Phil Galfond is off to a strong start in the third Galfond Challenge, leading Chance Kornuth by about four buy-ins, but it’s still early.
The online poker stars have completed three full sessions of $100/$200 stakes of pot-limit Omaha on WSOP.com. They’re just getting started in what will be a lengthy battle between two of the game’s best.
The third installment of the Galfond Challenge is the longest, and will span 35,000 hands of online poker. Both competitors have agreed to a separate side bet beyond the money won and lost online. Galfond is putting up $1 million against the challenger’s $250,000.
All the action is being live-streamed on Twitch by “Thallo,” at least for the time being. Run it Once, Galfond’s poker site, is likely to stream future sessions on Twitch as well. Most sessions last five to six hours.
Galfond Challenge Action Heats Up
As we’ve learned from previous Galfond Challenges, jumping out to an early lead guarantees nothing. Kornuth, the Chip Leader Coaching founder, got off to a strong start on Day 1 (Wednesday), booking a $33,000 win. Galfond then answered back on Day 2 (Thursday) with a $44,000 profit.
The third session (Friday) was even better for the former Full Tilt Poker crusher previously known as “OMGClayAiken.” Galfond finished the day with approximately a $67,000 win. That gives him an overall lead of about $78,000, or the equivalent of nearly four full $20,000 buy-ins.
Galfond and Kornuth play two tables at a time throughout each session. On most days, they’ll complete somewhere between 500 to 700 hands. The exact number of hands played hasn’t been released publicly, but the bulk of the challenge remains, likely around 33,000 hands to go.
Although Galfond jumped out to an early lead, the match has just begun. It’s a race, not a sprint, as Galfond learned in his first match against “VeniVidi1993.” In that Galfond Challenge, Phil trailed by nearly $1 million at one point before rallying to pull it out in the end.
Kornuth is trailing early on, but he still has plenty of time to regroup and regain the lead before it’s all said and done.