, the humans have built up a sizeable edge over the Carnegie Mellon team. Overall, the "Brains" have built up a $673,941 lead over Claudico, which, according to Dr. Tuomas Sandholm (pictured) of Carnegie Mellon, would be a statistical defeat for his artificial intelligence program. Li has been the star of the "Brains" team, racking up $466,473 of the total win for the squad. Polk ($184,542) and Kim ($129,273) are running neck-and-neck to see who can take the second largest total, while Les (-$106,347) is the only one letting the human race down. What is the purpose of building Claudico, Polaris, or Cepheus, you ask? Artificial intelligence programs have usage far beyond simple games such as poker and chess. The program that defeated chess grandmaster Garry Kasparovin 1997, known as Deep Blue, eventually morphed into the Watson program that crushed former Jeopardy champions in 2011. By being able to compute a massive amount of information from differing sources, such artificial intelligence programs can improve the lives of humans through the fields of medicine, finance, cybersecurity, and other areas. In essence, the decision-making skills the poker-playing programs use are vital in many areas of daily life. With only a couple of days of play remaining, it seems that the human race will emerge as victorious in this particular battle. On May 8, a special closing ceremony will be held where the final results will be announced. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.