Doug Polk is a well-known American poker player who plays under the alias WCGRider online.

Doug is a heads-up poker specialist, but he enters high-roller cash games and World Series of Poker events too. At the moment, he’s managed to win 3 bracelets from WSOP events.

He has two Youtube channels, one for poker commentary and one for his podcast. He’s also been in charge of the Upswing Poker training site for several years now. He was also sponsored by a crypto exchange company called Coinflex for some time. More recently, Doug’s taken an ownership stake in The Lodge Poker Club in Texas.

With these revenue streams and his poker winnings, Doug Polk’s net worth is estimated to be around $20 million.

Let’s take a look at Doug Polk’s origin story, plus the highs and lows of his career.

Doug Polk at the Hustlers Casino

Doug Polk is from Pasadena, California, a beautiful city on the American west coast. When the poker boom started, Doug transitioned from playing Warcraft 3 to playing online poker.

Doug logged on to PokerStars and hit the $0.01/$0.02 cash game tables. Allegedly, his winnings grew from $20 to $10,000 before long. By the time 2011 rolled around, Polk didn’t have much left in his bankroll and he decided to approach poker more seriously.

A few years later, Doug Polk became one of the world's best heads-up no-limit Texas Holdem players. He started to challenge other professionals to high-stakes heads-up matches, something which he continues to this day.

Over time, Doug has been vocal about losing his love for the game and wanting to step away from the felt. He’s retired from playing poker and content creation before, but seems to continue doing both.

You’ll still see him playing on poker live streams at The Lodge, creating crypto and poker content, and probably playing casually on poker sites.

PokerStars starting out holding online poker games back in 2001 and now the company is worth over 6 billion dollars. They sponsor a slew of tournaments like the European Poker Tour, UK and Ireland Poker Tour, plus a handful of others. Over the years, PokerStars has remained on top of the online poker industry. They’ve expanded to offer fantastic online casino games and sports betting.

Doug Polk went from a low-stakes PokerStars player to operating his own casino, YouTube channel, podcast, and coaching school, not to mention his tournament achievements. Most of these things were great for his net worth, which some estimate to be around $20 million.

According to The Hendon Mob, his total live earnings reached $10,493,951 after his last cash.

Let’s go through some highlights in the career of Doug Polk.

Какой вид покера предпочитаешь?

Three World Series of Poker Bracelets

For a professional poker player, WSOP bracelets are the holy grail. Doug Polk has cashed 14 times and had three 1st-place finishes from these events:

  • $111,111 2017 High Roller for One Drop ($3,686,865 prize)
  • $1,000 2016 Tag Team No-Limit Hold'em ($76,679 prize)
  • $1,000 2014 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo ($251,969 prize)

Doug came very close to winning his 4th WSOP bracelet, but he was beaten by a Quebecois restauranteur.

Players around the world can win World Series of Poker Online tickets by playing on GGPoker. The WSOP brand partnered with GG to give away over 33 gold bracelets in 2023, likely with more coming in the future.

This is, by far, one of the most accessible methods to get into WSOP events. The hosts set up satellite tournaments for the events, or you can just pay the full buy-in and get into the game.

GGPoker is a Hold’em and Omaha focused site on the Good Game Network. Offering a broad range of playing formats such as Randomised Sit & Gos, All-in or Fold, and 6+ Short Deck as well as fast cash games, and a plethora of tournament series including: GGMasters, Multi Millions and Bounty Hunters.

Doug Battles an AI Poker Program

MIT University students put together a terrifyingly clever AI program to face a team of pro players – including Doug Polk. Although it was very difficult to play against a computer, the human team eventually beat the program, named Claudico.

Through all of the overbets, bet size changes, and balanced frequencies, the 4-player human team was able to win. This represented a milestone for AI and also an impressive feat for Doug’s team, though they noticed some big misplays from the program.

Heads-Up Challenges with Poker Pros

Doug Polk has been playing heads-up challenges throughout his poker career. It’s his specialty and he gets the highest win rate in this game. Recently at The Lodge, Doug Polk battled with Bill Perkins, Daniel Cates, Kevin Rabichow, Scott Ball, and Owen Messere.

Doug has a standing $100,000 heads-up challenge for anyone who wants to play at The Lodge against him. At the time of writing this article, he is in the green with +$380,400 in winnings.

Doug Polk goes up against Daniel Cates

When Doug was more focused on online poker, he had a legendary match against Daniel Negreanu.

The two titans of the poker world had clashed way back in 2014 after Negreanu said he could easily jump into $25/$50 Holdem cash games and win. Doug Polk was able to profit around $48 per hand during the challenge and boost his net worth by $1.2 million in total.

If heads-up poker is a game you want to try, or you’re already experienced, you’ll want a site with heads-up cash game tables. Head to partypoker and select No-Limit Holdem and then 2-player games. You’ll see tables from $0.01/$0.02 to $5/$10, with a healthy amount of traffic.

Remember, if you try out a new poker site, you get to grab bonuses on your first deposit. Don’t miss this chance to boost your bankroll!

Partypoker is a great option for players who want a quality site they can trust. The site has gone to lengths to protect players by banning HUD software and allowing players to maintain anonymity at the tables. This shouldn’t put off grinders however, as Partypoker’s tournament value and unmatched rakeback offers of up to 60% are not to be missed by any serious online player.

However successful Doug Polk has become, it hasn’t been without a few bumps along the way. Some of these were outside of his control, while others, he was responsible for.

Coaches Clash: Doug Polk vs Matt Berkey

Doug Polk has been vocal for quite some time about something; he doesn’t like Matt Berkey.

Doug believes that the coaching at Solve For Why (Berkey’s company) isn’t worth the money, but clearly, these two have deeper issues than that. There’s been a steady back and forth on Twitter, YouTube, and Berkey’s podcast, with insults coming from both sides.

A challenge was issued by Doug, but Matt Berkey rightly declined because the game would be heads-up no-limit Holdem, which is Doug’s specialty.

Doug and Matt are probably never going to be best friends

Doug’s CoinFLEX Crypto Sponsorship Collapses

CoinFLEX is a crypto-centric company that paid Doug Polk to be an advocate and spokesperson. Mid-2022, the company collapsed, saying that a single user owed them almost $84 million. After some restructuring and damage control, the company halted all trading in April of 2023.

Doug got some criticism for defending his involvement in a company that many felt had operated shadily. It didn’t help that he had criticized fellow pro Phil Hellmuth for a similar sponsorship deal. No apology was ever given for either issue.

The JNandez Lawsuit and a $150,000 Loss

The relationship between Doug and Fernando Habegger (aka JNandez87) started off professionally. JNandez was a PLO coach for Upswing Poker, Dougs online training site. There were several attempts made by Doug to smear Fernando’s name, and the entire feud could be seen on Twitter. When the dust settled, JNandez was successful in contractual damages claims and Doug Polk’s company was asked to pay around $150,000.

Fernando Habegger spoke in detail about the legal proceedings with Doug Polk, which lasted more than three years.


Doug Polk’s Comments About Charlie Carrel

In a particularly embarrassing feud, Doug Polk alleged in a video that Charlie Carrel sympathized with pedophiles. Because of Polk’s following on social media, Charlie Carrel received thousands of messages from angry viewers. To be wrongly accused of something so serious, in front of hundreds of thousands of people, was devastating for Carrel.

"He has deeply hurt me, and with no good reason.”

The two patched things up quite quickly, with Polk saying that he had misunderstood the situation. The offending video was taken down promptly and Charlie Carrel has forgiven Polk.