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Gossip Column: Ellen DeGeneres Gets Poker Lessons From Vince Van Patten, Phil Galfond Down Over €327K in HU Challenge & More

Gossip Column Jan 30
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis January 30, 2020
  • 5 Minutes Read

It’s been quite a week in the poker world! After the tragic passing of basketball star Kobe Bryant that was mourned by the entire poker community, we heard a bit of fun news when actor Portia de Rossi got her wife, famed talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres poker lessons from World Poker Tour (WPT) commentator Vince Van Patten on her 62nd birthday.

While DeGeneres was having fun, renowned poker pro Phil Galfond was having a tough time facing off against online beast ‘VeniVidi1993’ in the first of his heads-up challenges. The former WSOP bracelet champion is down over €327,000 after having played nearly 4,000 hands of €100/€200 PLO out of the 25,000-hands match.

Joining Galfond on the gloomy list was former ‘The Bachelor’ contestant Jade Roper Tolbert who was stripped of her $1 million cash prize from a DraftKings daily fantasy football contest on collusion allegations.


Popular Comedian Ellen DeGeneres Gets Poker Lessons From WPT Commentator Vince Van Patten

Actor, talk show host, and comedian Ellen DeGeneres is an avid poker lover, and on her 62nd birthday last week, her beloved wife Portia de Rossi had a very special gift for her – a private poker lesson with World Poker Tour (WPT) commentator Vince Van Patten.

Portia de Rossi & Ellen DeGeneres
Portia de Rossi & Ellen DeGeneres


De Rossi shared an Instagram video of the coaching session, where Van Patten can be seen explaining to DeGeneres, some of the finer points of live tells at the table. Van Patten conveyed the theory that if a player acts strong, they are generally weak, and if a player acts weak, they are usually strong.

Talking about his session with the birthday girl, Van Patten said, “I was blown away by the level of Ellen’s play. She’s very good, very strong, very aggressive, and really has a fun knack for the game. She has a great poker face and buys a lot of pots. She’s the table captain, so I’m impressed by that. Her friends are getting pretty good and Portia’s a nice player as well. So, the level is that of a nice social game, and Ellen has the potential I think of becoming as good as she wants to be.”

Van Patten added that he left DeGeneres a book of poker tips that he wrote. It is not a published work; he does not know if it ever will be.

“If I do a poker book, it’s going to be all my secrets, my ins, and outs of poker and gambling, how to gamble, and how to survive in the game and how to win, how to make it social and fun,” he said.


Phil Galfond Down Over €327K Against ‘VeniVidi1993’ in the Galfond Challenge

Three-time WSOP bracelet winner and Run It Once (RIO) founder Phil Galfond seems to have got off on the wrong foot against online phenom ‘VeniVidi1993’. In just the first week of his €100/€200 PLO challenge against his rival, Galfond is already down by more than €327,000, after playing nearly 4,000 hands of the 25,000-hand heads-up contest.

Phil Galfond
Phil Galfond


Though January 28 did bring some relief for the poker coach, it was still a losing day for him. Still, Galfond managed to put together a nearly breakeven session on Tuesday, playing 703 hands and losing just €13.31 over that time.

DayHands PlayedDaily WinnerAmount Won
Day 1 (Jan. 22)655VeniVidi1993€72,572.68
Day 2 (Jan. 23)715Phil Galfond€2,615.26
Day 3 (Jan. 24)557VeniVidi1993€84,437.52
Day 4 (Jan. 25)581VeniVidi1993€17,544.87
Day 5 (Jan. 27)726VeniVidi1993€155,063.52
Day 6 (Jan. 28)703VeniVidi1993€13.31
Day 7 (Jan. 30)823VeniVidi1993€52,057.13
Day 8 (Jan. 31)940VeniVidi1993€60,743.37
Day 9 (Feb. 1)446VeniVidi1993€12,706.51
Day 10 (Feb. 3)696VeniVidi1993€100,993.30
Day 11 (Feb. 4)741VeniVidi1993€15,647.36
Day 12 (Feb. 6)622Phil Galfond€87,940,91

Discussing his current losing streak with Joe Stapleton, Galfond said, “I shouldn’t be losing that much per hand, even if I’m outclassed badly.”

However, there is no denying that ‘VeniVidi1993’ has taken an overwhelming lead against Galfond. January 27’s session proved to be disastrous for Galfond as ‘VeniVidi1993’ picked up more than €155,000 in winnings to nearly double his advantage. But that isn’t Galfond’s only concern. He has a sizeable side bet with ‘VeniVidi1993’ at 2:1 odds and stands to lose an additional €200,000 over and above the losses from the contest if he is still in the red at the end of the 25,000 hands.

Galfond told PocketFives.com, “that either side can quit at any time. If they do, they simply forfeit the side action.”

So, if Galfond were to forfeit that challenge right now, he will stand to lose the €200,000 side bet in addition to the €327,016.64 he’s already down, booking a total loss of €527,016.64. If ‘VeniVidi1993’ wanted to quit, he would have to pay Galfond the €100,000 side bet, but he’d keep the €327,016.64 he’s up on the match, so he’d net out a positive return of €227,016.64.

While things aren’t looking upbeat for Galfond at present, there are no doubt a lot of people who are hoping Galfond to take down the challenge, especially RIO players. Through RIO’s ‘Splash the Winnings’ promotion, every player on RIO has the chance to win on any day that Galfond wins in the challenge. Unfortunately for the players, there haven’t many days so far for them to make the most of this opportunity.


Bachelor Star Jade Roper Tolbert Denied $1 Million in DraftKings Winnings Following Collusion Allegations

Reality television contestant Jade Roper Tolbert who is known for her appearance in ‘The Bachelor’ along with her husband Tanner Tolbert, have been stripped of their $1 million cash prize from a DraftKings daily fantasy football contest.

Jade Roper & Tanner Tolbert
Jade Roper & Tanner Tolbert


The Boston-based fantasy sports giant confirmed on January 25 that their leaderboard for the Wild Card competition that the Tolberts’ had entered back in January has been updated.

The Bachelor alum had won a DraftKings contest for the NFL wildcard round over the weekend, and Twitterati promptly accused her and her husband of cheating.

According to a DraftKings statement to E! News, “The DraftKings compliance team reviews the results of all major contests to ensure they comply with our Terms of Use and applicable state regulations. We take the integrity and fairness of our DFS contests seriously, and prizes are not paid out until our reviews are complete.”

The Tolberts’ are yet to comment on losing the prize.

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