Phil Galfond Trailing VeniVidi1993 In High Stakes Showdown

January 24th, 2020 | by Kaycee James

Phil Galfond’s first high stakes online challenge is underway and, after just two sessions, he’s become the betting underdog.

Phil Galfond

Phil Galfond has suffered two early defeats in his much-anticipated high stakes match against VeniVidi1993. (Image: Phil Galfond/Run It Once)

With the match between Galfond and VeniVidi1993 sparking interest across the community, wagers have been exchanged.

Although the two poker pros are fighting for stacks and side bets worth a total of €300,000/$330,000, fans have also invested in the contest.

Phil Galfond Achieves Underdog Status

Through a combination of personal bets and those made via online platforms, the official betting lines are almost as important as the match itself. By that token, anyone looking back Galfond after two sessions could get odds of +122.

That rating comes after the American slipped to an early defeat in the Pot Limit Omaha challenge. Although far from insurmountable, VeniVidi1993’s lead after 655 hands was €72,527/$80,041. One of the turning points on Jan 22. came towards the end of the session.

With the board showing Q♠Q♦6♣7♦6♦ and $15,443 in the middle, Galfond fired in a pot-sized bet. VeniVidi1993 moved all-in for just over $20,000, putting Galfond to the test. With K♦K♥Q♥6♠, Galfond called for the remainder of his stack.

When the cards were flipped, VeniVidi1993’s Q♣7♣6♥2♣ gave him a better full house and a pot worth more than $50,000. Soon after, the two players retired for the day before returning on Jan 23. Continuing his momentum, VeniVidi1993 came out on top but only with a small profit of $1,084.

With the stakes set at $110/$220 and more than 20,000 hands left to play, anything could happen in the coming days. Indeed, with the second sessions effectively a wash, Galfond may have a renewed sense of confidence heading into round three. However, he’ll be on the backfoot after two losses.

Phil Galfond Entertaining Poker Fans

For online poker fans, the high stakes challenge is yet another source of entertainment. When Tom Dwan issued his challenge back in 2009, live streaming was still in its infancy. That meant anyone wanting to watch had to log into Full Tilt to observe the action.

Today, the online landscape is a lot different. To bring some added theatre to proceedings, the matches are being streamed via the Run It Once Twitch channel. With fans around able to watch, a select of expert analysts are giving their take on the action alongside commentator Joe Stapleton.

By streaming the challenge, Phil Galfond is not only making it more entertaining but showing that he’s committed to finishing. Even though Dwan started a series of high stakes showdowns, he never finished them.

With fans investing money in the outcome of the Durrrr Challenge, the unsatisfactory conclusion left a sour taste. Galfond will want to avoid a similar level of dissatisfaction, not least because the challenge is also a showcase for Run It Once. That being said, he’ll also want to avoid any further slip ups as his match with VeniVidi1993 progresses.


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