Galfond Challenge Session #31: Phil Galfond takes $28k off Chance Kornuth’s lead

Geoff Fisk
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Posted on 12/03/2020

Kornuth still leads by $64,000 as latest Galfond Challenge match plays out

After a short holiday break, Phil Galfond and Chance Kornuth got back to heads-up Pot-Limit Omaha action Wednesday in the Galfond Challenge.

Session #31 in the present chapter of the Galfond Challenge saw Galfond gain about $28,000 on Kornuth in a 500-hand match. Kornuth still leads by close to $64,000 with 16,500 hands played in the scheduled 35,000-hand match.

The ongoing battle between Galfond and Kornuth is currently playing out on WSOP.com, and saw a couple of massive pots take place in Session #31.

One of the first major swings in the session came in a hand that saw $3,598 go in the middle preflop. The flop came 9Q7♠, and Galfond, in the big blind with QQ♠T♠9, checked to Kornuth.

Kornuth, holding T74♠4, bet 1,800, getting a call from Galfond. The turn came Kand Galfond checked again, with his top set of queens still well in command. 

Kornuth potted for $7,200, and Galfond again called. The river brought in trips for Kornuth, with the 7 hitting the board. Galfond, now with the hand clinched holding queens full, waited several seconds before leading out with a pot-sized $21,600 bet.

Kornuth tanked for awhile, then made the call, committing his remaining $20,878 to the pot. Kornuth saw the bad news when Galfond tabled his hand, however, and collected the $64,076 pot.

That hand put Galfond in the lead for the session, and at one point the Run It Once Poker founder led by as much as $70,000 in the Session #31 battle. The two world-class players battled back and forth for the rest of the session, with Galfond settling on around a $28,000 advantage for the mini-match by session’s end.

Galfond and Kornuth will get back to the WSOP.com streets Thursday, as the match continues with Session #32.

Galfond gaining ground

Now approaching the halfway point, the Galfond versus Kornuth match sees Galfond continuing to try to pull back to even in the $100/$200 high-stakes PLO match. Galfond hasn’t ended a session with the lead since Session #11 on Oct. 13.

Galfond led by $103k after an Oct. 3 session, but after that Kornuth went on a heater. The five sessions following the Oct. 3 match all ended in Kornuth wins, and Galfond found himself trailing by around $289,000 after the Oct. 22 session.

Kornuth extended the lead to $344,500 after the Nov. 13 session, which marks the biggest lead held by either player at the end of a session in the series. Galfond won each of the three sessions following, however, pulling to within $31,500 after the Nov. 18 match.

The two poker superstars have played a relatively even match since then, and the current chapter of the Galfond Challenge could still go either way. Galfond has yet to lose in the Galfond Challenge, defeating both ‘Venividi’ and ‘ActionFreak’ in heads-up matches.

Galfond is currently playing in two matches that are still open in the Galfond challenge. In addition to the ongoing match against Kornuth, Galfond’s battle against Bill Perkins and the Thirst Lounge is in progress.

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