The latest edition of the “Galfond Challenge” is underway, with pot-limit Omaha wixard and Run It Once owner Phil Galfond returning to the virtual felt to take on his latest challenger, prominent pro Daniel “Jungleman” Cates. The two pros are squaring off in a 7,500-hand duel at PLO, with the first of three four-hour sessions underway today, as of 9:00 a.m. Pacific time.
Two more four-hour sessions are already scheduled for tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday. Galfond and Cates are dueling, two tables at a time, on WSOP.com. Sharp-eyed observers monitoring Galfond’s live stream of the duel on YouTube will note that the two players are seated at $10/$20 PLO tables, which represent 10 percent of the actual amount being wagered. The loser will settle up the difference after the 7,500 hands are completed or one of the two players concedes.
Galfond, one of poker’s recognized wizards at PLO, is undefeated in three previous challenges, against online stars “Venividi1993” and “ActionFreak”, and against Chance Kornuth. Galfond’s duel against Venividi1993 saw Galfond in a deep hole for most of the 25,000-hand match, the first-ever Galfond Challenge, and only a late rally allowed Galfond to eke out a narrow win. Galfond also triumphed against Brandon Adams in an abbreviated challenge where Adama conceded after Galfond ran up a big early edge.
Galfond also pocketed side-bet profits in each of the three previous challenges, though it is not publicly known if a side bet exists in the latest duel against Cates. According to Galfond, the two had been negotiating for nearly two years on the terms of a challenge, and the shorter 7,500-hand length adds uncertainty to the outcome, whether Galfond is the stronger PLO player or not.
Cates and Galfond earlier played a mini-duel that went Galfond’s way. In 2020, on Galfond’s Run It Once site, Galfond topped Cates in a short, 750-hand bout where he pocketed an €86,870 profit.
Featured image source: YouTube / Phil Galfond