Phil Galfond is still in a deep hole in the Galfond Challenge, an online PLO poker match against “VeniVide1993.” But after another stellar session on Saturday, the Run it Once poker site founder is starting to make some ground.
It’s a good thing Galfond decided to continue the challenge following a rocky start, to say the least. Just over a month ago, down €970,000 in cold hard cash, he considered walking away and paying off the €200,000 side bet. Instead, he took a few weeks off to clear his mind and regroup. That may have been one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
Galfond Challenge Heating Up
Buckle up, boys and girls, the Galfond Challenge just got really interesting. Through the first 15 sessions — all played on Run it Once — “VeniVidi1993” won 13 sessions, and one of those losses was for a measly €2,600. Following the Feb. 9 match, Galfond trailed by just over €970,000.
Immediately after the competition continued on March 4, Galfond booked a massive win of €183,481. Since the Galfond Challenge resumed, Galfond has won eight of the 10 sessions for a net profit of €405,638, including his most recent score on Saturday of €139,485. That brings his overall deficit down to €494,601. While that might seem like a sizable loss, it pales in comparison to the deficit he faced a month ago.
The poker pros have played a total of 15,864 hands of Pot-Limit Omaha through 25 sessions (blinds at €100/€200). “VeniVidi1993” is averaging winning €25 for every hand dealt. But that average has drastically declined in recent sessions.
The agreement is to play 25,000 hands, so there are still 9,136 hands left to play. Despite his turn of luck, it will still take a near miracle for Galfond to win this challenge by the time all hands are completed. He’ll need to average winning approximately €45 per hand dealt to finish in the black.
Should the online poker site owner lose the Galfond Challenge, he will owe “VeniVidi1993” an extra €200,000. If he comes back and pulls this thing out, his opponent will owe him a €100,000 side bet.
Galfond has multiple additional challenges in the works after this one concludes. Those include battles against loudmouth Luke Schwartz, and wealthy hedge fund manager and high-stakes regular Bill Perkins.