Galfond Challenge: Galfond More than €400K Ahead of 'ActionFreak'
After Phil Galfond defeated "Venividi1993" following a long, drawn-out heads-up pot-limit Omaha match that lasted the better part of three months, the Run It Once Poker boss has wasted no time getting his other challenges rolling.
Regarded by many pundits as Galfond's toughest challenge, ActionFreak agreed to play 15,000 hands of €150/€300 PLO, accepting a side bet of equal odds for €150,000.
Want to know everything about the Galfond Challenge? Check out thePokerNews Galfond Challenge page for more information!
A planned Monday session was cut short by connection issues, and a Tuesday session was nearly a wash as Galfond opened up a lead of more than €200,000 before giving nearly all of it back.
However, ActionFreak took more lumps but failed to return fire on Thursday as he ate a massive loss of €310,000.
Another six-figure win went Galfond's way on Friday, enabling him to open up a sizable early lead over €400K with just under 2,700 hands played.
The second week of play opened with ActionFreak beating Galfond to the tune of €95K on a session that took place on partypoker.
Apparently, most if not all of the match happen there going forward as ActionFreak can more easily facilitate movement of money. As an aside, the real-name tables on partypoker appeared to out ActionFreak as one Ioannis Kontonatsios.
While early returns for ActionFreak on partypoker looked fruitful, Galfond turned the tables with consecutive winning sessions to the tune of €190K total.
Day 1 & 2
Though Day 1 was cut short, a couple of significant pots still were played.
Galfond three-bet preflop in one hand and ActionFreak called before calling another €1,781 on . Galfond barreled bigger with a pot-sized wager of €8,962 on the , and ActionFreak called again for a river.
Galfond piled the last €16,555, and ActionFreak tanked awhile before calling with for just one pair.
It was good, though, as Galfond had for a whiffed draw and just a pair of sixes.
After 145 hands played, they stopped due to the technical issues with ActionFreak up €11.1K.
Day 2 would see Galfond win a €76K pot early on. ActionFreak three-bet it preflop and barreled off on . Galfond was lying in wait on the river after making the nuts with .
ActionFreak had for aces up. Then, with €8,098 in the pot, Galfond potted in position on . The river was a and Galfond shoved for €19,799. ActionFreak called fairly quickly with for sixes full, but Galfond had for kings full.
ActionFreak dropped another stack shortly after. He three-bet it preflop and was called, then his continuation-bet of €2,915 was met with a call on . The turn was a and ActionFreak check-raised almost all in, with Galfond obliging for €35,274 and an €81K pot.
ActionFreak needed help with top two and diamonds against a straight, but the wasn't enough. They took a break after about 225 hands with Galfond up just over six figures.
Galfond again got lucky when ActionFreak got a check-raise in for nearly all of his chips holding top set on the turn. Galfond called with a wrap plus flush draw and hit a straight on the river, collecting ActionFreak's last €12K for another €60K pot. Galfond soon found himself up €202,000.
ActionFreak cut into that number when he cracked Galfond's aces in a four-bet pot. A coordinated board of put Galfond on the defensive as he checked back the flop and called one-third pot on the turn, but he couldn't find the fold button on the river when ActionFreak shoved for €19,840 into €26K. After a long tank, Galfond called with , losing to for a backdoor straight.
Galfond blasted off another stack after break as he tripled off on , shoving river for €23K, just under pot. ActionFreak had a dreamy bluff catcher and called with for a flush.
After ActionFreak bluffed off a stack of his own into Galfond's full house, the biggest pot of the session was played. Galfond put in a four-bet from the button, and with €16,199 in the middle, he potted a flop.
ActionFreak shoved for €40,118, and Galfond called, bringing the pot to €96,436. Galfond had flopped well with , but ActionFreak had him in rough shape with and turned him dead.
Still, things looked rosy for Galfond when he was up €170K after 700 hands were in the books. It was all ActionFreak from there, though. He stacked Galfond by check-raising with nut flush draw and a gutter, hitting his flush and potting turn and river.
A further bluff catch by Galfond was unsuccessful, while his own bluff was caught, and suddenly, ActionFreak was only down €39K.
Galfond briefly dropped into the negative before recovering a little bit down the stretch to post a small win, though he remained down overall.
Hands Played: 1017
Results: ActionFreak +€7,529.49
Galfond was already ahead more than a buy-in when, about 130 hands in, they got stacks in for the first time. Galfond called half pot in a three-bet pot on the flop, bringing a board of .
ActionFreak checked the ultra-coordinated texture and Galfond potted for €11,229. ActionFreak shoved in his €25,733 and Galfond quickly called with for the nuts with a redraw. ActionFreak has top set with an eight and couldn't pair the board on the river.
Galfond followed that by scooping a €76K pot on a cooler when his bet of just one-third pot with top set of aces paid off as ActionFreak turned a set of fives with his gutshot on .
Galfond check-raised pot on the turn and stacks went in with the Run It Once boss fading . He improved to quads on the river.
ActionFreak got a stack back before break when he got it in a mile ahead with better two pair than Galfond, but he was stuck €84K after 185 hands.
ActionFreak would reduce his deficit over the course of the next 100 hands or so, getting it as low as €18,000 before they took another break after 380 hands, with Galfond up €50K.
A big call netted ActionFreak a large pot of €72K when he check-called a bet of €1,223 on and checked the turn. Galfond potted for €4,245 but ActionFreak fired in a pot-sized raise.
Galfond peeled for a board-changing river of . ActionFreak checked and Galfond jammed for €17,243, just under half the pot. ActionFreak tank-called, and Galfond's was completely worthless, with ActionFreak having turned the nuts with .
After getting the loss down to four figures, ActionFreak pulled ahead despite getting coolered with second full house against top full. That's because the players were more than €46K deep when a pot developed on a flop.
ActionFreak had three-bet preflop and he bet €2,915 on the flop. Galfond raised to €14,145. ActionFreak jammed and Galfond called for a €93.6K pot.
ActionFreak had just under 60% equity with his pair plus draw and he found a five on the turn to claim the massive pot.
A hero call by Galfond turned things around in his favor. He three-bet preflop and then bet flop and potted turn on . ActionFreak called and Galfond checked the river.
With almost €27K in the middle, ActionFreak piled for Galfond's €20,593. Galfond found the call button after a long tank with , and the two pair was good against for a missed wrap and a pair.
Then he won his own pot just shy of six figures. In a three-bet pot, the players got in a raising war on until Galfond's nearly €47K was in the middle. Galfond had for the nut wrap, while ActionFreak had for all of the board pairs. Galfond turned an ace to earn a €99,104 pot.
What looked like a solid day for Galfond — he was up about €100K — turned into a crushing one down the stretch as he caught fire over the final 200 hands.
First, Galfond turned a straight against ActionFreak's bottom set to stack his opponent. ActionFreak couldn't find the fold button with a ten-high flush on , losing to a king-high flush that Galfond shoved for about two-thirds pot.
Galfond then flopped one of the biggest wraps possible on , getting it in with and smashing ActionFreak's aces on the turn for a €71K pot. They got it in for €78K more on , with Galfond's set plus king high-flush draw prevailing against a wrap and weaker flush draw. That pushed Galfond's profit to €250K.
Galfond raked in a further €60K before a "good game" appeared in the chat.
Hands Played: 844
Results: Phil Galfond +€310,594.59
Some back and forth early battling led to the first major confrontation about 40 hands in. Galfond got the four-bet in preflop and stacks went in on .
Unfortunately for Galfond, his aces had been outflopped by . Fortunately for him, running clubs gave him a flush with his side cards.
Neither player could build much of a lead over the next few hundred hands, but ActionFreak had pulled ahead about a buy-in when he stacked Galfond, this time cracking aces in a three-bet pot.
Galfond potted with but ActionFreak had flopped huge with . The set held up on the turn and river. While that was happening, however, Galfond potted turn and river after three-betting preflop on a board of .
ActionFreak tanked until he was nearly out of time then called all in for a €65K pot but his was crushed from the flop on by .
Galfond had retaken a small lead around the 480-hand mark, and he earned a €68K pot when he opened preflop and called a three-bet, bringing .
ActionFreak bet €1,349 and Galfond called. The board became even more connected on the . ActionFreak slowed down and check-called €8,098, the size of the pot.
Galfond piled the river for €22,072 effective, and ActionFreak called with but had been run down backdoor by . They took a break with Galfond up €34K.
That's right about where things still sat after 580 hands, but Galfond went on another end-of-session heater.
He won several sizable pots, including one in which he took an unusual line on . He bet half pot for €2,699 after three-betting preflop then put a tiny stab of €1,500 in on the turn. He then potted the river and got paid off with .
Stuck €113K a few minutes after that, ActionFreak called "good game."
Hands Played: 665
Results: Phil Galfond +€113,377.48
Down early after ActionFreak ripped away several pots of €40K or more, Galfond salvaged a stack back when he three-bet preflop and bet €1,781 on . ActionFreak called and the turn was a .
Galfond slowed down with a check and called a pot-sized bet of €8,962. The river prompted a final check from Galfond, and he called a shove for €25,104 effective with for a rivered set. ActionFreak had and conceded a €77K pot.
An even bigger pot moments later went ActionFreak's way. After a preflop four-bet by ActionFreak, stacks went in on . Galfond had for top pair and a flush draw but needed to improve against .
A turn gave him trips but his kicker ultimately doomer him on the river, as ActionFreak claimed a pot of €83,121. However, a similarly-sized pot went to Galfond right after that when he cracked aces by flopping top two and holding against the overpair plus gutter.
When they took a break after a little more than an hour, ActionFreak was up an estimated €50K.
Action was fairly slow for awhile, but an unusual hand cropped up three hours into the stream. They were almost €50K deep when ActionFreak put in the four-bet for €8,100 and was faced with a rare five-bet to €24,300.
He decided to call, bringing an ultra-coordinated flop. Galfond checked and called a miniscule bet of €3,750. They both checked the turn for a river. Galfond checked and faced a shove for €20,954. He tanked until he timed out, conceding the pot.
Galfond bluffed off another stack as he called a three-bet and then took the betting lead as ActionFreak checked every street to him on . Galfond potted turn and river for €10,798 and €32,394, but ActionFreak looked him up with for a straight to earn a €97K pot against .
That was a mere appetizer to the six-figure pot that followed. Galfond check-raised over half pot on , and ActionFreak called to create a €21,596 pot when the turn arrived. Galfond bet small with €7,126.
ActionFreak potted to €42,976. Galfond tanked but decided he had to go with his hand, sticking in his €47,173. ActionFreak quickly called with the nuts, and Galfond showed for a set and a straight blocker.
He couldn't find improvement on the river and ActionFreak dragged a pot just shy of €116K.
A massive cooler favored Galfond when both players turned nut straights with diamond draws, and Galfond's nut draw trumped ActionFreak's king-high one. A diamond hit the river to give Galfond a €68K pot, cutting his deficit to about €190K at break.
What could have been a disastrous session for Galfond was somewhat averted by a very fortunate river. He called a four-bet when the players were two buy-ins deep and flopped. Galfond check-called €10,691, making the pot €37,581 on the . Galfond potted and ActionFreak set him in for €4,642 more.
Galfond was dominated, but he found the river to make kings up and win a €122K pot. The session ended shortly after with ActionFreak booking a €95K win.
Hands Played: 680
Results: ActionFreak +€95,304.17
ActionFreak was already up about €20,000 when he collected the first stack of the match. In a three-bet pot, ActionFreak opted to check a flop but sprang into action with a check-raise to pot when Galfond bet half the pot.
Galfond stuck in his €28K and ActionFreak showed for top two. Galfond needed help with but was turned dead by a five.
Galfond slowly gathered all that money back, though, and when the second table appeared on stream a bit later, Galfond earned a stack there when he three-bet preflop and then potted .
ActionFreak potted it back and Galfond jammed with middle set. He was fading and watched bricks complete the board to earn the pot and give him a lead in the day's match.
Galfond's profit was fairly short-lived, though. About an hour into Day 6, he bluffed off a stack when ActionFreak three-bet him and led half pot on . Galfond raised small to €6,262 and ActionFreak peeled to the turn.
Galfond bet €12,188 and ActionFreak obliged, bringing a . Galfond shoved for €29,967 when checked to, and ActionFreak tanked before calling to create a pot of €102K. He showed down for the second nuts, way good against .
ActionFreak then put a beat on Galfond as he put in the rare preflop five-bet for €24,300, leaving €5,700 behind. Galfond peeled and snap-called the rest on the flop with for top set. ActionFreak had and was smashed but found a river to make the nuts.
It took awhile before the next big pot, but eventually, they saw a flop for ActionFreak's three-bet. However, both players checked for a turn. ActionFreak bet small with €1,781 and Galfond potted it to €10,744.
ActionFreak called, and he shoved into Galfond for €16,555 on the river. Galfond tanked awhile but decided he couldn't fold . Two pair wouldn't do it though, as ActionFreak had for the nuts.
Stacks when in twice more over the final hour. The first went in ActionFreak's favor when he flopped top set of tens and Galfond missed with an overpair and straight draw. The second time, both players checked a for a turn.
ActionFreak bet small, Galfond raised, and ActionFreak potted. Galfond put in the last few thousand with for trips and a flush draw but was outkicked by . The river meant another pot for ActionFreak and he closed out what would later be determined to be a €74K win.
Hands Played: 727
Results: ActionFreak +€74,625.85
It took some time for the first huge pot to get played, but the two players were around even about 45 minutes in when a four-bet pot developed. Galfond was the caller and led for pot, €16,199, on . ActionFreak stuck the rest in for a pot of €64K with . His top pair was good as Galfond held but Galfond turned two pair with a flush draw when the hit. His boon was short-lived as the river was a .
ActionFreak was up small after the first break but Galfond worked his way back to even shortly after with some non-showdown winnings. He pulled ahead when he dragged a pot of €80K after three-betting preflop and seeing a flop. Galfond continued small with €1,781 and ActionFreak called. Galfond potted the turn and ActionFreak called, creating a pot of €26,887. Galfond potted the river and ActionFreak tank-called but ran into for the turned nuts.
The nine-seven came through for Galfond again right after as he check-raised an flop and then barreled off the turn and river. The latter bet was all in for €17,478 into €25K and ActionFreak clicked call with but Galfond's badugi wrap had gotten there with .
Down a few buy-ins, ActionFreak got one back but he had to get lucky to do so on an flop. He piled over Galfond's pot bet of €5,399 and Galfond reraised all in for €34K total. Galfond had middle set up against but a club on the turn sent the €74K pot to ActionFreak.
They took a break and reset stacks, and after battling for a bit, Galfond bluffed off on a board of . ActionFreak has bet small on the flop and potted turn for €8,962, but he checked the river. Galfond shoved for €18,197 effective. ActionFreak was hovering over the call button as he had quads, while Galfond had total air: .
It was Galfond winning a €67K pot when they saw a flop for a three-bet from ActionFreak, who check-raised pot over Galfond's pot bet. Galfond shoved and showed for the nuts, while ActionFreak was drawing with . Another €85K went to Galfond on a stone cooler when he made nut flush against king-high flush in a three-bet pot and barreled off all in.
Down the stretch after the final break, Galfond lost a stack back on a beat when he check-potted for nearly all the money on with for top two. ActionFreak rolled with and earned a €70K pot when a deuce hit the river. Galfond won a few pots around €25K before they called it a day, and he estimated he was up around €20,000 when they wrapped.
Hands Played: 746
Results: Phil Galfond +€26,980.36
The first huge pot of the session took almost two hours to develop but it went Galfond's way as he three-bet preflop then checked a flop. He called €2,699 from ActionFreak and both players checked the . Galfond checked the as well and ActionFreak bet €5,399. Galfond woke with a pot-sized raise to €26,995. ActionFreak tank-called but was beaten by for queens full. In the mean time, Galfond dragged a €16K pot at the other table and was in business up a couple of buy-ins.
Another three-bet pot saw the same flop action, except with ActionFreak out of position on . On the , ActionFreak checked and Galfond potted. ActionFreak jammed for €26,549, and Galfond called with for the second nuts. It was no good, however, against for the nut straight. Unfortunately for ActionFreak, a spade river sent the €63,896 pot to Galfond.
About three hours in, Galfond dragged one of the biggest pots of the challenge. ActionFreak three-bet preflop then checked a flop. Galfond bet €3,671 and ActionFreak called. ActionFreak checked again and Galfond bet €12,741, the pot, on the . ActionFreak shoved for €50,322, and Galfond tanked a long time before calling.
ActionFreak was way in front with two pair and a flush draw, but the river was a crushing blow, sending the €113K pot to Galfond and putting him up six figures after he escaped with around 30% equity.
Galfond bluffed off a stack after break into ActionFreak's aces full, but he erased that in short order and then stacked ActionFreak with a set against top pair and two backdoor flush draws in a three-bet pot. Galfond continued to roll after that, even winning one unusual pot where he had a pot-sized bet of €16K called on . Galfond stuck the last €10K in on the but ActionFreak folded despite getting almost 5-to-1 on a call.
ActionFreak got a stack back when he cracked aces in a four-bet pot, hitting a combo draw on the turn. He earned another one right after in a three-bet pot when they got in on with Galfond a mile behind holding against for top two. ActionFreak's big hand held this time and he lopped another €30K off the deficit.
Galfond would close very strong with an €81K pot. On , ActionFreak potted for €4,173 and Galfond check-potted it right back. ActionFreak called, and a hit. He called off the last €22K into €37K only to be shown , easily enough to beat for a set.
Hands Played: 944
Results: Phil Galfond +€165,093.85