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Galfond Challenge: Phil lost $72k after the first session

Author: Vargoso Published: 23.01.20

When Phil Galfond launched Run It Once Poker, he said that one of his main goals was to prove that online poker was still alive. After a few months of operation, the professional PLO player announced the Galfond Challenge, a series of nosebleed games against poker coaches, celebrities, etc. In this article, we share the impressions of the first session of the challenge.

Galfond Challenge: Phil lost $72k after the first session

Galfond Challenge

Late last year, Phil Galfond shared a blogpost proposing an event similar to the infamous Durrrr Challenge that never ended a few years ago. Initially, Galfond called it "Phil's HU Challenge," and he was looking to play 100/200 to 300/600 PLO HU games.

Galfond is one of the most successful PLO players in history, with almost $7M in profits with his accounts "OMGClayAiken" and "MrSweets."

There are three categories in the Galfond Challenge and each player defines the conditions:

Category Player Stakes Hands Sidebet
As Seen On TV Bill Perkins €100/€200 PLO 50k or €400k loss $800k: $200k
As Seen On TV Brandon Adams €100/€200 PLO 40 hours live poker €150k:€100k
Clash Of The Coaches Chance Kornuth €100/€200 PLO 35k €1M:€250k
Online Superstars VeniVidi1993 €100/€200 PLO 25k €200k:€100k
Online Superstars ActionFreak €150/€300 PLO 15k €150k:€150k
Online Superstars Daniel "Jungleman" Cates €100/€200 PLO 7,5k TBD

Before setting the final list of competitors, Fernando "JNandez" Habegger step back from his initial bet. Today began the match against the unknown player "VeniVidi1993", and will continue up to 25k hands.

Phil Galfond VS. VeniVidi1993

Galfond Challenge Results

Galfond Challenge results

The online crusher VeniVidi1993, whose accounts represent almost $700k in profits in 700k hands played at PLO, agreed to play the Galfond Challenge with the following conditions:

  • 25k hands HU PLO, €100/€200;
  • Sidebet: €200k (Phil) : €200k (VeniVidi)
  • Play 5 days a week, Monday to Friday;
  • Players must auto top-up to 100bb;
  • Ratholing is allowed from 200bb.

Today's challenge was streamed in real-time via Twitch, and the famous player Joey Ingram held a parallel broadcast. Joe Stapleton and Richard Gryko (RIO PLO Coach) were the commentators of the first session.

VeniVidi1993 Graph

VeniVidi1993 Graph

Conclusions of the first Galfond Challenge session:

  • Results: Phil down more €72k
  • Viewers: 2,400 average
  • Hands played: 655
  • Time: 4 hours
  • Tables: 2
  • Rake: 1% up to a cap with 1€
  • Odds: Phil Galfond 2.13, VeniVidi 1.74

There are no hole cards in the streaming and no live-score; the results were updated on the official website of the challenge a few hours after the end of the game.

Some players have commented about necessary improvements in the RIO platform to enjoy the Galfond Challenge:

  1. Fonts are not ideal; sometimes the characters are too close, too thin;
  2. There are no thousand separators;
  3. It's not clear who is acting;
  4. It is not possible to rail from the software;
  5. The hosts said they were having problems to commentate because the cards flash in the showdown very quickly;
  6. Sometimes the cards disappear when playing;
  7. Hand values are not displayed at the table.

RIO glitch

RIO glitch

Phil Galfond joined a call after the game ended with Joe Stapleton to share his thoughts:

It was fun. It feels great to be back in action after 3-4 years. How about your competition? I think he played kinda similar to what I expected; he plays very well. I was looking today not to feel lost, I'm optimistic. I think it can get stronger.

Phil also said that he had a small reasonable loss, almost four buys-ins (€72k), which in real life is a lot of money, but in this stake isn't very much. After four hours of the game, the last pot was a €50k one with the Jc7h4d5d of Galfond beaten by the Th8hQsQd of VeniVidi in a board Tc9d3hTd6s

Galfond still has many hours of game in front of him; for example, the challenge vs. VeniVidi1993 can take up to 40 days of action according to today's results. And in total, there are seven challengers (one TBD). We will update the Galfond Challenge results and share the best sites to play nosebleed games online.

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