Phil Galfond said after Day 37 of the Galfond Challenge, “I thought I played pretty good.” But he finished the session down €80,036, and is now back in the red. The epic comeback, for now, is on hold for the Run it Once founder.
Thursday’s session was a bit of a buzzkill for Galfond’s many fans. After Day 35, he had finally overtaken “VeniVidi1993” for the first time, but the lead was short-lived. On Day 37, the former Full Tilt Poker star known as “OMGClayAiken” had his biggest loss in nearly a month. And the pendulum is starting to swing the other way.
Roller Coaster Ride in Galfond Challenge
“VeniVidi1993” once led by over €900,000 in the Galfond Challenge. That deficit was more than erased by Galfond earlier this week. It appeared the poker site owner was about to bust open a big lead. But the challenger in this 25,000-hand, Pot-Limit Omaha match at €100/€200 stakes has other plans.
On Thursday, “VeniVidi1993,” whose identity is unknown publicly, booked an €80,036 win. That, by itself, shouldn’t be concerning to Galfond’s multitude of fans. There is a ton of variance in PLO, so the swings are often massive. Still, this was the second straight loss for the Galfond Challenge host.
With his impressive victory on Day 37, “VeniVidi1993” now holds a €33,551 lead with less than 1,500 hands remaining in the match. Given the swingy nature of PLO, it’s still anyone’s game.
The players have more at stake than just the money won and lost in this high-stakes cash game match. The winner will earn another six-figure payday from the loser (€200,000 should “VeniVidi1993” win, €100,000 if Galfond wins).
Galfond said in his post-session interview with David Tuchman on Twitch that he felt he played well despite the loss. He attributed the rough day to his opponent winning most of the big pots, and recognized that the positive variance has gone his way frequently lately.
Over the past five sessions, the Galfond Challenge has turned into a back-and-forth battle. That differs from the first month when “VeniVidi1993” essentially mopped the floor with his opponent. Since the start of Day 33, however, “VeniVidi1993” has won three of five sessions, and Galfond has turned a small €8,853 profit.
“I believe we both know each other’s game better than before,” Galfond said of his opponent. “But I do think, honestly, a lot of it has to do with the way the cards have run.”