Chance Kornuth’s $280,000 deficit in the Galfond Challenge is no more. The Chip Leader Coaching founder has taken control of the match, and Phil Galfond now finds himself in quite a hole.
That’s the good news for Kornuth, who booked three straight, sizable winning sessions. The bad news is, his opponent never seems phased when he’s behind.
Galfond trailed “VeniVidi1993” in the first Galfond Challenge by $900,000 a month into the match. He bounced back and pulled off what could be considered the greatest comeback in poker history. So, he’s been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.
With that in mind, Kornuth is surprising some viewers with how skilled he is at Pot-Limit Omaha, the game played in the 35,000-hand competition ($100/$200 stakes on WSOP.com). He’s always proven to be an excellent live and online player in No-Limit Hold’em (two online WSOP bracelets and one live WSOP bracelet), but he entered the challenge as a heavy underdog.
As such, Galfond laid 4-1 odds on a side bet ($250,000 to $1 million), paid out to the winner from the loser after the challenge is complete.
Challenge Shifts Direction
During the first nine sessions, Galfond had control of the match, building a $280,000 lead at one point. Kornuth has since bounced back and is now the one in control. But it’s still early — only about 25% of all hands are complete — and PLO is a high-variance game. So, you should expect many more twists and turns, and probably some more lead changes, going forward.
On Tuesday, following two straight wins, Kornuth had his best session so far. He turned a $150,000 profit, completely erasing the previous $280,000 deficit. The poker coach entered Wednesday’s session with a lead of about $30,000.
At the time of publishing, four hours into Wednesday’s session, Kornuth is again having a good day. He’s up around $125,000 for the session, or about $155,000 overall. Galfond lost approximately $240,000 in the past two days. That is the equivalent of 12 full $20,000 buy-ins.
On a positive note for Galfond, this Challenge is far from over. He could still win it by a massive amount. Or, he could lose it by just as much.