Galfond Challenge: Galfond Erases Most of Remaining Deficit

Phil Galfond is doing work of late against Chance Kornuth.

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The battle between Phil Galfond and Chance Kornuth at $100/$200 pot-limit Omaha for the Galfond Challenge has been a swingy one thus far, and the latest swing appears to be going in Galfond's favor.

After dropping to about $350,000 in losses on two separate occasions, Galfond roared back with a monster series of wins. After booking his first six-figure win in more than a month on Nov. 14, Galfond followed up with back-to-back wins worth $190,000 total.

Kornuth did battle back with a $48K win of his own on Nov. 19, but his once comfortable lead is down to a very manageable $79,500 with just shy of 15,000 hands in the books, meaning it's still anyone's game with 20,000 hands still remaining.

Want to know everything about the Galfond Challenge? Check out the PokerNews Galfond Challenge page for more information!

Day 26

Galfond dominated the first hour or so of play as he won enough medium pots to post a lead of about $45,000, including one hand where he potted river for $6K on {q-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{3-Spades}{9-Clubs}{4-Clubs} with nines and sevens and got called by worse.

Kornuth came back as he stacked Galfond in a single-raised pot when {k-Hearts}{6-Clubs}{j-Spades} flopped. Kornuth bet $600 in position and Galfond raised to $1,800. Galfond then potted the {5-Diamonds} turn and shoved the {8-Spades} river for $14K, just under the pot. Kornuth snap-called since he had {k-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{q-Spades}{7-Spades} for the backdoor nuts, while Galfond had been on dust the whole way with {q-Clubs}{2-Clubs}{10-Hearts}{5-Hearts}.

Then, two more huge pots were pushed to Kornuth. First, he coolered Galfond with bottom set against top two on {7-Spades}{q-Diamonds}{6-Hearts} for $46K. At the exact same time, Kornuth bet small in position on the flop and turn as the board ran {2-Spades}{q-Clubs}{4-Spades}{6-Spades}{4-Diamonds}. Kornuth potted the river and Galfond check-shoved, only to get snapped off by {5-Spades}{3-Spades}{3-Clubs}{2-Hearts} for the straight flush. Incredibly, Galfond had been stone cold coolered with {9-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{9-Spades}{4-Clubs} for quads.

Galfond then went for a tiny bet of $600 into $3,600 on {7-Diamonds}{7-Spades}{q-Clubs} and Kornuth made it $2,400. Galfond called and Kornuth checked back the {5-Clubs}. On the {5-Diamonds} river, Galfond led small with $2,400. Kornuth made it $12,300 and Galfond shoved for $17,600. Kornuth went deep into the tank before making the reluctant call with {a-Spades}{5-Spades}{j-Diamonds}{7-Hearts} for sevens full of fives, no good against Galfond's {k-Clubs}{7-Clubs}{q-Spades}{9-Hearts}.

Once again, Galfond bet tiny with $600 on a {4-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}{j-Clubs} flop after three-betting. Once again, Kornuth raised to $2,400 and they went to a {7-Diamonds} turn. This time, Kornuth bet-called it off with his full house, showing {k-Clubs}{4-Clubs}{10-Spades}{4-Spades}. Galfond was behind this time but drawing live with {a-Diamonds}{k-Spades}{q-Spades}{j-Hearts}, smashing the {q-Hearts} river for the winning full house.

Along with several medium-sized pots in between those, Galfond suddenly had a lead north of $50K.

After a break, Galfond took another strong line when he bet-three-bet shoved a board of {k-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{7-Clubs}{7-Diamonds} after Kornuth raised his small turn bet. Kornuth tank-called off with {a-Spades}{j-Spades}{7-Hearts}{4-Diamonds} for trips, and he was good against {a-Hearts}{k-Hearts}{8-Hearts}{9-Spades}. The {j-Hearts} needlessly improved him on the river.

In the last big pot that closed out the session, Kornuth bet $1,200 after three-betting and seeing a {j-Spades}{2-Clubs}{6-Spades} flop. On the {8-Clubs} turn, he checked and Galfond potted. Kornuth jammed and Galfond called with {9-Spades}{8-Hearts}{7-Hearts}{6-Diamonds} for two pair and an open-ender. He was behind as Kornuth had {a-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{j-Hearts}{4-Hearts} for top two, but Galfond drilled the straight on the {5-Hearts} river.

Hands Played: 500
Results: Phil Galfond +~$47,000
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Day 27

What kind of day would it be for Phil Galfond? Well, on the first hand played he won a $32K pot with the nut full house, getting $10,800 of river value. By the end of the next hand on that table, he was already up a buy-in.

Just minutes later, Kornuth three-bet and put in $1,200 on {5-Spades}{10-Spades}{a-Spades}, with Galfond calling. Kornuth then check-called a pot-sized bet of $6,000 on the {q-Diamonds}, bringing a {3-Clubs}. Kornuth checked and Galfond shoved the last $11K in. Kornuth made the crying call with {q-Hearts}{q-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds} but was against {k-Spades}{8-Spades}{j-Clubs}{10-Clubs} for the nuts.

At the same time, Galfond scooped a $22K pot getting a blocker size paid off on the river when he had quad eights, and he was up more than $50K in under 15 minutes of action.

The next hour would see Kornuth cut into the lead at first, but Galfond just wound up building up to a couple of $50K stacks to increase his edge to around $70K overall on the day. A few minor swings over the next hour would see them wind up at about the same place before action got heavy again.

Galfond earned a $36K pot with a river check-raise holding aces full, then moments later, he three-bet and called a four-bet to bring a board of {2-Diamonds}{a-Hearts}{5-Hearts}. Kornuth potted in position for most of his remaining monies and Galfond shoved.

Galfond: {k-Diamonds}{k-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}
Kornuth: {a-Spades}{k-Spades}{j-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}

Kornuth was in rough shape with his best hope being a gutter, but he did pick up another straight draw on the {q-Diamonds}. Galfond was the one improving to a full house on the {2-Hearts} river, though.

The rough session continued for Kornuth when he called a three-bet and then $1,200 more on the {8-Clubs}{5-Clubs}{2-Clubs} flop. Galfond checked the {k-Clubs} turn and Kornuth went with his own small sizing of $2,000. Galfond potted to $12,000 and Kornuth stuck around for the inconsequential {6-Hearts} river. There was $30K in the middle so Galfond jammed for $20K effective, with Kornuth letting it go without a fight.

They were almost $28K deep on the other table at the same time as Kornuth raised preflop and Galfond called, bringing a {6-Clubs}{3-Diamonds}{q-Spades} flop. Galfond check-called $900, then he checked and faced a pot-sized bet of $3K on the {j-Spades}. Galfond check-raised pot to $12K there also, and Kornuth shoved.

Galfond: {k-Hearts}{q-Hearts}{q-Diamonds}{7-Hearts}
Kornuth: {8-Spades}{6-Spades}{6-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}

Both had monster hands but Galfond was in command with top set. The {9-Hearts} river ensured him of a pot north of $55K.

Buried nearly $150K, Kornuth opted to call it an early day.

Hands Played: 350
Results: Phil Galfond +~$143,000
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Day 28

Unlike the previous day, things would start off a bit more slowly, until about an hour in when Kornuth got the four-bet in with the players about $28K deep. Galfond peeled and then led out for half-pot, $5,400, on {5-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}. Kornuth shoved and stacks were in for a pot just shy of $56K.

Galfond: {8-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{8-Spades}{6-Clubs}
Kornuth: {a-Hearts}{9-Hearts}{9-Spades}{6-Spades}

It was a nasty cooler, with Kornuth on the better end of it. Galfond still had a shot with his gutter, but that ended when a {5-Spades} hit, and Kornuth made quads on the river to boot.

Kornuth kept rolling on that table until he had built a stack just shy of $100K, meaning Galfond was down a few buy-ins as they approached the two-hour mark. Galfond did snag a $33K pot when he potted a completed board of {6-Diamonds}{7-Hearts}{k-Hearts}{4-Diamonds}{2-Spades} with the nuts and got paid, but it was still a fairly ugly start for him.

A bit after the break, Kornuth half-potted a {q-Clubs}{a-Clubs}{7-Diamonds} flop after three-betting then went full pot for $7,200 on the {4-Hearts}. Galfond set him in for $11,098 more and Kornuth quickly called with {a-Hearts}{q-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds} but top two was no good against {7-Clubs}{4-Clubs}{7-Spades}{5-Diamonds} for a set. The {9-Hearts} wasn't what Kornuth needed, and Galfond raked in a stack.

Another $30K pot went to Galfond when he checked and picked off a pot-sized river bet of $10K on a board of {5-Diamonds}{j-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{7-Clubs}. Kornuth had been bluffing with {a-Diamonds}{k-Clubs}{a-Spades}{3-Hearts} but Galfond had a pretty weak holding with {k-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{8-Spades}{7-Spades} and opted to call anyway.

It was Kornuth's turn to play hero when Galfond check-raised from $900 to $2,400 on {10-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{3-Spades}. Kornuth called then called a pot-sized bet of $6K on the {8-Hearts}. On the {4-Diamonds} river, Galfond shoved for $13,596 effective, a bit over two-thirds of the pot. Kornuth went into his time bank then called with {a-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{k-Hearts}{10-Spades}, having had his two pair counterfeit but still holding full house blockers. It was good as Galfond had been bluffing with {q-Clubs}{5-Clubs}{9-Hearts}{3-Hearts} from the start.

Kornuth got the better of the stretch run and put a dent in Galfond's $300K upswing with a medium win.

Hands Played: 500
Results: Chance Kornuth +~$48,000
Full session video

Want to know everything about the Galfond Challenge? Check out the PokerNews Galfond Challenge page for more information!

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  • A once-dominant lead for Chance Kornuth has shrunk considerably as Phil Galfond gains momentum.

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