Phil Galfond Resumes Heads-Up Challenge, Cuts Into Deficit

  • Poker pro lost €900,240.17 ($1,130,530.61) to VeniVidi1993 in February
  • He then had to pause the challenge to get his head right
  • Galfond has won six of eight sessions in March, cutting deficit by 40 percent
stacks of euro poker chips on laptop keyboard
Phil Galfond has resumed his online poker heads-up challenge against VeniVidi1993 on Run It Once Poker. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Challenge paused after taking heavy losses

After taking a break from his first heads-up challenge, Run It Once founder Phil Galfond resumed play against VeniVidi1993 last week. So far, things have gone much better for Galfond than they did last month.

Galfond has made back 40 percent of his losses

In his 15 February sessions in €100/€200 ($125.66/$251.32) Pot-Limit Omaha, Galfond was down €900,240.17 ($1,130,530.61) to his initial opponent. It had gotten so out of hand that he decided to pause the challenge and re-evaluate on March 1, forfeiting daily penalties.

It’s been so far so good in March, as Galfond has made back 40 percent of his losses.

March turnaround under way

Of those 15 February sessions against VeniVidi1993, Phil Galfond won just two. One of those was close to break-even. March has been a complete turnaround to this point. The two have played each other eight times, with Galfond only losing twice.

His best session after the hiatus was the first one on March 4, when he profited €183,481.38 ($230,417.75). He lost the second, but then bounced back to win the next three. Galfond had a minuscule win on March 10 before ViniVidi1993 took a healthy chunk the next day. Galfond wouldn’t have two losing days in a row, though, winning Thursday’s two-table session.

All told, Galfond is up €357,090.61 ($448,437.96) in the eight March sessions. His overall deficit is still steep, but being in the hole €653,186.67 ($820,278.35) is still quite the improvement.

Heavy hitters await

Galfond issued the heads-up challenge late last year, looking for other poker coaches and players to take him on in high-stakes Pot-Limit Omaha. He has negotiated terms with each opponent he has lined up, but each match features a hand limit and a side bet.

Galfond has put up €200,000 ($251,162) to VeniVidi’s €100,000 ($125,581)

For his competition with VeniVidi1993, the players are playing two tables at a time and will stop once they have completed 25,000 hands. The player who has made a profit gets to keep the money since it is an online cash game. The winner also claims the side bet, so there is even more at stake.

In this match, Galfond has put up €200,000 ($251,162) to VeniVidi’s €100,000 ($125,581). Either player can quit before the hand limit is reached – and Galfond considered it – but that player would automatically lose the side bet.

Also lined up to play against Phil Galfond is Bill Perkins along with a rotating cast from his “lifestyle crew” the Thirst Lounge, Chance Kornuth, Daniel “Jungleman” Cates, and “ActionFreak.”

Two other players are of note. Brandon Adams will compete against Galfond live in Las Vegas for 40 hours of $100/$200 Pot-Limit Omaha. In addition, Luke Schwartz got Galfond to up the stakes to €1,000/€2,000 ($1,255.81/$2,511.62) for an 8-game mixed match.

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