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Gossip Column: Galfond Finds Winning Form in Heads-Up Challenge, Polk Retires His Poker YouTube Channel & More

Phil Galfond, Doug Polk & Brian Koppelman - Gossip Column
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis March 19, 2020
  • 4 Minutes Read

Run It Once Poker (RIO) founder Phil Galfond is back to the grind in his heads-up challenge against ‘VeniVidi1993’ and has managed to find his winning form after a long losing streak! Galfond resumed the challenge on March 4 after a month-long break and immediately got back to his winning ways. A total of 10 sessions have been played between the duo since, and Galfond has already managed to cut his losses in almost half from nearly €900,000 to less than €500,000!

Where Galfond finally seems to have the tide in his favor, another equally accomplished former poker pro Doug Polk has announced that he will longer be posting video content on his YouTube channel that happens to be one of the most popular YouTube channels for poker.

In a time when the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc worldwide, notable screenplay writer Brian Koppelman has decided to move his poker home game to the virtual platform implementing the same tools that companies use to conduct work from remote locations.


Phil Galfond on an Upswing in His Heads-Up Challenge Against VeniVidi1993

PLO legend Phil Galfond is on a winning streak after resuming the heads-up challenge against ‘VeniVidi1993.’ Galfond had suspended the ongoing match in early February after being stuck almost €900,000 across 15 sessions of play and 9,927 hands.

Phil Galfond
Phil Galfond


After taking a nearly month-long break, Galfond made a comeback on March 4 and immediately won the 16th session, booking a €183,481.38 profit. Galfond and ‘VeniVidi1993’ have now played 10 sessions since the break, and Galfond has come out on top in eight of those 10 sessions. The last session was played on March 14, wherein he made yet another profit of €139,485.78.

The RIO founder has now brought down his deficit to less than €500,000, while ‘VeniVidi1993’ continues to be in the lead with a €494,601.24 profit.

On March 18, Galfond took to Twitter to share his views on his overall journey in the challenge.

Being the nice guy that he is, it comes as no shock that he received a lot of praise for his heartfelt tweet.

Galfond and ‘VeniVidi1993’ have already played 15,864 hands, and the next session is to start at 12 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 19.


Challenge Results To Date (March 14)

 Hands 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
Day 13 (Feb. 7)470VeniVidi1993€267,949.70
Day 14 (Feb. 8)593VeniVidi1993€48,473.73
Day 15 (Feb. 9)659VeniVidi1993€102,593.34
Day 16 (Mar. 4)574Phil Galfond€183,481.38
Day 17 (Mar. 5)582VeniVidi1993€21,571.51
Day 18 (Mar. 6)555Phil Galfond€27,198.94
Day 19 (Mar. 7)638Phil Galfond€26,018.41
Day 20 (Mar. 9)566Phil Galfond€92,803.89
Day 21 (Mar. 10)576Phil Galfond€3,766.94
Day 22 (Mar. 11)556VeniVidi1993€88,465.60
Day 23 (Mar. 12)598Phil Galfond€23,821.05
Day 24 (Mar. 13)628Phil Galfond€19,099.65
Day 25 (Mar. 14)664Phil Galfond€139,485.78


Doug Polk Posts Final Poker Video on His YouTube Channel

Three-time WSOP bracelet winner Doug Polk, who had announced his retirement from poker last year, is now bidding goodbye to his poker-related YouTube channel ‘Doug Polk Poker.’ On March 16, he posted a video on the channel titled ‘This Is My Final Poker Video’.

In the 15-minute video, he explains why he’s done with poker content and discusses his future plans. Polk confesses in the video that he doesn’t enjoy poker anymore. Last summer, he said he played a few WSOP events only to make his fans happy.

Doug Polk


“I got to a point where I didn’t want to make poker videos anymore,” he said in the video. “But I kept doing it because I wanted to make something, and also because I had that dumb prop bet with Joey (Ingram) where I had to jump out of a plane if I didn’t make 80 videos.”

The Upswing Poker founder has 286,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, which is second only to his arch-nemesis Daniel Negreanu, who has 391,000 subscribers. Polk had uploaded his first YouTube video on June 22, 2016. Since then, he’s created hundreds of videos on a wide range of topics and styles, including his popular ‘Poker Hands’ videos.

Polk says he doesn’t expect to ever regain his passion for poker, but instead of giving up the YouTube gig, he’s switching channels. Polk’s new YouTube channel, named ‘Doug Polk’, already has 26,000 subscribers and 17 videos. In recent clips, he’s given his take on President Trump, the Democratic Party race, and the Coronavirus pandemic.

So, if you are a fan of the former poker pro, you can keep watching his video content on his new channel.


Brian Koppelman Moves Weekly Poker Game Online in the Wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic

“Rounders” screenplay co-writer Brian Koppelman isn’t one to let a worldwide pandemic ruin his weekly poker game. With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) forcing governments to implement the practice of ‘social distancing,’ casinos have shut down the world over, and even live stops have either been canceled or postponed.

Brian Koppelman
Brian Koppelman


To keep his weekly poker date with his friends, Koppelman is implementing the same online tools used for remote offices to keep his home game going.

The New York film producer and his friends did the responsible thing by canceling their usual live meet-up. However, when one of the players suggested they use a technological fix to replicate the in-person experience as best they can with an Apple store app and Zoom videoconferencing on their laptops, the group jumped at the option!

The idea came when NBC News told the story of a Hollywood home game in a feature on how Americans are using technology to stay close to each other in the age of social distancing. The story noted that as self-quarantining is expected to last for weeks or possibly months, many businesses are turning to videoconference to maintain operations as employees work from home.

Koppelman, who is also creator and showrunner of Showtime’s “Billions,” told NBC News it took his group about 20 minutes before they got into the feel of the old game, despite background distractions.

“It was the same group of people busting on each other, laughing with each other, telling the same stories,” he said.

It seems that Koppelman has found an effective way to host his poker home game in the wake of the current crisis – something that could inspire many more to follow in his footsteps!

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