An incredible end to the first Galfond Challenge saw Phil Galfond return from another losing position to conquer the challenge of VeniVidi at the death.
After 25,001 hands, a fantastic performance by Galfond saw VeniVidi’s amazing challenge beaten at the last. The session started with so little between the two men that a few hands either way would decide the encounter. Over the course of an incredible final session, VeniVidi initially improved on his lead, stretching it to the €20,000 mark.
‘It’s all over’, ‘Game over’ and ‘GG’ peppered the comments box as some fans wrote off Galfond’s chances. With the two tables running at pace and less than 200 hands remaining, VeniVidi’s advantage swung between €10,000 and €25,000 for some time. Galfond grabbed some back, however, and with 100 hands remaining, a short break took place for both players to gather their thoughts.
While there was just a few thousands euros between the two men, the sidebets were clearly what were on the line. A Galfond win would secure him €100,000 from VeniVidi. A win the other way, however, would see VeniVidi awarded €200,000 from Galfond, such was the size of the side bet put up by the Galfond.
As the hands ticked down, fans were losing their minds on social media watching the action. It wasn’t even just fans, either. Everyone was gripped. Industry professional Remko Rinkema spoke for us all as we watched the action.
— Remko Rinkema (@RemkoRinkema) April 12, 2020
Joey Ingram – part of the commentary team with Joe Stapleton and David Tuchman, was beside himself.
Congrats to @PhilGalfond on his legendary comeback!!! Incredible last match – we had over 22,000+ people watching live on Twitch!!! Great to see the community get so hyped up over something positive taking place.
Full recap video tomorrow on my YT channel !!!
— Joey Ingram #passion (@Joeingram1) April 12, 2020
Views at the start of the session were around the 10,000 mark but with a few hands to go, more than double the eyes were on the action, even if they were hidden behind their hands as the tension ramped up.
At the last, Galfond overtook VeniVidi and took a tight lead into the final hand, seeing it through to cross the line as a winner.
After enjoying the moment of his victory, Phil Galfond was quick to thank the people who made it possible to him and he missed no-one out as the love-in was great to see.
Having returned from a €900,000 losing position, Galfond had done it, bouncing back to take victory from the jaws of defeat.
Over the past 15 years, I’ve played poker in a number of high-pressure situations. Nothing came close to feeling as intense as today did.
I’m overwhelmed, exhausted, and most of all, grateful.
There are so many people to thank that I don’t know where to begin.
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) April 12, 2020
Not to be ungracious, VeniVidi was quick to express his thoughts about the challenge too, and credited his opponent as being a “Terminator” in his pursuit of victory.
With an invitation to Thanksgiving from the Galfond household on the table, VeniVidi will have made many friends with his expert play recognised by the entire industry. You can catch up with the entire final session right here.
Stay tuned to Calvin Ayre this week as we’ll be bringing you an exclusive interview with Phil Galfond himself as he breaks down the achievement of winning the first epic encounter with VeniVidi and looks forward to taking on another tough PLO high roller in Bill Perkins in the second Galfond Challenge!