Phil Galfond Completes Spectacular Comeback Ahead of Second Poker Challenge

April 15th, 2020 | by Greg Shaun

He dared to be great and the gamble has paid off for Phil Galfond after winning his first high-stakes challenge against Venividi1993.

Phil Galfond Challenge

Phil Galfond has won his first challenge against Venividi1993 and will now face Bill Perkins. (Image: Twitter/@philgalfond)

The American’s margin of victory may have been small but the magnitude of his achievement as great.

Not only did he win the match and a side bet worth more than $100,000, Galfond proved the doubters wrong by overcoming a seemingly insurmountable deficit.

Phil Galfond Proves Everyone Wrong

Despite being in the hole for almost $1 million at one stage, Galfond emerged victorious after 25,000 hands. His crowning glory came on Easter Sunday courtesy of a back-door straight.

The final session could have gone either way. Venividi1993 looked strong throughout but the experience of Galfond game through in the end. With just a few hands left, a flush turned into a full house to put the match beyond doubt (see video above).

The win not only allowed Galfond to finish $1,816 ahead of his opponent but secure the all-important side bet. Had Venividi1993 won, Galfond would have owed him 2:1 on $100,000 i.e. $200,000. However, his late surge meant he picked up $100,000 from his first opponent.

More significantly, he now has some momentum heading into his second challenge against Bill Perkins.

After the match, Galfond offered a typically measured response. As well as thanking his supporters, he praised Venividi1993 for a tough match.

Following up, Galfond appeared on Joe Ingram’s Poker Life podcast. Although pleased, he explained that the pressure was tougher to handle than he expected.

“I’m feeling tired more than anything else, honestly. The challenge was grueling and the final couple of days were so intense, I’ve never played poker that intense. I didn’t expect it to be like that,” Galfond told Ingram.

Unfortunately for the Run It Once owner, there’s no rest for the wicked. Almost as soon as he’d dispatched with Venividi1993, Perkins was ready to roll.

Perkins Takes His Shot at $1 Million

This time, the goal and the site are different. Unlike the first challenge, the winner will be the one that reaches a set target within a limited number of Pot Limit Omaha hands.

Specifically, Perkins and Galfond will be racing to $400,000 in wins. The first to do it take the match. If neither player hits that mark within 50,000 hands, the leader at that point is declared champion.

As well as different rules, the match will take place on Partypoker instead of Run It Once. However, despite the different variables, the same weight of expectation and side betting action rests on Galfond’s shoulders.

If Galfond wins, he’ll bank an extra $250,000 from Perkins. If Perkins wins, he takes an additional $1 million. Even with a win under his belt, the pressure is still on Galfond. One thing is for certain though, the contest will be a dogfight whichever way it goes.


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