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Phil Galfond

Phil Galfond is considered one of the best, if not the best, pot-limit Omaha players in history. He became famous during the poker boom era for his high stakes PLO performance on Full Tilt Poker, the now-defunct poker site. On FTP, he was known as “OMGClayAiken,” one of the most famous internet poker screen names in history, and also one of the most successful.

Who is Phil Galfond?

Phil Galfond, born January 16, 1985 in Wisconsin, is one of the most respected poker players in the world, and not just for his greatness on the felt. The online poker pro is one of the friendliest players around and rarely engages debates on controversial issues on social media. For that reason, despite having a large fan base, he doesn’t have many haters out there, which is a stark contrast from most high-profile poker players.

Galfond isn’t just a poker player anymore. He's a successful businessman who founded a poker site called Run it Once, now sold to Rush Street Interactive. He also runs the poker coaching site of the same name. 

Away from the felt, Galfond is a family man. He’s married to Farah Galfond, another talented and passionate poker player, and has a young child. Farah Galfond is a former soap opera star and was well-known for her role as Mimi Lockhart on the show, Days of Our Lives, one of the longest running soap operas.

Phil Galfond biography

Phil Galfond burst onto the poker scene at a young age. He worked his way up from the low stakes, and quickly made his way to the highest stakes PLO games on Full Tilt Poker during the 2000s. In those games, he competed against action players such as Tom Dwan, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, and the great Phil Ivey.

His success on Full Tilt Poker made Galfond one of the most popular and famous poker pros in the world. By the late 2000s, he had become a regular on televised poker shows such as “High Stakes Poker” and “Poker After Dark,” two iconic shows that defined the poker boom era. 

In 2020, Galfond took some time away from running the Run it Once poker site to compete in a few heads-up challenges, which he dubbed the Galfond Challenge.

Galfond Challenge

Galfond offered up a heads-up PLO challenge to anyone in the world. The Galfond Challenge became the talk of the poker community in 2020 during the early parts of COVID-19. He battled three opponents throughout the year and won all three matches.

The first Galfond Challenge was against online pro VeniVidi1993. Both players battled for 15,000 hands at $100/$200 stakes on Galfond’s poker site, Run it Once. The match went horribly early on for the poker site founder. He was down nearly $1 million at one point, and almost decided to call it quits. But he rallied to pull off one of the greatest comebacks in poker history, and won the $150,000 side bet on top of his small winnings from the cash game sessions.

In the second match, against online pro ActionFreak, Galfond had a much easier path to victory. He busted out to a huge early lead and coasted the rest of the way, winning by just over $140,000 over 15,000 hands.

The third match was another tough one for Galfond. He battled against poker coach and WSOP bracelet winner Chance Kornuth on the poker site. Early on, Galfond held the lead in the 35,000-hand challenge. But Kornuth quickly bounced back and took a huge lead of over $325,000 at one point. In the end, however, Kornuth conceded with about 5,000 hands remaining, because Galfond had rallied and then pulled too far ahead for him to catch up.

Phil Galfond poker accomplishments

Galfond has numerous accomplishments both as a live poker player and online pro. On top of his success on the felt, he’s one of the most respected poker trainers, and his Run it Once training site has an impeccable reputation within the poker community.

As a live player, Galfond has three World Series of Poker bracelets, all in non-hold’em events, and $3 million in overall live tournament cashes. But he’ll tell you he isn’t a tournament specialist and most of his successes have come in cash games, especially online. In those online cash games, OMGClayAiken won over $10 million on Full Tilt Poker before the site was eliminated.

As mentioned, he also shipped three straight lengthy heads-up battles against three talented poker pros. Galfond is a difficult opponent in pot-limit Omaha, yet he’s somehow able to continually find action.