Galfond Challenge: Galfond Briefly Pulls Ahead, Now Down €40K
After Phil Galfond delivered a series of six-figure beatings to "Venividi1993" in their heads-up €100/€200 pot-limit Omaha match on Run It Once Poker, the mystery grinder decided he needed a break.
Just like when Galfond was stuck nearly €1 million, the €600,000 swing in Galfond's favour evidently weighed on Venividi enough to have him request a break and be willing to pay the €3,000 per day penalty. Galfond then booked two more sizable wins out of three sessions — losing small in the other one — and has closed to within €155,000 of even.
On April 2, at long last for thousands of fans, Galfond broke into the overall lead mid-way through what was looking like a monster session. Venividi would ultimately rally and get back into the lead but still took a six-figure loss. They've just passed the 20,000-hand mark, so it's truly anyone's match to win.
Venividi again opted to pay a couple of days worth of penalties. With about 5,700 hands remaining, the stage is set for the challenge to resume on April 2.
Galfond got off to a good start as he stacked Venividi right off the bat in a hand that wasn't captured on the archived video. He also won several other pots and was ahead around €35,000 moments in.
A huge upward swing started for Galfond about 160 hands in when he called a three-bet with a trashy and flopped all three pairs on a rainbow board. Venividi opted to check-raise pot with nut wrap and two backdoors but bricked out as wheel cards hit the turn and river. Venividi then bluffed all in drawing almost dead on . Galfond had flopped a full house with while Venividi needed the holding . A six hit but it was the and Galfond was suddenly north of €90,000 in profit.
About 75 hands later, Galfond slowplayed the flop with on and was rewarded when Venividi potted most of his stack on the turn. He had improved with for a double gutter and a flush draw, but the river was a . Just a few hands later, Galfond potted for €7,200 on and Venividi crammed for €16,400 with for two pair and a spade draw. Galfond had better two pair with and held on the river.
It looked like another six-figure Galfond feasting was in the offing, but Venividi started to turn things at about the 350-hand mark. He got extremely lucky after check-called pot for €3,600 on , seeing an river. He checked and shoved for €15,400 over Galfond's half-pot bet. Galfond called with sixes full of sevens but Venividi had hit a two-outer with .
Galfond crept back up to +€160,000 but the final 150 hands or so were almost all Venividi. Galfond bluffed off a stack check-raising all in on the river with a flush blocker, only to have Venividi make a nice call with a small flush. Galfond tried his own hero call with a nine-high flush as Venividi bet small on then shoved three-quarters pot on the river. Much to the fans' chagrin, Venividi had it with .
Having cut his deficit to five figures, Venividi wasn't done. He cut Galfond's win to €60,000 before Galfond recovered during the closing stretch to book a medium-sized win.
Hands Played: 642
Results: Phil Galfond +€85,271.31
Full session video
In what would set the stage for a lengthy day of fighting over small and medium pots, Galfond and Venividi returned to the felt battled for the first 183 hands with Galfond only opening up a small edge of about less than a single buy-in.
Galfond had an opportunity to surge into a nice lead after a little over 200 hands. He three-bet preflop and checked the flop then got a check-raise in on a board of . Venividi called, and a completed the board. Galfond piled for his €11,400, about two-third of the pot, and Venividi called but was shown the nuts. Venividi had the five-high straight with a missed flush. However, Venividi got it back, preventing Galfond from going into a lead of €60K, when he got in on and hit a flush on the river against Galfond's bottom set.
A few more won pots later, Venividi found himself ahead for the session. He'd also be unable to build a meaningful lead, though, in part due to a beat. Galfond three-bet preflop and bet tiny with €600 on . Venividi raised to €3,047 and Galfond called. Both players checked the , bringing a . Galfond potted and quickly called all in with , having binked against .
They were almost dead even 300 hands in, and not many highlights would ensue from there. One did crop up at about the 330-hand mark when Galfond bet small for a third of the pot on a board of and Venividi check-potted to €11,888. Galfond found a call with for just two weak pair. Venividi could only muster for blockers though.
Galfond swung it back in front, but Venividi caught him bluffing with fives full on as Galfond piled for €12K on the river with . Venividi stayed mostly ahead from there but the final 400 hands would contain few highlights. The marathon session ended with Venividi ahead just over a buy-in.
Hands Played: 777
Results: Venividi +€26,992.32
Full session video, part 1
Galfond dug himself an early hole as he bluffed off a stack with no blockers when he three-bet preflop and barreled off with on a board of . Venividi just called him down with the turned nut flush.
About 180 hands in, Galfond lost an even bigger pot as they were about €27K deep when they saw a flop. A raising war saw the money go in with Galfond holding for a massive wrap and backdoor hearts. However, many of his outs were no good, out of the deck or chopping as Venividi had . The board bricked out for Galfond and he was stuck more than €50K at break.
Galfond's comeback began with a PLO classic as he flopped top set of kings on while Venividi had for a monster wrap plus flush draw. Venividi filled his flush on the turn but a river was one more three than he wanted to see.
Galfond then cracked aces twice. The first time, by flopped trip twos in a three-bet pot to surge about half a buy-in into the green. Then, he called a four-bet and flopped. Venividi bet small on the flop then piled the turn only to have Galfond turn over flopped tens full. He also got there with top pair and a flush draw against Venividi's kings all in on the flop after a four-bet, and Venividi was suddenly down €80K and needing a break.
Venividi worked his way back to only down €50K but two huge pots went Galfond's way. First, Venividi three-bet preflop with and bet-three-bet all in on only to run into Galfond's set of threes and brick out. After that €53K pot, a €65K one developed. Galfond three-bet preflop and check-called half pot then full pot on the turn. With €21,809 in the middle, Galfond checked the board. Venividi potted and Galfond went deep into the tank. He finally clicked call with for two pair, and Venividi could only show for a pair and a straight blocker.
Venividi abruptly ended the session, stuck €106K.
Hands Played: 393
Results: Phil Galfond +€106,328.51
Full session video, part 1