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Three Poker Pros Accept "Galfond Challenge"

Dan Cates, Brandon Adams And Online Phenom Accept Matches With Phil Galfond

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Three high-stakes pros have accepted Phil Galfond’s heads-up challenge, bringing the total number of matches for the high-stakes legend to four.

Last Friday, Galfond announced that he had come to terms on a bet with current high-stakes online pot-limit Omaha crusher ‘Venividi1993.’ There isn’t much information on Venividi1993’s true identity, but he has been tracked by High Stakes DB since 2016 and is one of the biggest winners in the biggest PLO games on the internet.

Galfond and the online phenom agreed to play 25,000 hands of €100-€200 PLO online. Like all of his other matches, whoever is up at the end of the allotted hands will win a side bet. For this match, Galfond is laying 2:1 with his €200,000 up for grabs, while his opponent could lose an extra €100,000.

On Sunday, Galfond released the finalized details of the match and announced that this match would start by January 22 and the two will play a minimum of two tables for four hours a day, five days a week until the 25,000-hand mark is hit. As with his other matches, if either player wants to quit before the end of the allotted number of hands, that player will lose the match and the side bet.

This is a much different type of competitor than the first player to accept Galfond’s heads-up challenge. Entrepreneur Bill Perkins and the streamers on his Twitch channel were the first players to establish a match, but none of them are as seasoned as Venividi1993.

In fact, Poker Shares tweeted that they were taking bets on the match with Galfond as the underdog at +125

Later on Sunday, Galfond announced his third opponent of the challenge series. While playing in Bobby’s room, he asked Dan ‘Jungleman” Cates if he would take the challenge himself. He recorded the response and posted it to Twitter.

“I’m going to take you down in style and I’m going to show you a new definition of pain,” said Cates somewhat in jest. “I’m not in it for the money. I’m in it for the glory.”

Cates and Galfond will play 7,500 hands of €100-€200 PLO. The side bet is still being finalized, but Galfond said that unlike the other matches, the side bet will be even money. Both Galfond and Cates will stream their match.

The fourth match of the challenge is the first to take place in the live arena. Wednesday morning Galfond announced that Brandon Adams will be his fourth competitor. The two will play 40 hours of live poker at stakes of $100-$200 PLO.

Galfond is laying 1.5:1 with his $150,000 up for grabs against Adams’ $100,000. The match will start this summer and they both intend to try and stream it.

High-stakes PLO regular Fernando “JNandez87” Habegger was originally Galfond’s second match. On December 9, Habegger and Galfond agreed to 50,000 hands of $100-$200 online PLO with Galfond putting up $1 million on the side to win Habegger’s $200,000.

Tuesday morning, however, Habegger announced that he is backing out of the challenge. According to his tweet, Habegger felt that he couldn’t put in the time necessary to maximize the EV of his backers.

With only three of the matches having finalized details, Galfond already has $1.15 million at risk in side bets. He still expects to obtain three more matches and will be releasing the details of the side bet with Cates in the near future.

All of the matches will take place at Galfond’s own site, Run It Once Poker.