Phil Galfond defeats VeniVidi1992 in the Galfond Challenge

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Posted on: April 13, 2020 9:06 pm EDT

The Galfond Challenge comes down to the very end before a winner can be found

The first match against the seven confirmed contenders listed for the Galfond Challenge has ended, with Galfond taking the win for a minimal difference. His worthy contender, the online player who goes by VeniVidi1993, had the lead almost the entire duration of the 25,000-hand showdown of Pot-Limit Omaha, but Galfond, who was won three World Series of Poker bracelets, ended up with a profit of a little more than $1,605 over VeniVidi to be given the title. Besides the winnings, Galfond also secured a $109,065 payment from a side bet that was set before the challenge started.

Even before the last session began, the difference was so short between the two players, that it was impossible to predict a winner. “I did not think we were going to get under 300 hands with it still being anybody’s game. It was ridiculous,” said Galfond to Jose Stapleton after winning. He later posted on Twitter, “Over the past 15 years, I’ve played poker in a number of high-pressure situations. Nothing came close to feeling as intense as today did. I’m overwhelmed, exhausted, and most of all, grateful.”

The challenge consisted of 25,000 hands of $109/$218 stakes in heads-up cash game tables that were played in several sessions over the course of nearly two months. It became a popular match among the poker community, with the broadcast of the last session between these two players was viewed by 23,500 people who were connected on Twitch yesterday morning.

The final and 39th session started with VeniVidi having an $8,911 lead over Galfond with just 698 hands remaining. The final session closed with great emotions, Galfond was able to take the lead a couple of times and even VeniVidi was close a couple of times of securing his win mathematically by folding every remaining hand. Before taking a break with only 243 hands remaining, VeniVidi had a $33,711 lead almost securing his victory. He started taking a defensive strategy, which Galfond took full advantage of to win the competition.