Who Is Crazy Enough To Challenge Phil Galfond?

Phil Galfond is beating both players who took him up on his heads-up PLO challenge

Phil Galfond described himself as a washed-up former pro when he issued a challenge to the poker community. It was a tongue-in-cheek remark because Galfond is still regarded as one of the best PLO players in the world.

Online poker star “Venividi1993” was the first player to take up Galfond on his challenge. The unknown quantity battled with Galfond in a series of €100/€200 PLO heads-up matches. Venividi1993 looked to have the measure of Galfond and soared into a €900,240.17 lead after a shade under 10,000 hands.

The writing looked to be on the wall for Galfond. His challenge looked set for failure at the first hurdle. Galfond never gave up hope. He took a short hiatus, gathered his thoughts and returned to the fray.

A long story short, Galfond staged one of the most epic comebacks in recent times. Galfond somehow managed to complete his first challenge with 97 hands to spare. He not only finished in profit but also banked the €100,000 side bet.

Millionaire Bill Perkins Steps Up To Challenge Galfond

Bill Perkins is the next player to take up Galfond’s challenge. It’s not gone too great for the millionaire businessman so far.

Perkins agreed to a 50,000-hand match with stakes of $100/$200. The game is Pot-Limit Omaha again. The pair have set a $400,000 stop loss and there’s a huge side bet for this challenge.

Galfond has put up $1 million to Perkins’ $250,000 on the outcome of this match.

The pair locked horns at partypoker last week. They only managed 388 hands in the first session and Perkins came out approximately $1,500 ahead.

Battle recommenced for a second session, this one adding another 625 hands to the tally. Galfond excelled during the second day’s action and booked an impressive $91,705.91 victory.

A pot weighing in at more than $81,000 was the largest of the session. Galfond opened then bet $815 on the As-6c-Qc flop. Perkins raised to $3,644 only for Galfond to make it $8,974, which Perkins called. The turn was the 7h and Perkins check-raised all-in after Galfond bet $31,170. Perkins held queen in the hole for a set of queens, but was drawing to one out thanks to Galfond holding Ac-Ad-Jc-7c for top set with the nut flush redraw. A blank river shipped the massive pot to Galfond.

Toughest Challenge Yet Doesn’t Seem That Way

Another challenge is in progress as Galfond’s unsure how often Perkins can play due to business commitments. The poker community think this latest challenge is Galfond’s toughest yet. Galfond must also think this because the side bet is €150,000 to the €150,000 “ActionFreak” put up.

The latest challenge takes place over a maximum of 15,000 hands with stakes of €150/€300. Both players play a loose-aggressive style that is high in variance; they win big or lose big.

Day 1 and 2 of this encounter saw 1,17 hands logged and some pots were massive. Technical issues cut Day 1 short after only 145 hands with ActionFreak €11.1K in the green.

Galfond went on a heater when play resumed and found himself €202,000 to the good. ActionFreak clawed his way back into contention but was still in a €170,000 hole after 700 hands.

He fought valiantly and played aggressively throughout the remainder of the session and won all his losses back. The challenge ended with ActionFreak ahead by €7,529.49.

Day 3 started in ActionFreak’s favor with the biggest pots going his way. One weighed in at €93,600! Things began turning for Galfond and every substantial pot seemed to head his way.

The three-time WSOP bracelet winner raked in a €99,104 pot with a rivered straight against two pair. Another €78,000 pot was won by Galfond who finished €310,594.59 in front after 844 hands played.

Who Else Has Galfond Lined Up?

Three more players have agreed to compete in Galfond’s challenge. We’re unsure of when the battles will happen, but they’re confirmed as happening at some point.

Chance Kornuth and Galfond will play €100/€200 PLO over 35,000 hands. Kornuth is putting up €250,000 to potentially win €1 million.

Brandon Adams has agreed to play $100/$200 PLO for 40-hours regardless of the number of hands. Adams stands to win $150,000 if he beats Galfond, Galfond collecting $100,000 if he wins.

The most eagerly anticipated match see Galfond take on Dan “Jungleman” Cates. The only readily available details are this is a 7,500 hand match at €100/€200.

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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