We all knew PLO is swingy, but this has been one wild adventure in the inaugural Galfond Challenge. A month ago, everyone thought Phil Galfond was dunzo after VeniVidi rushed out of the gates with a +€900K advantage. In American bucks, that's a cool million that Galfond was stuck at the get go. Not quite the way he thought things would go, eh?
Galfond got run down, run over, knocked around and then some. VeniVidi ran over him so hard in their first 15 days of action that Galfond had tread marks on his back. He whooped him so hard that he reached through Galfond's screen and snatched his baller watch!
Okay, so it's not that crazy, but if Galfond can somehow manage to break even or even take a lead in the last 5,000 hands, then this comeback will become a part of poker lore to be told for the next century or more. Remember the time Galfond was down a million and won it all back?
We're on the cusp of witnessing one of the greatest comebacks in poker history and a feat that certainly ranks among the all-time craziest comebacks in sporting history (the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots in the Super Bowl come to mind). But let's not get too ahead of ourselves here.
Let's stick with facts. The simple facts. Like Galfond is still the PLO Goat.
In case you're joining us for the first time, or unaware of the Galfond Challenge, let's start from the top. Phil Galfond launched his long-awaited online poker site that would cater to poker pros instead of being completely business-minded like the big dogs in the industry.
The Galfond Challenge was little bit of promo for the site but it was also a way for Galfond to get back to playing on the big stage once again. He offered to run the gauntlet and playing anyone heads-up for 25K hands and a side wager.
VeniVidi became the first player to step up to take on Galfond, or the one we once knew as OMGClayAiken. His momma called him OMGClayAilen, I'm gonna call him OMGClayAiken!
The Galfond and VeniVidi initially agreed to multi-table two tables of €100/€200 PLO over a duration of 25,000 hands. They had a €100K side wager too. This first challenge match was supposed to be the first of almost a dozen heads up battles between Galfond and other pros in the high stakes community.
After the first 15 sessions spread out over a month, Galfond was stuck €900K. Yeah, €900K. He called a much-needed timeout and even paid a penalty of €3K per day they were supposed to play. He thought about quitting after getting the crap beat out of him by VeniVidi. But Galfond didn't want to quit. He definitely needed some time to regroup. He told the poker world he'd take a short break and then make a decision. Everyone expected the worst and assumed he'd throw in the towel. But... nope.
Galfond returned. He looked sharp. He looked stronger. He played with more confidence. And he caught a lot of the breaks that went VeniVidi's way during their first 15 matches.
At the start of the week, VeniVidi was up €318,895 after 28 sessions.
On Day 29, Galfond won +€85,271 as they passed the 18,000-hand mark. VeniVidi's total winnings slipped to €233,624.
On Day 30, Galfond lost almost €27K. VeniVidi stopped a two-day winning streak from Galfond and he led with €260,616 through almost 19K hands.
On Day 31, the two played almost 420 hands. Galfond booked another six-figure score. He banked 106,328. With nearly 20K hands in the books, Galfond stormed back to only be stuck -€154,287.
VeniVidi saw his massive lead shrink from €900K to €154K through 19,363 hands.
A little more than 5K left, or 20% of the Challenge. It's go big, or go home for VeniVidi. And for Galfond, he's still the GOAT.
The action resumes on Monday and time is running out.
Check out the highlights from Day 31...