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World class poker pro Doug Polk joined Joey Ingram over the weekend to talk about everything from his new training site and live stream to the Cash Game Master Race and Underage Gambling in popular video games.

Although Papi is attempting to keep his “conversating” to approximately one hour, the 100-minute show with Polk flowed smoothly thanks to the Upswing Poker featured personality’s authoritative voice on several high profile topics within the poker industry and outside of it.

Doug Polk’s poker achievements encompass roughly $5 million in live tournament cashes according to The Hendon Mob, along with an established high stakes online cash game track record that reflects an organic rise to the top.

The California native didn’t “wake up on third base” in the game of online poker. Last year’s runner-up performance in the WSOP $10,000 buy-in 6-max event for $400k, his third place effort in the $250k entry Aussie Millions High Roller for $800k, and his victory in the 2014 Bellagio Super High Roller for $1.65 million are the culmination of hardcore, low-stakes online cash game grinding.

Say what you want about poker tournament feats and YALP-worthy moments — that’s one thing. But mix that with an online poker pedigree that begins at $0.10/$0.25 ring games and works its way up to a verified high stakes winner and you have an instant hit among the TwoPlusTwo forum crowd.

Joey Ingram and a slew of high profile guests have openly communicated their respect for winning online poker cash game players. I’ll get into this later, but in the meantime any interested observer might want to take note that there is a critical mass of legitimate high stakes pros who want the world to know that the path to True Poker Prowess begins and ends with Internet ring games.

Not everyone agrees with this of course, but fret not — detractors are in luck! Polk is willing to back up his point of view with authoritative commentary and budget-friendly prop bets for select colleagues who would like to validate their contrarian stance by becoming a guinea pig.

Without further ado, here are some of the high points covered in Friday’s Poker Life Podcast episode featuring Doug Polk.

Doug Polk May 6, 2016 Poker Life Podcast Highlights


Minute #6: Upswing Poker Twitch Poker Stream

To give you a general idea of who the most Popular Twitch Poker streamers are at the moment, here is Followers count list.

Jason Somerville: 172,900

Jaime Staples: 61,300

bigdogpckt55: 13,400

AdrianFeniXx: 12,600

Dutch Boyd: 12,400

UpswingPoker: 11,000

KomodoDragonJesus: 7,500

Joey Ingram: 5,200

Killingbird: 5,100

The Upswing Poker Twitch Channel (headed by Polk, Ryan Fee and Matt Colletta) has positioned itself among the most popular Twitch Poker programming that is not sponsored by PokerStars.

As you can tell from the generic “Follower” numbers, the Jason Somerville Run It Up show is the undisputed #1 while Jaime Staples (aka “PokerStaples) is a clear #2. No one else is close.

Given Upswing Poker’s growing virtual content library, a glowing endorsement from Ingram and website/live stream combo, it would make sense that the late-20s Cash Game and Heads-Up icon would have the best shot to close that gap.

Polk takes viewers through his current activities, and when asked by Ingram How much does it take to do this?, the social media savvy alleged endboss laughingly replies, “Some amount” just after the 12:30 mark.

Minute #16: Cash Game Master Race (CGMR)

This theme is prevalent throughout the Podcast. Apparently, PC video game players aren’t the only close-knit online community who proclaim authority after being somewhat vilified by their respective industries.

“With Heads-Up No Limit, I’m a lot better than people that are near me,” says Polk. “The edges are so massive in heads-up No Limit.”

That line of thinking is a bit different than your typical tournament grinder’s take on the consumer profit potential of online poker games,. Polk offers 35,000 hands from his personal database as evidence.

Graciously paying tribute to the odds-making, number-crunching forum crowd who need a gazillion flips before they’ll debate the improbability of a coin being crooked, Polk simply insinuates that he’s likely doing okay in those games.

If you’re an old-school poker forum poster, then all you need to know is Doug Polk plays high stakes poker like it’s his job, and it seems to be working out for him. So far, the upward-trending personality has booked about $200,000 in profit on his Twitch stream.

So with that clarified, what does Doug Polk think about poker tournament success?

“Tournaments are such a joke. All of the regs that think they are good are terrible.”

“Every time I  play with tournament players, I’m more shocked at how bad they are.”

There’s a freeze frame at precisely the 21:00 mark that sums up what Joey Ingram thinks about all this… BANG BANG. The pair genuinely can’t stop humoring themselves with the one-liners. It’s a golden moment that exemplifies what poker salesmanship might evolve into.

While it’s obvious both established online poker veterans do respect their share of tournament pros and that they’re “working” a bit of an angle, the two are also “shooting” you straight with their CGMR hype.

They believe what they’re beating you over the head with, and are willing to let highly respected high stakes live tournament pros like Mike McDonald off the hook with a good-natured I told you so rib rather than dropping a deuce on them post-validation (42-minute mark).

The vagueness behind successful poker tournament play has prompted Polk to cease buying any tournament action at markup. The best tournament player in the world can wind up in the red for an entire year, Polk opines. And that’s why more ring game grinders don’t make the transition to the supposed “easier” format of poker.

If you want to get all the juicy details on what Polk thinks of the current Global Poker Index Top 10 Ranked tournament pros’ abilities, that’s at the 38:30 mark (after the Cleaning Lady interruption).

Minute #58: Upswing Poker SCOOP Live Stream

Doug Polk will live stream his 2016 SCOOP tournament play daily from May 8th until the 15th on Twitch Poker. Fans can check out his Twitch account starting around 11:00am ET this entire week for the free play-by-play.

Viewers should keep in mind that they’ll be getting an inferior version of WCGRider‘s strategy insights this week… because his “A-Game” just might be too badass to share. That insinuation guarantees the $5 million live tournament winner will attract a small (yet vocal) group of viewers who show up to the live stream to see him fail.

Apparently Polk long-ago accepted that you can’t please everybody and that some media consumers need a villain to cling to. So if you’re a WCGRider fanboy eager for some Evil Empire SCOOP domination, perhaps you’ll get your wish. And if you’re chomping at the bit for Polk to flop a short-term dud, that might happen too. Tune in to find out!

A small tidbit… the man once responsible for winning an epic $10,000 monthly profit playing $25 NL prop bet (and providing webcam coverage 16 hours per day in the process) actually inspired Papi to set a World Record for Most Online Poker Hands Played in a single day: 50,000 in 20 hours.

Here’s a look at that classic December 2009 YouTube brag video before we move on.


Minute #62: Multi-Accounting and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

A year ago, Brian “Stinger88” Hastings placed himself at the center of online poker controversy when he admitted to multi-accounting as NoelHayes on PokerStars. The TwoPlusTwo NVG thread was a spin-off from David Baker’s Twitter allegations, and the topic was the #1 trending forum debate until PokerStars & Co. took over the spotlight this past December.

After confirming that they get along with Hastings, Ingram and Polk segued into VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) and their highly suspected use in games on PokerStars.

When it comes to multi-accounting, Polk agrees with many (but not all) insiders that any “one person to an account rule” is impossible to enforce. Having such a rule in place reduces the Expected Value (EV) of players who abide by the guidelines. That in turn results in an unfair disadvantage caused by a Utopian mandate. Good intentions for the win, I suppose.

Meanwhile, WCGRider would like to know how any site can truly stop multi-accounting, so where’s the upside?

When it comes to VPN-ing, Polk commends the efforts of PokerStars as they prioritize restricting access to the platform to anyone in the United States other than those located within the New Jersey borders. Word on the street is that PokerStars is doing everything possible to ensure compliance with NJDGE and Know Your Customer stipulations, while also blocking use to its Rest of World platform from anyone in the US.

If there are indeed multi-accounting shops set up in the United States that gain unauthorized access to the world’s largest poker site (as Ingram leads us to believe) we can at least rest assured that PokerStars’ interests coincide with shutting them down.

“The sites have a responsibility to do their due diligence to ensure that the people who are playing aren’t from America,” says Polk.

Minute #70: Video Games and Underage Gambling

In March, I wrote a piece about how Online Gambling Elements Are Rampant in Video Games. That article revolved around the Granblue Fantasy “Gacha” gimmick that accepts real money for unlockable digital content. Some kids run up thousands of dollars on their parents’ credit cards attempting to acquire some of the rarer characters.

Polk has some authoritative knowledge on the topic and cites CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) as yet another source of underage gambling where billions of dollars in wagered digital assets exchange hands each year.

Here’s a recent Bloomberg story that explains how Virtual Weapons Are Turning Teen Gamers into Serious Gamblers. In case you didn’t know, “The boom in pro video gaming is fueled by $2.3 billion in online bets,” write BBW contributors Joshua Brustein and Eben Novy-Williams.

Polk references how some digital content (such as highly sought-after “skins” of popular weapons) can go for hundreds of real money dollars and are pitted against one another by underage wagerers via in-game currency.

Mr. Upswing Poker explains the nuances of how kids can get in on the action of their favorite CS:GO teams (like Fnatic) when they compete in sanctioned matches. Polk guides viewers through the ins-and-outs of how this works, making it an informative segment.

Podcast Name Change?

Papi posted on Twitter last week that his show may receive a name change soon.

We’ll be sure to keep the Joey Ingram fans who read our work here at PokerUpdate informed on any title change.

Best of luck to Doug “WCGRider” Polk in his Upswing Poker SCOOP broadcasts this week. Take ’em down!

David Huber

David Huber has been involved in the poker industry for more than a decade: initially as a professional online poker player and later as an editor, consultant, writer, and forum manager. Known as "dhubermex" online, David's poker-related work has been heavily published across numerous websites since 2004.