Phil Galfond issued a challenge to the poker world in late 2019 that has been officially accepted by six opponents so far, with a likely seventh challenger waiting in the wings. The series of high-stakes heads-up matches came to be known as the ‘Galfond Challenge’, with the eponymous organizer facing off against other nosebleed poker players, with agreed-upon stakes, amounts of hands to be played, and massive side bets on the line. Two matches have already been completed so far this year, with Galfond coming out on top in both.
Galfond is now 6,400 hands into his latest showdown against two-time WSOP bracelet winner Chance Kornuth. This match will see the two competitors play 35,000 hands of $100-$200 heads-up pot-limit Omaha, with action taking place at two tables playing simultaneously until the agreed-upon amount of hands have been completed. The side bet for this particular match is the largest of any of the six matches with finalized terms, with Galfond putting up $1 million to Kornuth’s $250,000 on which of them will be ahead when the dust settles.
The match kicked off on Sept. 23, 2020. The two were within a buy-in or two or even after the first six sessions played. They played three consecutive sessions in the first few days of October that saw Galfond string together a winning streak that put him up $280,000 on Oct.3. Kornuth experienced some issues with getting funds onto the online site that the two were competing on, which resulted in a short delay of the challenge.
PhilGalfond</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/ChancesCards?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">ChancesCards will not be playing today, as Chance is still waiting on a deposit limit increase. Once we know more, we will provide an update on their playing schedule moving forward.
— Run It Once Poker (@RunItOncePoker) October 6, 2020
A week later, with the deposit issue seemingly resolved, the two players returned to action, with Kornuth booking a $79,000 profit on Oct. 10. He won another $84,000 the following day to cut his losses down to $117,000. The 12th session of the match saw Kornuth secure the largest profit earned by either player in any single session: $150,000.
In one of the biggest hands of the day, Kornuth won a $68,882 pot after shoving all-in over the top of Galfond’s full pot bet on the river and receiving a call. You can check out a clip of that hand from a broadcast of the action on Thallo’s Twitch channel.
As a result of this three-session win streak, Korntuh now sits in the lead with a $33,000 profit after 6,400 hands played. There is still a long way to go, though, with 28,600 hands left to deal before this match concludes.
In addition to his match with Kornuth, Galfond is also squaring off against entrepreneur and frequent high-stakes poker player Bill Perkins. Only two sessions of $100-$200 pot-limit Omaha have been played in this showdown though, with Galfond up $90,144.05 for the time being. The two have not played a session since April.
Below is a look at all seven challenges and the details regarding stakes and side bets:
|Bill Perkins & Thirst Lounge Streamers||$100-$200||PLO||$800K:$200K||50,000||TBD|
|Brandon Adams||€100-€200||PLO||€150K:€100K||40 Hours Of live Poker||TBD|
|ActionFreak||€150-€300||PLO||€150K:€150K||15,000||Galfond Victory (€114,765.66 profit)|
|VeniVidi1993||€100-€200||PLO||€200K:€100K||25,000||Galfond Victory (€1,472.08 profit)|