First challenger is “VeniVidi1993”
Two months after Phil Galfond issued his heads-up challenge to the poker community, the first eagerly awaited match is about to begin.
January 22 marks the day that the virtual cards will be in the air on Galfond’s online poker site, Run It Once, as he takes on “VeniVidi1993” in €100/€200 ($110/$220) Pot-Limit Omaha. The two will play five days a week until they reach 25,000 hands or one of them quits.
Galfond, a self-described “washed-up ex-pro,” came up with the challenge to promote the poker room he founded
Galfond, a self-described “washed-up ex-pro,” came up with the challenge to promote the poker room he founded, as the matches will be played there. It’s also a way for him to get back in the thick of high-stakes action, a place in which he was squarely planted several years ago.
For the first match, Galfond is putting up €150,000 ($165,000) to VeniVidi1993’s €100,000 ($100,000). Whichever player finishes the challenge in the black wins the sidebet plus their profit from the 25,000 poker hands.
Luke Schwartz goads Galfond, Galfond ups the stakes
Earlier this month, Luke Schwartz, who goes by “fullflush1” online, took to Twitter to call out Galfond for what Schwartz called “pigeon challenges.”
“Not a single fuker cares wether u can beat some online nobody like venvidi at this pigeon solved online omaha shit,” Schwartz wrote. “Let’s set a challenge any LIMIT or big bet mix game of your choice me v u il give you odds.”
Galfond responded, offering much higher stakes than expected: €1,000/€2,000 ($1,100/$2,200) in an 8-game mixed match up to 15,000 hands. Also on the table was a €250,000 ($275,500) side bet at even odds (Galfond actually used U.S. dollars for the sidebet, but all of the other online challenges are in Euro, so that might have been a typo).
Schwartz accepted, much to the joy of the poker community.
Future challenge lineup
Five other opponents have been confirmed so far for the Galfond Challenge.
The first was Bill Perkins, along with his poker “lifestyle crew,” the Thirst Lounge, the members of which can rotate in for Perkins. The game will be €100/€200 ($110/$220) Pot-Limit Omaha for 50,000 hands or a €400,000 ($444,000) loss limit. The sidebet is Galfond’s €800,000 ($888,000) versus Perkins’ €200,000 ($220,000).
They agreed to a massive sidebet, Galfond’s €1m ($1.1m) versus Kornuth’s €250,000 ($275,500)
Chance Kornuth, a coach at Chip Leader Coaching and the current chip leader going into the final table of the WPT Gardens Poker Championship Main Event, will play the same game for 25,000 hands. They agreed to a massive sidebet, Galfond’s €1m ($1.1m) versus Kornuth’s €250,000 ($275,500).
The base stakes are higher with online player “ActionFreak,” who is playing Galfond in €150/€300 ($165/$330) Pot-Limit Omaha, though only over 15,000 hands. The sidebet is equal, €150,000 ($165,000) to €150,000 ($165,000).
Daniel “Jungleman” Cates is going to play just 7,500 hands against Phil Galfond in €100/€200 ($110/$220) Pot-Limit Omaha. The sidebet is up in the air, but will be at 1:1 odds.
In a twist, Brandon Adams will also be taking on Galfond, but they are going to play live in Las Vegas for 40 hours at $100/$200 Pot-Limit Omaha. Galfond is going to put up $150,000 for the sidebet against Adams’ $100,000.