Back from Break, Phil Galfond Books Small Win Over Chance Kornuth

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After taking a break for Thanksgiving, the Galfond Challenge is back in action. On Wednesday, Phil Galfond closed out yet another session with a win, though it was only for a small amount.

Phil Galfond challenge poker
Phil Galfond and Chance Kornuth are locked in a close battle. (Image: Twitch)

Galfond left for the break on a heater. He went from down $340,000 to trailing by just $92,000, or less than five buy-ins. Doing so took him just over a week.

Galfond’s opponent, Chance Kornuth, has been quite a surprise during this, the third installment of the Galfond Challenge. But, the poker community shouldn’t be all that surprised he’s been so competitive against one of the top Pot-Limit Omaha players of all-time. Kornuth himself is an accomplished PLO player, and one of the best overall poker players in the game today.

Still, Kornuth entered the challenge a couple months ago as a heavy underdog — about 4-1. The poker pros, who are playing at $100/$200 stakes on, agreed to a pre-match side bet, with Galfond putting his $1 million against Kornuth’s $250,000, paid to the winner after 35,000 hands.

Thus far, they’ve surpassed 16,500 hands, putting them just a shade under the midway point. On Wednesday, the 31st session of the contest, Galfond booked a $28,000 win — a bit more than a full buy-ins. It wasn’t a huge victory, given the two played at two tables for over five hours. But, Galfond chipped a bit more into Kornuth’s lead, which once was nearly $350,000. The Run it Once poker site founder now trails by just $64,000. Kornuth knows he needs to soon get back to his winning ways.

Galfond Challenge isn’t Getting Much Attention

Galfond and Kornuth are two accomplished poker players engaged in a competitive, back-and-forth, high-stakes poker challenge. Yet, the competition just isn’t getting much attention from the poker community.

There are likely a few reasons why the third Galfond Challenge only gets a few hundred viewers on Twitch per session. First off, the Doug Polk vs. Daniel Negreanu match began last month, and much of the poker community’s attention has been focused there.

Polk and Negreanu are long-time rivals who are now settling their dispute on the virtual felt. The Galfond Challenge, on the other hand, features two drama-free poker pros. It’s a testament to their character, but also likely one of the reasons most poker fans aren’t paying much attention.

Another likely reason for the lack of attention drawn to the exciting heads-up battle is because the poker community has already watched Galfond battle two other opponents in similar competitions earlier this year. On the final day of his match against “VeniVidi1993,” Galfond capped off one of the most impressive comebacks in poker history. Poker fans were drawn to Twitch to watch him finish it off, with over 20,000 viewers on the final day.

And, to the dismay of Joey Ingram, Pot-Limit Omaha simply isn’t nearly as popular as No-Limit Texas Hold’em, the game played in the Polk vs. Negreanu grudge match.

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