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And once again, it’s Phil Galfond for the win! The poker legend, just like his first name twin Phil Hellmuth, is now on a four-match heater. Earlier today, Galfond tweeted that Brandon Adams, his fourth challenger, had called it quits in their heads-up challenge.
No #GalfondChallenge stream today after all.
Brandon has decided to call it quits. I finished this challenge up roughly $270k.
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) August 23, 2021
For quitting the challenge, Adams will have to pay Galfond the $100,000 side bet on top of his losses in the challenge.
Before we get into celebrating Galfond’s victory, let’s do a quick recap of the fourth Galfond challenge.
Galfond Challenge Recap: Phil Galfond vs. Brandon Adams
The Incomplete Live Challenge
Galfond’s fourth heads-up challenge against Adams differed from the previous three that he had won against ‘VeniVedi1993’, Ioannis ‘ActionFreak’ Kontonatsios, and Chance Kornuth. Unlike the previous challenges that took place online, the fourth challenge was to be played live at the Resorts World Casino from July 26 to 30. The duo had decided to play 40 hours over five days, rounding up to an average of eight hours daily.
Things started off well with Adams taking a $16,000 lead on Day 1. Day 2 saw the tide turn in Galfond’s favor with the Run It Once co-founder finishing the day with an overall profit of $9,000. Day 3 turned out to be even better as Galfond boosted his overall profits to $56,000.
This is where the challenge hit a roadblock 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. After being accused, Galfond defended himself by claiming even Adams had used the clock to his advantage when he was ahead in the match.
A Twitter war of words unfolded with both Galfond and Adams pointing fingers at each other. Max Silver and Isaac Haxton were called in 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 stopping the live heads-up match prematurely and moving the challenge online. Galfond was leading for $16,500 at this point.
They decided to scrap the side bet, with Galfond keeping the $16,500 profit that he won. They announced that they would be starting a new 10,000-hand online challenge on August 1.
Moving to the Virtual Felts
Going by the fact that Galfond had won all three of his past online heads-up challenges, he further increased his distinct advantage over Adams in the online plat. As expected, right from Day 1, Galfond was in the driver’s seat. The three-time WSOP bracelet winner straightaway won $75,000 on Day 1.
Good start to the online version of my challenge vs. @badams78.
+$75k on day 1.
Back at it for the next 4 days straight! Tomorrow’s session is scheduled for 1pm-7pm PT.
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) July 31, 2021
Adams fought back on Day 2, cutting Galfond’s lead down to $35,000.
Day 2 of the online challenge vs. @badams78 didn’t go my way. He put me in some very tough spots and it resulted in me losing about $40k. Still +$35k for now.
Back at it tomorrow at 11am PT!
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) August 1, 2021
But Adams could not keep Galfond down for long as the latter bounced back on Day 3, pushing his overall lead to $145,000. The duo decided to take a few weeks off and resumed playing on August 22.
+$110k on Day 3 of the online challenge! We’re going to take a break for a few weeks and resume on August 22nd.
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) August 2, 2021
We’ll play 11am-6pm PT (or beyond) everyday until a winner is crowned . Expecting it to be 22nd-29th.
Thrilled to be off to a ~$145k lead after a big last session, but that could be erased in a single day! pic.twitter.com/TxOVGFxKs8
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) August 15, 2021
Day 4 resumed on August 23, and once again, it was a winning session for Galfond. He booked another $125,000 in profits, putting himself ahead for $146,000.
The session was live-streamed on the YouTube channel ‘Moonlightmaster.’ You can watch the action below.
On August 24, Adams finally accepted defeat and threw in the towel. Galfond ended the challenge with approximately $270,000 in profits.
Jungleman Rants at Galfond
His next challenger, Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates, had a special message for Galfond.
Held off on posting this bc I wasn’t sure that @junglemandan was serious about battle. Don’t open at work or w/ children. Pod: https://t.co/jUmJy0l3mE . Best part is when jungle describes his life during match w Phil (think Russia training in RockyIV, except in a basement). https://t.co/0JohbHE3x4 pic.twitter.com/3qfbqwrW54
— Brandon Adams (@badams78) August 18, 2021
Cates and Galfond have previously gone head-to-head in a mini-challenge. They had played one session of 750 hands with Galfond coming out on top, €86,870 richer!
Though Cates called out Galfond for “devious” and “twisted”, the ‘forever nice guy’ Galfond responded to the tweet in the most Galfond way possible.
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) August 19, 2021
As per the Run It Once website, Galfond and Cates will play 7,500 hands of €100/€200 PLO. The date for that match is listed at “TBD.”
Well, we will certainly be keeping an eye out for this heads-up challenge.