Doug Polk Leaves Las Vegas After Achieving Poker's Ultimate Dream

5 months ago
Doug Polk Leaves Las Vegas After Achieving Poker's Ultimate Dream
08:08
29 Mar

He came, he saw, he conquered… and now it’s time for Doug Polk to leave Las Vegas for pastures new, the undisputed king of highstakes online HUNL revealing his decision on Twitter…

That decade in Nevada’s iconic City of Lights has been filled with incredible stories, victories against the world’s best, $millions won at the poker tables, and controversies that have made Polk a household name in the poker community.

Starting out as a Warcraft3 player, his screen name "WCGRider" followed him into online poker, his love for the cards seeing him drop out of college and move to Vegas at the age of 19.

Like many before him, it wasn’t the immediate success he’d dreamed of, Doug even contemplating quitting the game before things turned around. Along with his Evil Empire buddies, Ryan Fee, Jason Mo, Donger Kim and Jason Les, the fearsome crew mauled the high-stakes games online.

Working his way up the stakes, within a few years he was playing and beating the best HUNL players in the world, a highly-publicised match against Ben ‘Sauce123’ Sulsky confirming his status when he took $800k from his rival.

With no-one willing to chance their bankroll against him, Doug turned to live tournaments, and soon proved he could mix it with the best there as well.

In 2014 he had five 6-figure cashes, including his first WSOP gold bracelet, and topped the year off with victory in the second Super High Roller Bowl, a win worth $1,648,350.

Founding Upswing Poker in 2015 along with Ryan Fee, it was soon transformed from ‘a blog offering free preflop charts to the world's biggest poker training company’.

A high profile match as part of a humans against AI poker showdown saw the carbon life-forms emerge victorious – this time at least – and Polk was becoming a celebrity of sorts in a game looking for heroes.

His victory in the $111,111 buy-in High Roller for One Drop brought him more WSOP jewellery and his career best cash in 2017, a $3,686,865 scoop when he defeated Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospelier heads-up.

By this time, the self-confident, often brash, Polk had started what would become a very successful YouTube channel, his original trailer showing what to expect…


Mixing hand reviews with poker news, or rather ‘Polker’ news, his witty and slick production soon gained a huge following. It also brought along its critics and trolls, especially when Polk took aim at some of the highest-profile players in the industry.

Online fights with Jason Mercier, Tom Dwan, Cate Hall, Ben Tollerene, Luke Schwartz, ‘JNandez’ and most notably Daniel Negreanu ensued, all caught in the crosshairs of Doug’s ‘take no prisoners’ approach to YouTube ‘journalism’.

That latter feud, oiled by countless swipes at the Canadian legend, ultimately led to the recent Grudge Match of the Century, with Polk taking $1.2million from Negreanu as they settled their differences.

By this time Polk had already ‘officially retired’ from playing poker, and it looks unlikely he will change that status now that Vegas is soon to be a distant memory.

A series of tweets revealed his new life away from Vegas still doesn’t have a destination.

“Not totally sure yet, probably Austin…Sold my place and figuring it out…its almost all packed and whatnot at this point.”

As for what comes next, it’s unclear if poker will play any serious part in Polk’s life, but among the fans’ ideas for what he should do was this rather enticing idea…


Articles 2093

Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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