Warning: This is a very niche blog but this is also the sickest poker story in a long time. How it goes is back in December, Phil Galfond, one of the greatest poker players of all time, issued a challenge to anyone in the world to play him in high stakes PLO matches with big sidebets.
His first match would be against online beast "Venividi". They would play 25,000 hands of €100-€200 PLO with a 100k sidebet in addition to any winnings.
And Venividi started DEMOLISHING HIM.
Like...it wasn't even close. Phil could not win. It was a bloodbath nobody expected. This is Phil Galfond, the legend, getting his ass handed to him. After about 10,000 of the 25,000 hands Phil had to take a break after being down over €900,000. His mind was pretzeled. I'm trying to find something to compare it to- I guess Michael Jordan losing 1 on 1 to an unknown player.
So Phil took a breather (paying €3,000 per day) to get his head on straight and study his ass off, and came back and started chipping away. Most people said he had no chance to win the challenge, but at least he could chip away at that €900,000 deficit if he won some sessions. And that's what he did. He started winning. And winning. And kept on winning. Lost here and there, but kept doing Phil Galfond things.
And then today, the final day, they were just about even. Phil was down a bit, but Venividi wasn't up enough to fold to victory. And Phil pulled it off, doing the nearly impossible:
I would compare it to being down 3-0 in a series and then down 3-0 in every game in the 3rd period, and still coming back to win. Something like that. Just so improbable you wouldn't believe it if it happened in a movie. And it's not like he did it against a nobody, Veni has won at the highest levels of PLO. He's a beast. And Phil took him down.
Again, I know this is niche but in the poker world this is the sickest comeback we've ever seen. Sure Phil has played higher stakes and lost more money in a session, but coming back to win this challenge is so outrageous to accomplish.
Lady Galfond lost her mind.
May we all get ride or die wives like that.
He'll now take a quick break and then face I believe billionaire Bill Perkins in his next challenge…which uhhh…no offense to Bill, should be much easier for Phil to win. Hopefully he takes a couple of days and just relaxes, I cannot imagine the amount of work and studying he's been putting in off the table over the last couple of months. Studying every spot and bet sizing and just so much math his brain is probably so worn out. But so incredibly worth it. Congrats again to Phil.
We'll be talking more about this on this week's episode of Cracking Aces, the number 1 poker podcast in the world, so subscribe to have it when it drops. We also had Phil on before the challenge started, so maybe we'll try to get him on real quick before the next one for good luck.