Nearly 10000 hands into the first half of the Galfond Challenge and Phil Galfond is in the hole for €800000 to the VeniVidi. To make things worse, with about €200000 on the line, he stands is likely to lose nearly one million euros, assuming things remains as they are.
Plus, very few observers expect him to make some sort of profit as the challenge continues. That said, if you were in his position, what would you play be? Bear in mind that tilting his move could cost him an additional one million, while just sitting there and making no move means he will continue to slide.
He has to check his loses, convert them into a profit and also keep up a demeanor and class in the same vein. He has to achieve all these all while under pressure from poker insiders and his young children. History has a lot to teach him and give him the way forward, an example of which is the Tom Dwan challenge.
Galfond’s mission, in this case, is very clear. He needs to get back to the game. However, he has only managed to enjoy a huge winning day, in which case he was up more than €80000 by the close of the game. He is currently down by close to 10x more than this figure, and there is a 62 percent chance that Galfond’s challenge will continue to run. That, in itself is good news, or bad news. But, theoretically, he has plenty of time for him to get back to winning.
The flip side of this logic is that things might get worse by end of the challenge. After his opening challenge, there are about four more to get through, and he has to face the likes of Bill Perkins, who is next in play, and he is eager to play because he needs to promote his book Die with Zero, which will be out in the next three months.
Galfond has a quite a following, but if is fan feel he is not okay, then something must be off. He did answer there queries with a few soul searching twits, in which he mentions the downsides of a downswings. In his second part of the self-evaluation, he looks at his possible choices as he plans to fight back against VeniVidi.
If he manages to get back to the Galfond Challenge, he may just upgrade his hero status to gold-plated. But, if he does not, then the way he will deal with the loss will be one of the factors that grow his reputation. Presently, irrespective of the losses he may incur, he will come out of this challenge with a bigger standing in the poker space.