What happened to OMGClayAiken? Phil Galfond needs to fire up old videos of himself crushing every soul he came across at the virtual tables during his peak of PLO nosebleed dominance in the highstakes online poker realm back in the late 2000s.
OMGClayAiken would be the one who instills fear in the entre community. He's the boogeyman. He's the man who knocks. He's the guy who knows your deepest secrets. He knows if you've been naughty or if you've been nice. He knows if you're full of shit and bluffing your stack off. He knows when you got the nuts and he's pissing in the wind. He knows that you know that he knows that you know that he knows. That's how OMGClayAiken used to roll.
Right now, Phil Galfond is stuck €550K playing heads-up PLO against VeniVidi over the last ten days and they still have plenty more to go.
Galfond threw down the gauntlet and said he wanted any and all takers at €100/€200 PLO. Several players decided to take a shot at Galfond now that he's a little older and no longer at the peak of his supreme powers. Plus, the sidebetting action was too much to decline. Sure, this series of various #GalfondChallenge matches is an amazing way to market his new site -- Run It Up Poker -- which had been in the works for much longer than all parties expected. [Editor's Note: But hey, as someone who took five years to finish a book I can attest that all good things take time.]
Galfond hosted the first opponent in the new #GalfondChallenge, which was 25,000 hands of heads-up PLO spread out for as long as it takes. The original Durrrr Challenge was a huge bust mostly because Tom Dwan could not sit still for more than an hour or two at a time before they'd quit. That insane over hype but lackluster product was very typical of the poker world in the last vestiges of the gravy days before Black Friday. Alas, it was never meant to be.
But that was the olden days. Today is now. It's 2020 and time to instill a new version of the roaring 20s. Galfond had the balls to walk the line, but I don't think anyone anticipated he'd get his nutstack stomped on eight sessions in a row. He's on pace to donk off over €2 million if this downstreak continues.
Variance has a way of rearing its ugly head at any time. PLO is a super-duper swingy game, so the pendulum can easily swing back the other way and knock VeniVidi in the family jewels for the next few days.
Galfond told everyone not to worry about him or pity him. "A lot of you seem worried about me.
Please, don't be," ###NOTREPLACE1###. At the time he was stuck €400K, but €550K is nothing to sneeze at. Alas, the swings... even the ugly ones... are a part of the life he's chosen as a high-stakes pro.
"The first #GalfondChallemge isn't going as planned," he posted on Twitter. "I've lost every session... it may be unlikely for me to come back and win this challenge, so this isn't my goal."
Wait, what? You can't give up so quickly! OMGClayAiken would NEVER give up. No retreat, no surrender.
"Chasing your losses sets you up for failure. Attempting to get even means attempting to get lucky. With that mindset, it's east to push the action and hope of hitting a big hand. That takes up space in your mind and stand in the way of thinking through hands properly."
Actually, Galfond was not giving up... rather resetting his mindset to focus on playing better and staying in the moment instead of swinging for the fences and looking to ship monsterpottens.
"It's important during a downswing to mentally reset, accept your new reality, and make the most of it," Galfond explained. "An opportunity to set an example for players who are following the challenge. I've kept my composure and feel that I keep getting stronger as we go on."
"My results are out of my control, but I still prefer to have a goal for motivation. My plan is to come out ahead from this point onward. Keep a positive attitude, work on my game, and have fun battling against a great player!
"Please enjoy the show," Galfond said.
Of course, that was when he was only stuck €400K. How that he's lost another 150K or so, nosebleed.
In the meantime, we have to get Galfond all fired up by showing him old game film. Many coaches do that to inspire veteran players when they're bogged down in a slump.
Session #11 is underway. Follow the action live including hilarious commentary from Stapes!