There was a moment during the Phil Galfond Challenge against the mysterious VeniVidi1993 where the cell door closed, and Galfond’s fans thought they would never see him again.
Things have changed.
It’s as if a poker medical man stuck Thor-powered defibrillators onto the hairy chest of the fan favourite because in the past 13 sessions we’ve seen lightning pouring from his fingers.
The Vulnerability to Take a Break
Day 15 of the Phil Galfond Challenge turned out to be a pivotal moment for many reasons. Galfond was down close to a million euros. Thanks to his willingness to share his vulnerability, we knew, via Twitter, that Galfond’s mindset was all over the place.
The Run It Once (RIO) founder absconded with the deck, promising to decide on the future of the battle in good time, leaving his fans pondering the unthinkable – would their champion quit as early as this?
The Mental Game of Poker
Galfond’s decision to ask for a timeout in such a public challenge shows how critical it is for professional poker players to dedicate enough time to work on their mindset as they do on the technical aspects of their game.
We are witnessing that a 25,000 hand, €100/€200, €20,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) heads-up battle is much more than luck and technical ability. With technical edges so subtle when it comes to the talents of titans such as this, the advantage must come from physical shape and the ability to deal with the emotional turbulence of high stakes poker.
We know that Galfond has had his problems when it comes to his fixed mindset preventing him from working on the technical aspect of his game, but we also know his growth mindset led him into the more than capable hands of mindset coach, Elliot Roe.
We wonder if VeniVidi1993 also has this side of his self-improvement covered.
Stacked and Stacked Again
Fans of the Galfond Challenge were left sucking their thumbs after the Day 28 peephole closed dramatically, as Galfond stacked VeniVidi1993 in back-to-back pots.
In the first hand, both players were staring at a flop of Th6c4h and €3,599 in the pot. The aggressor, VeniVidi1993, bet pot, and Galfond called after not much fuss. The 4d arrived on the turn, and VeniVidi1993 bet €3,200 into a €10,797 pot, and once again, Galfond made a swift call. The Kc came on the river, VeniVidi1993 jammed for his remaining €15,940.62, and Galfond called. VeniVidi1993 showed 8d7h6s5d for the airball, and Galfond showed KhKsQsAs, for the rivered full house.
In the very next hand, Galfond raised pre, and VeniVidi1993 made the call. The dealer sent 4d4s8h out to play, VeniVidi1993 bet €899.25, and Galfond called. The 6s arrived on the fourth-street, and VeniVidi1993 bet pot; Galfond called. The 3c came on the river, and VeniVidi1993 bet €8,992.50, and Galfond put him all-in.
“Nice hand,” VeniVidi1993 posted in the chat before calling.
VeniVidi1993 showed JsJh4h3h for the full-house, but Galfond showed KdQs6h6d for the bigger full house.
We then saw a few more orbits, before VeniVidi1993 sat out on both tables, and the commentary team realised that the man who had zoomed out to a near million euro lead, was likely running around his back garden, cold soil between his toes, howling at the moon in a moment of madness.
The pair played 503 hands, and Galfond finished €140,979.28 up in a dominating performance.
A little while later, Galfond confirmed on Twitter that VeniVidi1993 had decided to take a break. It won’t be as long as Galfond’s (the pair are due to butt heads again on Thursday, March 26.
Give the man a call.
Here are the highlights of that final day, including those incredible last hands.
Day 1, 655 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €72,572.68
Day 2, 715 hands, Phil Galfond wins €2,615.26
Day 3, 557 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €84,437.52
Day 4, 581 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €17,544.87
Day 5, 726 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €155,063.52
Day 6, 703 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €13.31
Day 7, 823 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €52,057.13
Day 8, 940 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €60,743.37
Day 9, 446 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €12,706.51
Day 10, 696 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €100,993.30
Day 11, 741 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €15,647.36
Day 12, 622 hands, Phil Galfond wins €87,940.91
Day 13, 470 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €267,949.70
Day 14, 593 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €48,473.73
Day 15, 659 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €102,593.34
Phil Galfond Calls for a Break
Day 16, 574 hands, Phil Galfond wins €183,481.38
Day 17, 582 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €21,571,51
Day 18, 555 hands, Phil Galfond wins €27,198.94
Day 19, 638 hands, Phil Galfond wins €26,018.41
Day 20, 566 hands, Phil Galfond wins €92,803.89
Day 21, 576 hands, Phil Galfond wins €3,766.94
Day 22, 556 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €88,465,60
Day 23, 598 hands, Phil Galfond wins €23,821.05
Day 24, 628 hands, Phil Galfond wins €19,099.65
Day 25, 664 hands, Phil Galfond wins €139,485.78
Day 26, 539 hands, Phil Galfond wins €110,752.58
Day 27, 645 hands, VeniVidi1993 wins €76,026.05
Day 28, 503 hands, Phil Galfond wins €140,979.28
VeniVidi1993 Calls for a Break
Total hands: 17,551
VeniVidi1993 is uo €318,895.43
There are 7,449 hands left to play.
Remember, there is a side bet of Galfond’s €200,000 versus the €100,000 of VeniVidi1993.