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Gossip Column: Phil Galfond Down Over €900K to ‘VeniVidi1993,’ Suspends Challenge Until March

Phil Galfond
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis February 12, 2020
  • 3 Minutes Read

Oh boy! Where do we even begin with this one! Three-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Galfond has landed himself in quite the soup. The first of his Heads-Up Challenges saw the Run It Once (RIO) founder lock horns with online phenom’ VeniVidi1993,’ and the duo has already played 9,927 hands of €100/€200 PLO since January 22.

For the most part of this virtual confrontation, ‘VeniVidi1993’ had been in the lead, but Day 12 of the challenge saw Galfond recovering €87,940.91 of his losses over 622 hands. However, a losing spree over the three sessions of play brought Galfond in the red for over €900,000, forcing him to consider throwing in the towel.

Interested, aren’t you to know what went down? Well, then let us give you the full story.


Phil Galfond Suspends Match With ‘VeniVidi1993’

Galfond would probably not have imagined things going quite so out of control for him when he had announced the ‘Galfond Challenge’ back in November last year. But the reality is that Galfond is now down more than €900,000 playing €100-€200 PLO against ‘VeniVedi1993’ on RIO Poker. In addition to his losses in the challenge, he stands to lose another €200K as part of a side bet at 2:1 odds that he had made with ‘VeniVidi1993’.

Galfond v. VeniVidi1993

Galfond was on the back foot right from the get-go, losing more than €327,000 in the very first week, after playing nearly 4,000 hands of the 25,000-hand heads-up contest. Things were looking to get better for Galfond after he managed to recover €87,940.91 during the 12th session.

However, a devastating 15th session that saw 659 hands being played and resulted in ‘VeniVedi1993’ profiting €102,593.34 more, Galfond seems to be giving serious thought to throwing in the towel. A planned session for Tuesday was canceled, and after that, Galfond took to Twitter to explain that he is ‘taking a step back.’

Though fans are unsure if the suspension of the match till March means that Galfond has given up or not, but the PLO expert went on to explain his reasons for taking the break.

“I was playing scared. I was expecting to lose. I simply couldn’t get my brain to work properly,” Galfond wrote in his Twitter statement.

Galfond pointed out that, contrary to what may be a common belief, the most challenging thing wasn’t the money. “It’s the gap between the result and your expectations,” he said.

Phil Galfond
Phil Galfond


Day-By-Day Results of the Galfond Challenge

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
Day 13 (Feb. 7)470VeniVidi1993€267,949.70
Day 14 (Feb. 8)593VeniVidi1993€48,473.73
Day 15 (Feb. 9)659VeniVidi1993€102,593.34


In addition to his ongoing contest with ‘VeniVidi1993,’ Galfond has five other competitors lined up as part of his Galfond Challenge. He’s locked in details with Bill Perkins, Brandon Adams, Chance Kornuth, Dan’ Jungleman’ Cates, and high-stakes online poker player ‘ActionFreak.’

Those matches have their own specific terms, stakes, and length of play, but no timetable has been set for when they will take place.

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