Galfond off to losing start as VeniVidi1993 takes Galfond Challenge lead


Just one day into his own challenge, Phil Galfond finds himself €72,527 down to ‘VeniVidi1993’ and up against it after the two men battled for stacks to the entertainment of many poker fans on Day 1 of the Galfond Challenge.

galfond-off-to-losing-start-as-venividi1993-takes-galfond-challenge-leadPhil Galfond may be the man behind Run It Once, but as the man himself said, he’s a little rusty at the virtual felt. Going into action against a bona fide online wizard might not have been the brightest idea. It was, however, a lip-smacking prospect and if the first day of action didn’t disappoint.

The first leg of the Galfond Challenge comprised of just 655 hands, small numbers compared to the 25,000 that the two will do battle over in total. If it carries on like it’s started, Galfond will be over €2 million in the red to ‘VeniVidi1993’.

With the action relayed on Twitch to poker fans, with commentary from the legend of the mic, Joe Stapleton, the €100/€200 heads-up PLO action was hot from the off on the Run It Once channel.

It’s not only the money that will be won and lost at the felt that is at stake, of course. Galfond has €200,000 on the line against €100,000 of ‘VeniVidi1993’s hard-earned in side action.

As is often the case in Pot Limit Omaha, the bets were big and the swings were sensational. One early pot was over €47,000 and went the way of ‘VeniVidi1993’. With a four-bet to €5,400, the king-high flop saw ‘VeniVidi1993’ eventually win the pot with pocket aces having committed all-in on the flop and seeing Galfond pair the king.

Other pots were almost as big, with ‘VeniVidi1993’ also winning almost €40,000 when he flopped quad jacks and he wasn’t done there. Another big pot went against Galfond when ‘VeniVidi1993’ made the most of a board showing two queens, a seven and two sixes. With a pot of over €13,000 already in the middle, Galfond bet €18,492 and ‘VeniVidi1993,’ moved over-the-top, all-in for an extra €4,499.75 that Galfond called off. Galfond had a six, holding

KdKhQh6s for a full house of queens and sixes, but ‘VeniVidi1993’ held Qc7h6h2c for queens full of sevens.

It’s only the beginning of what should be a fascinating series of battles between two huge names in the online poker game, but how Galfond adjusts to ‘VeniVidi1993’ and where the first Galfond Challenge goes from here will be intriguing to say the least. While Galfond is clearly one of the best players ever to look down at two hole-cards (or adjust his digital bet-slider on RIO), how he fares against one of the best online players of his generation will go a long way to telling us how the Galfond Challenge itself might work out.

Could the Run It Once chief put his site up in lights but at the expense of a huge loss? We will keep you in the loop as to the progress of his challenge and how his opponents react over the coming weeks.