The third Galfond Challenge has become quite the hotly contested match between two supremely talented poker players. Chance Kornuth still holds the lead, as he’s done for over a month now. But the outcome of the high-stakes pot-limit Omaha competition is far from decided.
Galfond, who offered up the challenge, made an impressive comeback last week to get back to within striking distance. He trailed by over $340,000 just over a week ago before bouncing back to dominate three straight sessions. Entering the week, he trailed by just $30,000, not even 10% of his deficit a few days earlier.
This week, however, things haven’t gone as smoothly for the Run it Once poker site owner. But he’s still well within a few coolers of regaining the lead. And, even better for the former online pro famously known back in the day as “OMGClayAiken,” he still has 19,000 hands to catch up.
The Galfond Challenge has lost a bit of its luster due to the Doug Polk vs. Daniel Negreanu match. Many poker fans have been busy following the drama between Polk and Negreanu as opposed to the drama-free competitors, Galfond and Kornuth, both of whom have great respect and admiration for each other.
But make no mistake, Kornuth and Galfond are both highly skilled pros who each play an exciting brand of poker. And this match, which likely won’t end until early next year, is quite an intense battle of wits.
Galfond Challenge up for grabs as play approaches midway point
The third Galfond Challenge began two months ago, and it’s been a long process. But the poker grinders and fans of the challenge can now see some light at the end of the tunnel. They’re (finally) nearing the halfway mark, with 16,000 out of 35,000 hands completed. And victory is well within reach for both players.
Kornuth and Galfond agreed to a pre-match side bet of Galfond’s $1 million to Kornuth’s $250,000. The reason for the 4-1 odds is that Galfond, who already won previous versions of the Galfond Challenge twice this year, was a heavy favorite.
But Kornuth has shown throughout this competition that he is an underrated pot-limit Omaha player. Through 16,000 hands at $100/$200 stakes on WSOP.com, the Chip Leader Coaching founder leads by $92,000. He’s won the past three sessions — all in the past week — but only by small amounts.
In the most recent session on Sunday, he won by just $9,500. That’s pennies for these players especially at these high stakes. To put things in perspective, one buy-in costs $20,000. So, even though Kornuth won all three sessions this week, he only extended his lead by about three total buy-ins ($62,000).
If you’re sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the next session, you’ll be waiting a while. Kornuth and Galfond are going to take a brief break to spend time with their families during the holiday. The Galfond Challenge will resume in early December, although no date has been set.
In the meantime, you can get your heads-up poker fix by watching the Polk vs. Negreanu high-stakes feud. Negreanu has been surprisingly competitive against his long-time rival.
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