The Comeback is On As Phil Galfond Proves Class is Permanent in HU Challenge

March 11th, 2020 | by Greg Shaun

The comeback is on as strong performance by Phil Galfond in his heads-up challenge against VeniVidi1993 has seen him win back more than $300,000.

Phil Galfond

Phil Galfond has started to reverse the deficit in his high-stakes heads-up match against VeniVidi1993. (Image: Twitter/Americas Cardroom)

The mini-resurgence comes after Galfond took a two-week break to collect his thoughts. Blaming an initial run of poor results on bad luck and non-optimal decisions, he opted to step back and ponder his options.

After analyzing the situation, Galfond returned to the challenge on March 4. So far, that’s proven to be a wise move as he’s won all six sessions since the restart.

Phil Galfond Gets Going

Things couldn’t have started better for Galfond on March 4. A series of big pots allowed him to end the 574-hand session with a €183,481/$206,506 profit. He followed that with three days of five-figure wins before banking €92,803/$104,386 on March 9.

One of the best hands of that session involved a flopped straight for Galfond. With the board showing 5♦3♦2♠7♣, a flurry of betting saw VeniVidi1993 move all-in. Galfond called and tabled A♦4♠7♠T♦, while VeniVidi1993 showed T♣7♦72♣.

The Q♠ on the river didn’t change anything, leaving Phil Galfond to pick up a pot worth $48,816. With the latest session on March 10 also went in Galfond’s favor, meaning the American is now down $661,444.

Although that’s a significant deficit, it’s markedly better than the $900,000+ loss he was facing a few weeks ago. Indeed, if Galfond can string a few more six-figure wins together, he may climb out of the hole before the 25,000-hand mark hits.

Even if he doesn’t break even, Galfond’s recent performance is a show of strength. When his match against VeniVidi1993 started, many players were quick to write him off as a has been. One of the most vocal was Luke Schwartz.

Skills Never Die

The Brit tweeted that Phil Galfond was no longer a force in the game. Despite being one of the top online players in the world back in the day, his place has been compromised by a new generation of players.

While it’s certainly true that average player today is better than the average ten years ago, class is permanent. Galfond’s comeback is a testament to that. Through a combination of skill, experience and adjustment, he’s shown that anything is possible in poker.

The same has been true of pros such as Doyle Brunson and Phil Ivey in the past. Even though “old school” players didn’t grow up with hand solvers and advanced poker software, that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of hanging in today’s world.

Even without the jargon or ability to dissect hands like today’s online legends, Brunson et al can still win. That’s the beauty of poker and something Phil Galfond will be looking to prove as his match with VeniVidi1993 continues.


    Comments are closed.