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WSOP: Bracelet Winner Q and A -- Phil Galfond

Galfond Discusses His Stacked Final Table and His Quirky Online Name

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Phil GalfondNegreanu, Hellmuth, Benyamine, Juanda, Gerasimov, Chan … Galfond? In what some have regarded as the best final table ever assembled in World Series of Poker history, Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond emerged as the champion, earning over $800,000.

Despite the star-studded final table, Galfond maintained his composure, along with another online pro, Adam Hourani. The two Internet superstars, who play upwards of $200-$400 pot-limit Omaha, outlasted the walking billboards that make up some of the game’s best, to battle heads up for the title. LOL Galfondaments, indeed.

After winning the marathon heads-up session, Galfond spoke to Card Player about his victory, and the reason for choosing his online name.

Question: Can you talk about how you maintained your composure, even as Adam kept doubling up?

Phil Galfond: The truth is, I did kind of freak out when he kept coming back, but I’ve played so many hands of pot-limit Omaha at all different stack sizes that it’s all become second nature to me. I was focused, even though I was nervous and stressed out about it. I certainly knew what to do.

Q: You’ve given all of the politically correct answers, but now that the cameras are off of you, who were the toughest players at the table?

PG: I have to say that, without a doubt, coming into the day I was most worried about David Benyamine and Brian “tsarrast” Rast. Both players are excellent, and they both came in with big stacks. As Adam chipped up, I started to get really worried about him, as well.

Q: So, I guess we will ignore those Juanda, Negreanu, Chan, and Hellmuth players then. You’ve played with Rast and Benyamine in some $200-$400 pot-limit Omaha games online. How was it to play them live?

PG: It was tough. I like David a lot, but I was honestly rooting against him every time he got it all in. He’s just too tough. I really wanted him to lose.

Q: Daniel Negreanu barely made a profit after rebuying for $85,000. How much were you in for?

Phil GalfondPG: I was only in for $25,000. I brought $100,000 with me, but I just ran too good during the rebuy period.

Q: So, why OMGClayAiken?

PG: I get asked that question a lot, actually. Basically, when I created my screen name, most that I saw were just cocky, tough, and macho. I wanted to do the opposite. I wanted people to be embarrassed to lose to me.

Q: What do you think of Reuben Studdard’s new album?

PG: I haven’t gotten around to listening to it yet. I mean, I’m not a Clay Aiken fan, but I’m not not a Clay Aiken fan (laughing). I have watched a ton of American Idol, though.