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Gossip Column: Phil Galfond & Brandon Adams Move Their Heads-Up Challenge Online After Time-Bank Row

Gossip Column: Galfond Challenge is Back! Phil Galfond Drops $16K to Brandon Adams on Day 1
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis July 30, 2021
  • 4 Minutes Read

The three-time bracelet winner Phil Galfond recently found a fourth challenger for his ever-popular Galfond challenge in Brandon Adams. The duo had decided to break away from the set trend of the previous Galfond challenges, with this one taking playing live at Resorts World Casino from July 26 to 30. In another departure from the last three Galfond Challenges, the match had no set hand limit. Instead, it stipulated 40 hours of $100/$200 Pot-Limit Omaha heads-up play over 40 hours with a $20,000 initial buy-in.

Phil Galfond


The heads-up challenge commenced without a glitch and staying true to the trend, the Run It Once Poker co-founder started out on the back foot by dropping $16,000 to Adams on Day 1. However, another two days of play later, Galfond was back on high ground, leading for $56,000. That’s when the challenge hit a roadblock. With about 14 hours left in the challenge, there arose an issue with the use of the time clock after Adams accused Galfond of running down the clock to see out the victory.

Brandon Adams
Brandon Adams


Adams had initially asked for a resolution of the issue via a Twitter poll. Still, Galfond vetoed the idea stating that he does not like defending himself or arguing on Twitter. The poker coach also fired back, claiming how Adams had taken advantage of the clock when in the lead.

Max Silver and Isaac Haxton were asked to arbitrate on the matter, and they decided that the duo would have to play another 285 hands to complete the challenge. Galfond and Adams played only a few hands (on Day 4) before deciding to stop the live heads-up match incomplete with Galfond in the lead for $16,500.

They decided to scrap the side bet, with Galfond keeping the $16,500 profit that he won. The duo will now start a new 10,000-hand online challenge from August 1.


Galfond vs. Adams Heads-Up Challenge: Day 2 & 3 Recap

Day 2 played out on July 28 and saw Galfond making a comeback after a sluggish opening day. He ended the day with an overall profit of $9,000.


If Day 2 was good for Galfond, Day 3 turned out to be even better. He boosted his overall profit to $56,000.


Trouble Brews

The issue began when Adams accused Galfond of tanking excessively. The former was down $48,000 with about 16 hours of the challenge remaining. That`s when Galfond decided to change his strategy by using the clock to his advantage.


Galfond defended himself by claiming even Adams had used the clock to his advantage when he was ahead in the match.


Things got slightly nasty with both Galfond and Adams pointing fingers at each other.


However, Galfond was not in favor of a Twitter poll.


The Resolution

The duo ultimately picked Max Silver and Isaac Haxton to arbitrate the dispute.


Adams announced that 285 hands were left to be played in the challenge.


The duo mutually decided to quit the challenge and begin a new 10,000-hand online challenge from August 1.

Galfond also revealed that Adams and he were not enjoying playing the challenge in its current format.


While this wasn’t a full-fledged challenge, it still ended with Galfond in the driver’s seat. Let’s see how he fares against Adams in the online challenge.

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