Doug Polk (nickname – “WCGRider”) is a former professional poker player who is recognized for specializing in No-Limit Hold’em. In poker, he is considered to be one of the most powerful heads-up players in the world.
He was born in Pasadena, Polk. During his childhood, his family moved from California to Raleigh, North Carolina.
When he was 5, his father took the opportunity to teach him the game of chess. Doug said:
“He started off playing without a queen and two rooks, then once I would beat him he would slowly add pieces back in.”
He later added:
”By the time I was 9 years old, I was getting lessons from a grandmaster and my dad simply couldn’t beat me anymore.”
When he was fifteen, Doug set his sites on Warcraft 3 (a high fantasy real-time strategy video game released in July 2002, published and developed by Blizzard Entertainment), and his knack for strategy games allowed him to find success straight away.
He was actually a competitive Warcraft 3 electronic sports player competing at multiple World Cyber Games tournaments under the name T-Rider.
In 2007, Polk graduated from Wakefield High School. He also transitioned to poker.
After high school, he attended the University of North Carolina Wilmington, however, he soon found out that college wasn’t for him. During an interview, he declared:
“I dropped out in my first year to pursue poker full time. The moment I dropped out was one of my favorite poker moments.”
After he dropped out of college, Doug moved to Las Vegas to pursue his passion (poker).
He started playing $0.01/$0.02 stakes at PokerStars and ran a $20 deposit into $10,000. During this time, Doug described himself as a “breakeven rakeback pro.”
In 2009, he switched to the heads-up game and climbed quickly from a 2$/4$ limit to 50$/100$.
By 2013, Polk was considered one of the best online cash game players in heads-up no-limit hold’em.
In the same year, he challenged Ben ‘Sauce123’ Sulsky (an American professional poker player from Durham, New Hampshire who is considered the king of heads-up) to a series of matches totaling more than 15,000 hands.
In the end, Doug was up about $740,000. In addition, this entitled him to the $100,000 side-stake for winning.
in 2014, he won his first-ever World Series of Poker Bracelet.
In 2015, Doug was selected to play heads-up No-Limit Hold ’em against Claudico (an artificial intelligence computer program designed to play no-limit Texas Hold ’em – it was designed by Carnegie Mellon professor Tuomas Sandholm and his graduate students) along with professional poker players Bjorn Li, Jason Les, and Dong Kim.
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Each player was set to play 20,000 hands against bot Claudico for a team total of 80,000 hands. In the end, the human players ended up defeating the bot for 732,713 chips with Doug beating bot Claudico for 213,000.
In mid-2015, he started the poker training site Upswing Poker with Ryan Fee – fellow poker professional and longtime friend.
In 2016, he started a YouTube channel, named – Doug Polk Poker. He said:
”I realized that there wasn’t much future for me there and decided to transition into doing something that I love to do (make videos).”
On Nov 5, 2016, he launched the Doug Polk Crypto YouTube channel where he discussed cryptocurrencies, a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses encryption (cryptography) to verify transactions and to generate money.
In 2017, he won the $111,111 buy-in One Drop at the WSOP for $3.6 million, outlasting 130 players.
On 16 March 2020, Doug announced that he is quitting the poker industry.
Wife / Girlfriend
Doug Polk is not married, but he has a girlfriend.
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In 2016, he launched a marathon, which he started with 100$, and earned 10,000$ (“The 100$ to 10 000$ Challenge”).
In 2007, Doug almost quit. He said:
”I was on the brink of quitting poker because things were just not going well and that was very stressful (I’m sure many of you can relate).”
His total tournament earnings are in excess of over $9,454,000.
In 2016, Polk and Daniel Negreanu (a Canadian professional poker player who has won two World Poker Tour championship titles and six World Series of Poker bracelets) began feuding, after Negreanu, defending the company who has paid him for years, argued in favor of a PokerStars rake increase. Negreanu said that higher rake weeds out the sharks and brings more recreational players to the game.
“He’s a massive hypocrite and, frankly, he’s an embarrassment to players and the game of poker.”
His beef with Daniel continued when Negreanu claimed he could beat the $25/50 NLHE stakes with only 14 days of practice, that Doug described as “naïve.”
In 2018, Doug mocked Daniel’s vegan lifestyle:
“My mom, who has worked in the medical field for 30 years, was discussing that hospitals are limiting carb, not meat, intake for cardiac patients to help w/ high cholesterol.”
During the World Series of Poker 2017, women accounted for only 5.4 percent of registrations. In 2018, Doug tweeted his thoughts on women in poker:
”Anything that awards women for their success in areas they’re not disadvantaged to men, hurts the cause of women becoming successful.”
Polk later added:
”The biggest problem in gender inequality is girls not being taught how important computers/technology are. As a parent, don’t make that mistake.”
In 2017, a $42,000 coin flip at SugarHouse Casino between commercial real estate manager Jeremy Kaufman and Doug was deemed illegal by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. As a result, the Philadelphia-area casino was fined $30,000.
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Doug Polk – Net Worth
Polk earned most of his wealth by playing poker (total tournament earnings about $9,454,000). But, this doesn’t include the burn rate, traveling expenses, and taxes.
In addition to playing poker, Doug is engaged in coaching activities on his website (upswingpoker.com). Furthermore, Polk has two YouTube channels – Doug Polk Poker (about $200,000 in revenue before taxes) and Doug Polk Crypto (about $20,000 in revenue). Doug also streams on Twitch. Therefore, Doug Polk has an estimated net worth of $11 million.
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