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Gossip Column: Galfond Closing in on ‘VeniVidi1993’ in HU Challenge, Bales Wins Push-Up Challenge

Phil Galfond & Jonathan Bales - Gossip Column
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis April 3, 2020
  • 4 Minutes Read

Even with the growing number of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases spreading fear and panic the world over, poker players have managed to find a way to stay positive. On that note, one of the most amicable pros ever, Phil Galfond, is now just a hair’s breadth away from recovering all his losses against online beast’ VeniVidi1993’. Since he made his comeback on March 5, Galfond has won 13 out of the 17 sessions played between the duo, and he is now just €40,607.06 in the red with about 5,000 hands left to play!

Joining Galfond was another man who successfully completed a challenge – Jonathan Bales. The co-founder of FantasyLabs had accepted a $2,000 prop bet against Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) player Peter Christensen that he could perform 2,400 push-ups in just under 12 hours. Lo and behold! Bales completed the challenge in 11 hours and 5 minutes!


Phil Galfond Closes in on ‘VeniVidi1993’ in HU Challenge

PLO legend Phil Galfond has proved yet again why he is considered one of the best in the business. Despite making a disastrous start against online phenom ‘VeniVidi1993’ in his first Heads-Up Challenge that saw him stuck over €900,000 in the first 15 sessions of the match, Galfond has managed to make an epic comeback. After taking a nearly month-long break, the RIO founder came back with a vengeance, and now he is just €40,607.06 in the red.

Phil Galfond
Phil Galfond


The break that Galfond had taken from the challenge seems to have done wonders for his gameplay. In the 17 sessions since his return, he has come out on top 13 times. Six of those times were six-figure wins, the largest of which was the very first session after the break, in which he won €183,481.38!

Playing the most recent session on April 2, Galfond was up by about €170,000 at one point. Still, he lost a few pots towards the end to finally end the day with a profit of €114,879. This makes him €40,607.06 in the red, equivalent to just two buy-ins of the game, bringing him within striking distance of taking over.

In an interview with commentators David Tuchman and Kevin Rabichow, Galfond was asked if he was aware of his running win/loss total while the session was ongoing. To which he replied that he wasn’t exactly, but was “pretty sure I got above even, but now I’m back down.”

Talking about how he thought he played, Galfond said, “It’s really hard to tell…at the beginning of the day, I was hitting everything and at the end of the day, I was missing everything.”

Explaining his views on the psychological aspect of the challenge, Galfond said that though he was in a terrible position in February, he feels that ‘VeniVidi1993’ has more psychological pressure on him now because he was up by so much and now it is almost even. He admitted, though, that he does feel more pressure himself now that he has made a strong comeback.

With about 5,000 hands remaining, the challenge in on the business end now, and it’ll only be a matter of time before we know who will ultimately come out on top!


Jonathan Bales Successfully Completes Push-Up Challenge

11 hours and 5 minutes – that’s how long it took FantasyLabs co-founder Jonathan Bales to complete the push-up challenge. Just yesterday, we had talked about how Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) player Peter Christensen had made a $2K prop bet with Bales, wherein the latter would have to perform 2,400 push-ups in under 12 hours. It was a tough task to carry out, but Bales knocked the challenge right out of the park!

Jonathan Bales
Jonathan Bales


Bales live-streamed the entire challenge on Twitter and Twitch.

Despite being the one to have challenged Bales, Christensen was also supportive of the former completing the bet.

“This was a pretty good line,” Bales said afterward. “I probably could’ve done a hundred or two hundred more.” Bales added that he had “a lot more” than the $2,000 bet with Christensen on the prop bet, saying, “We’ll be giving some of the money to COVID-19 relief.”

The challenge required Bales to do on an average 3.33 push-ups per minute for 12 hours, and even before the challenge got underway at 11 AM ET on Thursday, Bales wouldn’t reveal his strategy publicly. But once the stream got underway, he started with sets of six push-ups each, which continued for hours. He then rotated sets of six with sets of five, eventually tapering off to sets of four for the duration.

“I was going to do higher reps, but everyone [I talked to] suggested not to do that,” Bales said. “After the long break [five hours in], I could’ve finished faster, but I thought I might get injured. I was feeling like I was going to tear my bicep.”

On his plan, Bales said he never wanted to have “more than six reps at a time and never have more than 45 seconds of rest in between reps. I planned to finish in 9 hours, with some wiggle room in case I couldn’t keep up the pace, which is obviously what happened.”

As for Christensen, he may have lost the prop bet, but he isn’t done yet. He took to Twitter soon after the push-up challenge ended hunting for a new prob bet.

While he said that he was in “negotiations for SEVERAL epic props,” he eventually settled for scheduling a fight with someone a day after the quarantine gets lifted.

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