Phil Galfond Looking for Challengers in the United States

Can’t play on his own site

Now that Phil Galfond is done with Chance Kornuth, his latest opponent in the Galfond Challenge, he is looking for some new competition. Thing is, because of pandemic travel restrictions, he is stuck in the United States and therefore cannot play on Run It Once, the online poker that he owns and where he has most of his challenges lined up. As such, he has made it known that he is taking on all comers in $200/$400 Pot-Limit Omaha on WSOP.com.

This means that Galfond will be able to play from his home in Nevada, as WSOP.com is open to players in Nevada and New Jersey. Presumably players in Delaware could participate, as well, as the three Delaware online poker rooms share player liquidity with WSOP.com. Delaware players cannot get in on WSOP.com-specific promotions as they are not technically on WSOP.com, but in all other ways, the players share the same tables.

Polk is out

Of course, the matchup everyone wants to see is Phil Galfond against Doug Polk, who is just about to finish off Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu in their 25,000-hand No-Limit Hold’em challenge. Polk tweeted over the weekend that he is burned out from the grind against Negreanu and has no desire for a rematch. It sounds like he wants to travel, as he said he wants to “have some flexibility to not have to be in Nevada for the next 4-5 months.”

Unless he travels to New Jersey – and who wants to travel to New Jersey – he isn’t playing on WSOP.com any time soon.

And if that wasn’t enough evidence, he Polk explicitly said that he is not going to participate in any more challenges. He did say that if Negreanu went up against someone else (Galfond, perhaps?), that he would be willing to coach his opponent. Doug Polk really does not like Daniel Negreanu.

Challenge is paying off

Galfond took a big risk when he embarked up his Galfond Challenge series a year ago. He is clearly a fantastic poker player, but he retired from competitive poker a few years ago to work on building Run It Once. Playing ultra-high stakes against some of the best players in the world, plus risking side bets as high as seven-figures was one hell of a way to promote his poker room.

But it has worked out splendidly. Not only are the streams of Galfond’s sessions popular, but he is three for three now. The first challenge against VeniVidi1993 was by far the toughest, as Galfond found himself down $1 million at one point. It was so bad that he took about a month-long mental break and considering quitting, but he forged ahead, eventually coming all the way back to win by just a few blinds on the final day.

He followed that up with a €115k victory against Ioannis “ActionFreak” Kontonatsios and then a trouncing of Kornuth. Galfond was up $726,500 after 25,400 hands against Kornuth with fewer than 10,000 to go when Kornuth conceded, sacrificing an additional $250,000 side bet.

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