Phil Galfond has regained control of Galfond Challenge

Jon Sofen
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Posted on: December 15, 2020 10:00 pm EST

Phil Galfond has erased a massive deficit against Chance Kornuth and now holds a moderate-sized lead in the Galfond Challenge.

Galfond is once again favored in the heads-up pot-limit Omaha poker challenge he created. Entering the match a few months ago, he was a 4-1 favorite. The Run it Once poker site founder was given so much respect not because Kornuth isn’t a competent PLO player, but because he’s arguably the best PLO pro ever.

But what he found out during this 35,000-hand competition on WSOP.com at $100/$200 stakes is that Kornuth is, perhaps, a bit better than most expected. Through the first 15,000 hands of the challenge, Kornuth held a $340,000 advance, a real head-scratcher for many in the poker community.

Unfortunately, for the Chip Leader Coaching founder, those days are over, at least for now. Galfond has taken over the match in the past few weeks. He has not only erased the massive deficit, but now has a fairly large lead of his own.

Galfond and Kornuth have now played 20,000 hands, but still have 15,000 to go. So, it’s still anyone’s ballgame. During the most recent session, Galfond booked a $113,000 win and now leads the overall competition by $136,000.

Missed opportunity for Kornuth

Kornuth entered the session trailing by just $23,000, barely more than one buy-in. He missed out on a golden opportunity to get back in the lead. Early in the match, he led by around $125,000. But then Galfond hit some hands and dominated the rest of the five-hour session.

Given how talented at PLO Galfond is, Kornuth simply can’t afford to miss out on chances to book wins. He’s still well within reach and has plenty of time to pull off a comeback. After all, he’s only down just under seven buy-ins with 15,000 hands remaining.

But he needs to quickly figure out why Galfond has dominated the match for the past 10 sessions. If not, he’ll find himself down more than he can possibly make up.

The losing player, beyond money lost in the cash game sessions, will owe the winner a hefty side bet fee. Galfond agreed to pay Kornuth $1 million if he loses, and Kornuth would owe him $250,000 if Galfond wins.

The online poker pros are back at it again on Tuesday on the WSOP.com poker site. They’ll be competing all week as they inch closer to completion in the lengthy Galfond Challenge. With the Doug Polk versus Daniel Negreanu match taking a break, now is the perfect time to catch up on the Galfond Challenge.

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