From Beatings to Beasting: The Rise of Doug Polk

4 years ago
From Beatings to Beasting: The Rise of Doug Polk
13 Jun
“I am starting to feel like I am stuck in a hopeless situation. Every time I begin to do well, I have a huge rollercoaster ride and end up broke again… having to reload. Again I am down to my last 30$, and I just don’t even know what to say.”

What a difference a decade makes! These were the words of a young Doug Polk on the 2+2 forum back in 2007 – the same Doug Polk who has since crushed heads-up online poker as ‘WCGRider’, won over $8.8 million in live tournaments and last week took down the WSOP $111,111 buy-in One Drop High Roller for $3.6million.

In a ‘we’ve all been there’ post about how tough poker is when you’re desperate to do well but can’t get to grips with the swings of the game, Polk continued:

“I know this is going to sound really, really, noob…but I can’t even fathom how certain games can be 'beaten'?"

With the 2+2 forum a seemingly endless mix of excellent players and complete trolls (with a few people like me thrown in to balance the middle) Polk admits:

“The most frustrating thing for me is, the people on this site make everything seem so incredibly easy. I struggle at micro limits and small-time Sit and Go's and MTT's, and when I win it’s for too small an amount to offset my losses”.

It’s hard to imagine a time when Polk wasn’t beasting everything at high stakes, the controversial but likeable pro producing some of the deepest poker analysis you’re likely to encounter in his vlogs and on his Upswing Poker training site. But knowing that even the best in the world had to fight through hard times to make it to the top gives us all hope.

“I really love the game of poker; a lot. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here today, and I wouldn’t of [sic] tried to play, and lost money along the way,” says Polk - and his next statement is proof that his thought processes and self-analysis were already working well enough to allow him to improve. "Maybe that’s the biggest key, admitting that I am a losing player and need some help. I don’t think I am a very bad player, just very marginally losing. I’ve had a few just wicked beats along the way (as everyone else has as well), and compounded with what I believe is poor play, the results are amplified,” said Polk.


For once, or perhaps it was always better back in the day when there were a lot of winners around, the advice he received was void of trolling and nastiness after Polk asked:

“If there is anyone here, who out of the kindness of their heart would make an attempt to help me understand bankroll issues, the way to move up, and ultimately, a fresh perception on the game. I really am willing to learn”.

The advice came thick and fast, with Polk soon replying:

“Thanks for all of the responses, … helping out noobs is what makes you guys so awesome, thanks for everything” with a final, “See you guys around!”

Around umpteen million $$ and 10 years later that is!

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


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