Phil Galfond is an American professional poker player. In 2008, Galfond won a World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet by taking down the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event. On his way to the title, Galfond outplayed a field of 152 players including Adam Houran in heads-up play. He would go on to capture two more bracelets to become a three-time WSOP bracelet winner.
Galfond is also known as one of the best players in online poker history where he played under the moniker “OMGClayAiken.”
He’s also prolific in the game of pot-limit Omaha (PLO) and hasn’t shied away from playing the best in the world in his highly-publicized “Galfond Challenges.” That includes victories over Brandon Adams, Chance Kornuth, Bill Perkins, “ActionFreak,” and an epic comeback against “Venividi1993” in 2020.
Galfond, who founded the online poker site Run It Once (RIO) as well as Run It Once Poker Training, is one of the most well-respected players and personalities in the poker industry and is revered for his opinions on business, fairness, and more. Few players carry such weight in the world of poker than Phil Galfond.
Galfond was born in 1985 in North Potomac, Maryland. He attended Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School and studied philosophy at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He entered the live tournament circuit in 2006 and scored his first money finish in the $10,000 Championship Event at the Jack Binion WSOP Circuit Event in Robinsonville, Mississippi.
Galfond finished the tournament in 22nd place for $22,895. However, the live circuit is not what Galfond's primary focus is on. He is a well-known online shark playing $200/$400 stakes and above at the No-limit Texas Hold 'em and Pot-Limit Omaha tables. Galfond boasts more than $10 million in online winnings.
World Series of Poker
Galfond's first WSOP in-the-money finish came in 2006 when he cashed in two events, the $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em and $2,500 Short Handed No-Limit Hold'em for a total of $12,000.
Galfond took down the $5,000 PLO tournament at the 2008 WSOP for more than $800,000 in prize money. Seven years later in 2015, he won Event #29: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship for $224,383 and his second bracelet, and then in 2018 he added a third when he won Event #60: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for $567,788.
Phil Galfond's Top 10 WSOP Results
|2008||$5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha||1st||$817,781|
|2013||$25,000 NLH 6-Handed||2nd||$744,841|
|2018||$10,000 PLO Hi-Lo||1st||$567,788|
|2015||$10,000 NL 2-7 Lowball Draw||1st||$224,383|
|2015||$10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw||4th||$89,939|
|2010||$10,000 Main Event||141st||$57,102|
|2022||Online $5,300 High Roller||6th||$52,320|
|2014||$10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw||6th||$51,538|
|2014||$3,000 NLH Shootout||6th||$48,043|
World Poker Tour
In 2008 Galfond scored a World Poker Tour cash as well. He placed 70th in the $25,000 Championship Event at the Sixth Annual Five Star World Poker Classic WPT World Championship in Las Vegas and collected $39,570. He also took 24th in the 2012 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $31,714.
Due to his reputation as a successful online high-stakes player, Galfond was invited to a number of high-stakes poker TV shows. He won two of those in 2010. He first bested the FullTiltPoker.com Doubles Poker Championship's $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em Qualifying Match 5 and a few weeks later came in first in the Qualifying Match 11. He’s also appeared on High Stakes Poker and several other popular shows and live streams.
As of September 2022, Galfond has just south of $3 million in lifetime live tournament winnings. Interestingly, his top ten career scores are all WSOP events; in fact, more than $2.9 million of his earnings have come from WSOP-related events.
Previous Galfond Challenges
In January 2021, Galfond booked another win this time over Chance Kornuth after moving over $700,000 ahead with less than 10,000 hands remaining in their Challenge.
He thenwon the Galfond Challenge against Bill Perkins before taking on and besting Brandon Adams in the summer of 2021. The Galfond Challenge has yet to return, but in August 2022 in an interview with PokerNews, Galfond hinted that Dan “Jungleman” Cates may be his next opponent.
Want to know everything about the Galfond Challenge? Check out the PokerNews Galfond Challenge page for more information!
Did you know?
- After Black Friday hit the US online poker market, Galfond moved to Vancouver, Canada so that he could continue playing poker online.
- He chose the online alias “OMGClayAiken” hoping that his opponents would be embarrassed to lose to him.
- Galfond is married to Farah Galfond, who portrayed Mimi Lockhart on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives from 1999 to 2007. The two have started a family and currently reside in Las Vegas.
- Galfond once made headlines for having a steel slide installed in his former Manhattan apartment.
- Galfond has a drinking fountain installed in his home office.
- Galfond sold his online poker site, Run It Once, to Rush Street.
- Galfond released a popular PLO training course “Phil Galfond’s PLO Secrets.”