Chance Kornuth Rolling, Takes Lead in Latest Galfond Challenge

  • The opponents are two-tabling $100/$200 Pot-Limit Omaha on WSOP.com
  • Phil Galfond has put up a $1m side bet versus Chance Kornuth’s $250,000
  • Kornuth has won four straight sessions to take a $190,000 lead
  • Galfond won his first two challenges with one other in progress
Closeup of arm wrestling grip
Chance Kornuth has won four straight sessions in impressive fashion to climb from behind to take a $190,000 lead over Phil Galfond in the Galfond challenge. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

$100/$200 PLO

The fourth leg of the Galfond Challenge is well underway, with Chance Kornuth grabbing the lead from Phil Galfond this week after spending most of the challenge in the red. After Wednesday’s session, Kornuth is up $190,000.

Rather than playing on Run It Once, the online poker room that Galfond founded, the two are competing on the WSOP website. Galfond is playing under the screen name “HeyGuys” while Kornuth is using the moniker “BingShui”.

Galfond has risked $1m versus Kornuth’s $250,000

The game is Pot-Limit Omaha, as has been the standard in the other challenges, with stakes at $100/$200. The men are playing two tables simultaneously up to 35,000 total hands. The winner when the hand limit is hit keeps his money, of course, but there is also a side bet at stake depending on who wins. Galfond has risked $1m versus Kornuth’s $250,000.

Kornuth dominating this week

Kornuth won the first session of the challenge on September 23, finishing $33,500 ahead. But that was the last day he would be on top for nearly a month. Galfond turned around the very next day, profiting $45,000, and then banked another $67,000 on September 25.

Kornuth got $20,000 back on September 26 to finish the first week down $58,500. He made some money back across the first two sessions of the following week, but got blown out of the water shortly thereafter. On October 1, Galfond profited $117,000 to build his lead to $149,000. He then won $28,000 the next day and another $103,000 on October 3, growing his overall take to $280,000.

But that was his high point. Since then, Chance Kornuth has been on a roll, winning four consecutive sessions. They weren’t small wins either: $79,000, $84,000, $150,000, and then $157,000 on Wednesday. While Galfond had been in control for a solid month, he now finds himself $190,000 underwater.

Phil Galfond is undefeated

The Galfond Challenge kicked off early this year as a way for Phil Galfond to promote Run It Once.

Once a very successful high-stakes poker pro, Galfond effectively retired to work on creating his poker room. Confident in his abilities, though, he announced his willingness to take anyone on in this mega challenge, putting up amounts of money in just side bets that would be life-changing to most people.

The first challenge against “VeniVidi1993” was one of the highlights of the poker year. Galfond was unable to find his footing in the beginning, falling behind as much as €900,240.17 ($1,064,070.38). He took a break from the challenge, willing to pay a penalty for days they already had scheduled, so he could reevaluate the situation.

sounded like Galfond might quit and sacrifice any chance to recover

It sounded like Galfond might quit and sacrifice any chance to recover, plus a €200,000 ($236,397) side bet. But he persisted, climbing all the way back from the massive hole and eventually clinching the win with just 75 hands remaining.

The poker pro has competed in two other challenges before this latest one against Chance Kornuth. He defeated “ActionFreak” in May, finishing ahead €114,765.66 ($135,651.29) and winning a €150,000 ($177,298) side bet. He also started a challenge against Bill Perkins in April, but because of scheduling limitations, the two have only played two sessions.

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