Antagonistic Doug Polk Trolls Daniel Negreanu on SHRB Day One, Kid Poker Gets Last Laugh Ending Session as Chip Leader

If karma is a real thing, it may have been in play on Day One at the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl Sunday. Doug Polk, who was seated next to Daniel Negreanu for much of the day at the featured table, trolled his hated rival by wearing a shirt that read, “More Rake is Better,” but Kid Poker wasn’t fazed.

By the end of the day, Negreanu had left the long session with a commanding chip lead, while Polk will now have to watch the remainder of the event on PokerGo.

The 48-player, $300,000 buy-in tournament attracted many of the top players in the game today, along with numerous poker boom era legends, including Phil Ivey who was a last-minute entry after Andrew Robl backed out.

Ivey has been mostly absent from the tournament poker scene the past few years, but it appears he’s back, at least for now. “No Home Jerome” ended Day One with 254,000, slightly below the 300,000-chip starting stack, but still has plenty of dancing chips.

Ivey, who doesn’t have much experience playing against many of the new-school pros, was less aggressive than what poker fans have seen from him in the past. Perhaps, he was just getting a feel for how the GTO-obsessed tournament players of today would play against him on Day One.

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Justice Served?

Doug Polk has repeatedly verbally attacked Daniel Negreanu over the past year for his affiliation with PokerStars, a poker site he made millions on but now despises. In 2016, DNegs defended a PokerStars rake increase, suggesting that “more rake is better” for recreational players, a comment Polk has continually mocked.

On Sunday, Doug, seated next to Negreanu, showed up for Day One at noon wearing a harmless Upswing Poker shirt. But shortly after the PokerGo livestream cameras began filming at 3 pm, he removed that shirt in favor of one that read, “More Rake is Better,” to mock the legend he recently referred to as, “an embarrassment to the game of poker.”

Negreanu stayed mostly silent throughout the awkward session, focusing on his game instead of the sideshow Polk brought to the session.

“I’m just here to win a poker tournament,” Negreanu told PokerGo sideline reporter Drea Renee. “All those sideshows is not what this is about. This is a very prestigious event. I’m not going to let anything distract me.”

Polk’s antics clearly didn’t distract the grizzled veteran. Negreanu dominated most of the hands he played against his rival, picking off a river bluff in one hand with ace-high and winning a big pot with a well-disguised pair of queens against Doug’s pocket 10’s in another.

Negreanu did his talking with his chips, finishing the day with a massive chip lead at over 1.6 million, over 600,000 more than 2ndplace Jason Koon. Polk, on the other hand, did his talking with a shirt that probably should have read, “I’m Only Here for One Session,” as he busted late in the day. Karma 1 Doug Polk 0.

Playing for $5 Million

There are 30 remaining players all hoping to win the $5 million championship prize. Kathy Lehne (801,500) is the only woman in the field. She’ll be joined on Day Two by a mix of poker boom era legends (Negreanu, Ivey, Brandon Adams), some young German superstars (Fedor Holz, Rainer Kempe, Christoph Vogelsang, Steffen Sontheimer), hedge-fund billionaire Bill Perkins, and other skilled poker players not named Doug Polk.

Day One Chip Leaders

1 Daniel Negreanu (Canada) 1,618,000

2 Jason Koon (United States) 986,000

3 Steffen Sontheimer (Germany) 960,500

4 Stephen Chidwick (United Kingdom) 888,500

5 Bryn Kenney (United States) 852,500

*Koray Aldemir has the shortest stack with 83,500.

Brian Rast and Antonio Esfandiari busted early on Sunday. Rast, the 2015 champion, attempted a massive bluff for all his chips against Lehne who made the call and sent him home quickly.

Phil Hellmuth’s strategy of showing up late, nearly four hours on Sunday, didn’t work this time. The Poker Brat had more than 40,000 chips blinded off while he was sleeping, only lasted a few hours before busting.

Other notable Day One bust outs: Andrew Lichtenberger, Tom Marchese, David Peters, Isaac Haxton, and Eric Seidel.

Day Two kicks off at noon PT with the PokerGo livestream to begin at 3 pm.

WSOP Open for Business

A mile away from the Aria, host of the SHRB, is the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, which hosts the 2018 World Series of Poker. The WSOP will officially open to the public with cash games and Daily Deepstack tournaments on Tuesday, a day before the first bracelet events of the summer ($565 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em and $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Turbo Bounty).

CardsChat will have exclusive coverage throughout the summer of the SHRB, the WSOP, and other major events in Las Vegas.

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