Tuesday March 10, 2020 at 4:54 pm

After taking off a couple of weeks to catch his breath after a tremendous downswing in the inaugural Galfond Challenge on Run It Once, Phil Galfond and VeniVidi resumed their match with five sessions. They finally passed the mid-way mark of the 25,000-hand heads-up battle. On Day 20, Galfond won €92,803 for his third winning session since resuming the challenge. He's now stuck €592,309, which is a huge improvement from when he was €900K in the hole after the first 15 days.

20galfondsess

The break worked, eh? What a difference a short break made. Whether Phil Galfond needed a simple breather, or time to study up on his opponent (knowing Galfond, he probably did both), Galfond returned to the virtual poker tables to resume the Phil Galfond Challenge, which is a 25,000 hand heads-up battle at €100-200 PLO. Taking a couple of weeks off from the grind apparently helped Galfond after he was stuck €900K against VeniVidi.

In mid-February it looked like Galfond was ready to throw in the towel. After the first 15 sessions, he was getting utterly destroyed. It's not easy getting stuck €100-200 PLO 900K in 10,000 hands. He made the wise decision to step away for a bit and to re-evaluate everything after getting knocked down and kicked around for two weeks straight. During the time off, he paid VeniVidi €3K penalty for not playing on scheduled days.

Everyone told Galfond to quit, but Galfond didn't want to quit outright because after all he's an ultra-competitive player that wanted a shot to reduce the huge hole (more like a ginormous crater) he dug himself into. It's not easy to experience a downswing, and it's even more difficult to have all this happen on a huge stage with the entire world can see in real time on Twitch! He did the wise thing by paying the daily penalty to buy himself more time.

Obviously, Galfond decided to resume, which in my eyes earned even more respect for one of the all-time PLO GOATS.

The break worked and Galfond returned with a vengeance. He booked four wins in the five sessions since his break. The tides have turned for Galfond, while VeniVidi finds himself bogged down in a slump with four losing sessions in the last week.

On the first session back, aka Day 16, Galfond booked his biggest win to date with a whopping €183,481 score spanning 574 hands. Galfond and VeniVidi reached 10,501 hands. He trimmed the overall deficit to €716,758.

On Day 17, Galfond lost €21,571 as the two reached 11,083 hands. It was just a minor setback, because Galfond had not lost since then.

On Day 18, they played almost 600 hands and Galfond booked a win €27,198 as they reached 11,638 hands.

On Day 19, Galfond won €26,018 as the two inched closer to the midway mark. They finished session #19 with 12,276 total hands.

On Day 20, Galfond and VeniVidi played 566 hands. Galfond had another huge session. He won €92,803 as the two PLO combatants officially passed the halfway mark (12,500 hands). At the end of the 20th session, they reached 12,842 hands. Galfond chipped away at his deficit with another huge score. He was still stuck €592K, but finally dipped under the €600K mark.

What a difference a break makes, eh? They played 2,915 hands in the last five sessions and Galfond stormed back to win nearly €308K while winning four out of five since his triumphant return. Galfond won three sessions in a row.

  • Session 15: 9927 Hands, Galfond - €900,240
  • Session 20: 12842 Hands, Galfond - €592,309

The Galfond Challenge resumes today for Day 21 action. You can follow along via Twitch.

Latest news
Thursday April 2, 2020 at 11:01 pm
Phil Galfond finally unstuck after another winning session

During Day 32 of the Galfond Challenge against VeniVidi on Run It Once Poker, Phil Galfond book another six-figure win to nearly erase a €900K hole. For a brief moment on Thursday, the smoking-hot Galfond pulled ahead of VeniVidi before he posted a late rally. But the damage was done. Galfond won €113,680 on Day 32 as his miraculous comeback continued. VeniVedi's lead shrunk to 40,607 with less than 5,000 hands remaining.

Wednesday April 1, 2020 at 11:58 pm
All Nevada casinos, including Las Vegas, closed during April

North America has not reached the peak of the coronavirus pandemic and as a result, Nevada will continue to close all casino properties for the month of April. In mid-March, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak closed all casinos for 30 days. At the start of April, Gov Sisolak extended closures through the end of April. He will make a decision to re-open the end of the month, but the outlook seems grim. As of March 31, there were 1,279 COVID-19 cases in Nevada with 26 fatalities.

Tuesday March 31, 2020 at 5:31 am
2020 WSOP Online Super Circuit Series: Champie 'kiddchamp' Douglas wins Main Event

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Monday March 30, 2020 at 12:17 am
Galfond Challenge: Deficit Cut to €154K, VeniVidi's downswing continues

After 31 sessions of the Galfond Challenge on Run It Once Poker between Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond and VeniVidi, Galfond is down - €154,287 as they approach 20,000 hands of their 25,000-hand heads-up bout playing €100/€200 PLO. Galfond stormed back after losing 900K during the first 15 sessions. His heater continued after he banked another six-figure winning day with a€106K score on Day 31. The Challenge resumes on Monday.

Friday March 27, 2020 at 1:38 pm
PokerStars introduces Swap Hold'em cash games

Over the years, PokerStars introduced various new versions and tweaks on traditional Texas Hold'em. In their latest new format, PokerStars introduced Swap Hold'dem. The game is essentially Texas Hold'em, except you can swap out one or two cards at any given time, but can only do so one time. Unlike some of the weird gimmicky game, the fun and exciting Swap Hold'em should stick this time around.

Tuesday March 24, 2020 at 7:26 pm
Galfond Challenge: Phil Galfond +€580K upswing, VeniVidi calls timeout

The Galfond Challenge on Run It Once Poker is on a short pause after VeniVidi asked for a couple days off during their recent downswing. Phil Galfond stormed back in the last two weeks while playing two tables of heads-up €100/€200 PLO against VeniVidi. After 28 sessions, Galfond is only stuck €319K after wiping out €581K in previous losses. The two have less than 7,500 hands to go in the first installment of the Galfond Challenge and action will resume on Thursday.

Friday March 20, 2020 at 4:35 pm
partypoker to host online version of Poker Masters Online

The Poker Masters quickly became a popular series among the high roller crowd. With the quarantine underway during the coronavirus pandemic, the Poker Masters teamed up with partypoker to create the Poker Masters Online. The first installment will include 30 online events -- with buy-ins from $10K to $50K -- running from Sunday, April 12 through Sunday April 26, 20200 on partypoker. The first Poker Masters Online has a guaranteed prize pool totaling $15.2 million including a $2 million guaranteed Main Event.

Wednesday March 18, 2020 at 12:22 am
Las Vegas and Reno on Lockdown, All Casinos Closed for 30 Days Due to Coronavirus

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced that all non-essential business will be shut down due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak. That decree particularly included shutting down all casinos including adjacent shops and restaurants for 30 days. Social distancing is the most effective way to slow down the spread of the virus, much to the dismay of gambling enthusiasts. At least Nevada residents have online options, but nothing in the virtual world can ever compare to the glitz and glamour of Sin City.

Monday March 16, 2020 at 3:29 am
The Bike and Commerce Casinos in LA, Plus Wynn and MGM Las Vegas now closed due to Coronavirus

Coronavirus has officially shut down the Wynn and MGM properties in Las Vegas after Sin City saw their infection rate spike over the weekend. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the major casinos and card rooms closed including Commerce and the Bike. Not all casinos in America or around the world are closed, but major ones on the West Coast took drastic measures during the pandemic.

Thursday March 12, 2020 at 7:30 pm
Daniel Negreanu calls on all US poker rooms to close during Coronavirus Outbreak

Daniel Negreanu tweeted his thoughts on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that has hit the US. He wants all poker rooms to close to help prevent the spread of the virus that the WHO upgraded to a pandemic. Meanwhile, earlier in the week PokerStars announced they were suspending tournaments in Europe through April due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

Monday March 9, 2020 at 9:58 pm
Sam Trickett, Xia He Jiang, and Wai Leong Chan ship partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Super High Roller Series Sochi events

The 2020 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Super High Roller Series Sochi kicked off. Xia He Jiang won Event #1 $25K Short Deck for $378,000 after defeating John Cynn heads-up. Sam Trickett banked $435,000 for winning Super High Roller Series Sochi Event #2 $25,000 NL. The UK pro faded 58 entrants to take down the second event in Russia. The final seven also included Ivan Leow, Matthias Eibinger, Adrian Mateos, Timothy Adams, and Phil Ivey. In Event #3 $25K Short Deck, Wai Leong Chan defeated Paul Phua heads up for the trophy and $457,500 in cash.

Sunday March 8, 2020 at 7:59 pm
PokerStars Sunday Million celebrates 14 year anniversary with $12.5 Million guarantee

PokerStars will celebrate the 14th anniversary of the Sunday Million with a special event on Sunday, March 22, 2020 with a $12.5 million guaranteed prize pool, which will be the largest single tournament in PokerStars history. The 14th anniversary Sunday Mill is a re-entry event (up to three re-entries) has late registration open until Day 2. First place will win at least a cool million. China's Wang 'wangli0402' Li won last year's record-setting Sunday Million 13th Anniversary event.

Thursday March 5, 2020 at 2:42 pm
Balakrishna Patur leads 2020 WPT LAPC Final table

The 2020 WPT LA Poker Classic at Commerce Casino on the outskirts of Los Angeles attracted 490 runners this year. With six to go, Balakrishna Patur heads into the final table with the chip lead. The final six also includes Matas Cimbolas, James Carroll, Ka Kwan Lau, Scott Hempel, and Upeshka De Silva. The final table resumes on April 2 at the HyperX eSports Arena in Las Vegas. First place pays out $1,015,000 plus a freeroll into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.

Wednesday March 4, 2020 at 4:27 pm
Telex
The Galfond Challenge Resumes

Phil Galfond decided to finish out his first round of the Galfond Challenge against VeniVidi after taking a couple weeks off during an ugly stretch of PLO. You can watch Session #16 right now via Twitch.

Tuesday March 3, 2020 at 7:08 pm
Shiva Dudani wins 2020 WSOP Circuit Chicago (Hammond, IN) for $258K

Chicago's Shiva Dudani outlasted a field of 989 runners to win the $1,700 buy-in Main Event at the 2020 WSOP Circuit Horseshow Hammond (Chicago) for $258,078. His final table included Casey Carroll, Firas Sadou, Evan Bethyo, Bryan Skreens, Pat Steele, Hussian Sajwani, Nicola Ditrapani, and Voytek Glab. Dudani earned his second WSOP Circuit ring.

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