Slight uptick for Phil Galfond as he attempts to rally against Chance Kornuth

Jon Sofen
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Posted on: November 13, 2020 9:13 pm EST

Chance Kornuth is holding steady in the Galfond Challenge, although Phil Galfond is slowly but surely getting back into the match. The Chip Leader Coaching founder has surprised the poker world with his dominating performance throughout much of the lengthy competition.

But there’s still plenty of time for Galfond to rally, and he’s been on the right track lately, although it’s been a slow and steady climb back. The Run it Once poker site owner has been out-played most of the match and it’s a bit surprising to many in the poker community.

Galfond is considered one of the best, and maybe the best, pot-limit Omaha players in the world. He entered the third Galfond Challenge having won the first two against online poker pros “VeniVidi1993” and “ActionFreak.” But it’s been anything but a cakewalk for the poker pro in the third match against Kornuth, who is performing above expectations.

Kornuth isn’t known for his prowess in PLO, the game played (at $100/$200 stakes) in this challenge. He’s more of an accomplished no-limit hold’em player, but has made it clear many have underestimated his PLO abilities. And now he’s gone from heavy underdog to heavy favorite.

Kornuth doesn’t have it wrapped up yet

Kornuth held a lead of over $300,000 about a week ago, the equivalent of 15 buy-ins ($20,000 each). He still leads by a wide margin ($253,000), but Galfond has fought and clawed his way back to within striking distance this past week.

For the first time since he busted out to an early $280,000 lead early in the third Galfond Challenge, Galfond booked a six-figure win earlier this week, ending the session up around $100,000. It was a much needed big victory for the former Full Tilt Poker star as he stopped the bleeding and got back in the match.

But the following day, Kornuth bounced back with an impressive session, erasing nearly half of that big win from Galfond’s bank. On Thursday, however, Galfond returned the favor and ended the five-hour day with a $36,000 win.

As it stands, Kornuth leads the heads-up pot-limit Omaha challenge by $253,500, or almost 13 buy-ins. They’ve now completed 11,800 of the 35,000 hands they’ve agreed to play on So, Galfond still has plenty of time to rally from behind to pull it out. If he doesn’t however, he’ll owe Kornuth an extra $1 million in a side bet. Conversely, if he does end up winning, his opponent would owe him $250,000 from the side bet.

The Galfond Challenge will resume next week with plenty of intense, high-stakes PLO action. Don’t expect this competition to conclude until early in 2021.

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