The Galfond Challenge vs. High Stakes Feud: A discussion on The Rake podcast

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Geoff Fisk
Posted on: November 08, 2020 05:17 PST

Latest episode of the podcast compares High Stakes Feud to the Galfond Challenge

How does the High Stakes Feud between Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu stack up against the Galfond Challenge? The comparison between the two biggest heads-up series of 2020 was among the topics discussed on Episode 57 of The Rake.

The latest episode of the weekly podcast, featuring Jamie Kerstetter and Marle Cordeiro, went live Thursday on the Run It Once YouTube channel. The timing of the latest episode of The Rake gave the co-hosts of the podcast the opportunity to discuss the beginning of the heads-up match between Polk and Negreanu, currently the biggest story in poker outside of discussion about the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.

The first 200 hands of the proposed 25,000-hand match between the two longtime poker rivals were streamed by PokerGO across numerous platforms. Kerstetter and Cordeiro weighed in on how High Stakes Feud compared to the Galfond Challenge, which pits Run It Once founder Phil Galfond against selected opponents.

Friendly competition or grudge match: which is better to watch?

The Galfond Challenge has produced some of the most riveting poker content of 2020. Matchups like Galfond vs. 'VeniVedi1993' and Galfond vs. Chance Kornuth, however, don't come with the grudge match overtones presented in High Stakes Feud.

"The Galfond Challenge has been fun to watch," Kerstetter said. "It's been like wholesome, family content. Where we're watching a nice guy beat another nice guy, and be like, 'I'm so sorry you were up a million and then you lost. I know how that feels.'"

That quote for Kerstetter refers to the first round of the Galfond Challenge, in which 'VeniVedi1993' took a massive lead, only for Galfond to climb back to an improbable victory at the end of the 25,000-hand match.

"Like Galfond playing Chance too; Chance does his little needling and stuff, and it's so good-natured," Kerstetter said. "There's a place for that as well. I enjoy watching that too."

"But I am also looking forward to a bloodbath, and a lot of actual hatred," Kerstetter said of High Stakes Feud.

Is the Polk/Negreanu feud good for the game?

Benjamin "Spraggy" Spragg, recently engaged to Cordeiro, contended that the animosity of the Negreanu vs. Polk match is good for poker.

"I'm all for it," Spragg said. "And hopefully it's the sort of thing where the line gets drawn at the end of the match. They've had the match, differences aside, agree to disagree."

"Whatever comes out of it, maybe we get more heads-up matches between people. Maybe Doug gets an appetite for being back and playing heads-up battles like this, and it does really well on PokerGO for example. How is this not great for poker?"

"The real hate is what drives this," Kerstetter responded. "I don't like the bulls*** wrestling type of rivalries."

Negreanu and Polk played the first 200 of 25,000 hands Wednesday in a live format, bringing together the two bitter rivals in the same room at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. Negreanu ended the session up $116,500, and the match now moves online to

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