Phil Galfond Down More Than €500K in First Galfond Challenge

  • The first contest has set him against high-stakes poker pro VeniVidi1993 
  • He has had two days with $110,585+ in losses, only coming out ahead once in ten days
  • Five more challenges await the former poker pro after the current match is over
businessman setting fire to 500 euro note
Phil Galfond is down more than €500K ($553K) in his heads-up match against VeniVidi1993 after ten days. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Galfond has lost 9 of 10 days

With the first contest of Phil Galfond’s heads-up challenge well underway, so far it is not going well for the former poker pro. After ten days and almost 7,000 hands, Galfond is down an astonishing €553,516.95 ($612,106.72) to high-stakes pro VeniVidi1993.

Galfond has come out ahead just once

Of the ten days during which Galfond and VeniVidi1993 have competed since January 22nd, Galfond has come out ahead just once. His worst performance was on Day 5, January 27, when he lost €155,063.52 ($171,476.99) over 726 hands. His lone winning day was Day 2, when he profited €2,615.26 ($2,892.09). Day 6 was almost a break-even day.

Monday’s Day 10 saw Galfond lose just over €100,000 ($110,585) after playing nearly 700 hands. It could have been worse, as he was down 50 percent more than that for a while.

The match will continue until the two players finish 25,000 hands of €100/€200 Pot-Limit Omaha, or until one of them calls it quits. Whoever ends up in the black will not only bank their winnings, but also a side bet. For the side bet, Galfond put up €200,000 ($221,170) to VeniVidi1993’s €100,000 ($110,585).

Trying to put losses behind him

The contest is taking place on Run It Once, the online poker room that Galfond founded, and streaming live on its Twitch channel.

Fans in the Twitch chat have expressed concern for Galfond, who is now down almost 28 buy-ins. Galfond has assured everyone that he is fine. After Day 7, when he was “only” down almost €400,000 ($442,340), he took to Twitter to explain his mindset and outlook going forward.

“Chasing your losses sets you up for failure,” he tweeted. “There’s no way for me to earn 20 buy-ins over the next week or two through good play alone. Attempting to get even means attempting to be lucky.”

He added that it is important for him to accept the situation, keep his composure, and forge ahead in an attempt to win.

Galfond cannot hope to hit the big hand. He said he sees the situation as an opportunity to set an example on handling adversity.

Lots more challenges to come

After the match with VeniVidi1993, Galfond still has five more challenges booked, with a few others possibly waiting in the wings.

Bill Perkins and his rotating cast from the “Thirst Lounge” is next. They will be playing the same game and stakes for 50,000 hands or until someone loses €400,000 ($442,340). The side bet is Perkins’s $250,000 ($276,462.50) to Galfond’s $1,000,000 ($1,105,850).

Then, it’s on to Chance Kornuth with the same game for 35,000 hands, plus a side bet of €250,000 ($276,462.50) for Kornuth and €1,000,000 ($1,105,850) for Galfond. Galfond and Dan “Jungleman” Cates will also play €100/€200 Pot-Limit Omaha, though for just 7,500 hands. The side bet has not been determined.

The game stakes are increased against “Actionfreak” for 15,000 hands: €150/€300 Pot-Limit Omaha. The side bets are even at €150,000 ($165,877.50).

The final challenge that is currently scheduled is a little different. Phil Galfond will play against Brandon Adams in a live, 40-hour, €100/€200 Pot-Limit Omaha competition. Adams is putting up €100,000 ($110,585) to Galfond’s €150,000 ($165,877.50) for the side bet.