Phil Galfond Not Ready to Quit Despite Nearly €600K Deficit in Heads-Up Challenge

Phil Galfond is, to put things bluntly, getting owned against “Venividi1993” in his heads-up Pot-Limit Omaha challenge. But he isn’t about to take the easy way out and give up. The Run it Once poker site owner explained on Twitter why he isn’t ready to quit.

Phil Galfond poker challenge

Phil Galfond isn’t about to just throw in the towel. He’s a fighter. (Image: CardsChat News)

As CardsChat reported on Wednesday, “OMGClayAiken” is down €570,000 in his first heads-up PLO match over 11 sessions. That encompasses approximately 7,500 hands, all played on the Run it Once poker site.

Galfond has maintained a positive attitude throughout, at least publicly. But he understands the position he’s in, and with the losses mounting, addressed the possibility of quitting.

Galfond isn’t a Quitter

Galfond once crushed the nosebleed games on Full Tilt Poker, along with his friend Tom “Durrrr” Dwan, so he knows full well about the never-finished “Durrrr Challenge” against Dan “Jungleman” Cates. And that could be impacting his current decisions.

Dwan agreed to play Cates heads-up for 50,000 hands of high-stakes, cash-game poker nearly a decade ago. Should he lose, he would also pay “Jungleman” a seven-figure reward. But with thousands of hands remaining, he gave up and the challenge has remained unfinished for years.

Galfond saw Dwan take heat from the poker community for backing out of his own challenge. Some, including Doug Polk, referred to him as a “scammer” for quitting before playing all 50,000 hands.

Being that Galfond owns the poker site Run it Once, he won’t risk the negative publicity that he’d surely face should he give up just 30-percent of the way — 7,500 hands — into his battle against “Venividi1993.” He explained his reasoning in a two-part tweet.

Taking the Easy Way Out Isn’t Always the Right Decision

Galfond is one of the best PLO players in history. So, despite his struggles in the #GalfondChallenge, he remains confident in his game. The former Full Tilt Poker pro suggests he’s “running poorly,” adding “I think I’m playing better now than when we started.”

“I think it’s worth playing some more and trying to figure it out,” he wrote.

Galfond also admits he has “side bets that are lost if I quit,” and has a poker site that “this challenge helps promote.” And, as we’ve already discussed, backing out of an arrangement before completion would give that poker site some negative publicity. That could be a killer.

Galfond is trying to set an example for other poker players in bankroll management, and in understanding and accepting downswings. Giving up due to a run of bad luck wouldn’t be a very good example for his fans, but he also has another reason for continuing this heads-up battle with “Venividi1993.”

“I absolutely love this s**t.”

Fair enough, Phil.

Jon Sofen
Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

Comments

Bozovicdj wrote...

This really seems like a win-win spot for him, regardless of the immediate loss in $, he will earn it again through his poker site. Still, didn’t expect to see him lose this much in his won challenge!

Poker Orifice wrote...

On the 6th of Feb. (the day you replied) he actually booked a win! … BUT then today… was his worst loss so far of the series 🙁

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