Phil Galfond Defeats ‘ActionFreak’ in Galfond Challenge

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Galfond Challenge
In the second Galfond Challenge match, Phil Galfond defeated 'ActionFreak'

The second ‘Galfond Challenge‘ is complete and once again Phil Galfond is the winner. On Tuesday, Galfond finished his challenge against Ioannis ‘ActionFreak’ Kontonatsios, winning approximately €115,000 from play and a €150,000 side bet.

Although Galfond lost the final session by about €123,000, it wasn’t enough to overcome the lead Galfond had. Entering the final session, Galfond was up nearly €240,000. ‘ActionFreak’ gave it a good run on the final day but it ultimately wasn’t enough. Galfond and ‘ActionFreak’ played 15,000 hands of €150-300 PLO. With the result, ‘ActionFreak’ lost a combined €265,000 to Galfond.

The victory was the second Galfond Challenge match win for Galfond. He had previously defeated ‘VeniVidi1993’ in an epic comeback that resulted in Galfond winning €101,671.58 from ‘VeniVidi1993.’ Through the two complete Galfond Challenge matches, Galfond is up a total of €366,000.

Galfond also has an ongoing match against Bill Perkins that is just more than 1,000 hands complete. In that competition, Galfond is up more than $90,000.

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The challenge against ‘ActionFreak’ played out a bit different than the one against ‘VeniVidi1993.’ Against ‘VeniVidi1993,’ Galfond was getting crushed through the first 15 sessions and it even appeared that Galfond might forfeit the match and move on. After taking an extended break, Galfond returned to battle with ‘VeniVidi1993’ and mounted a comeback for the ages to win that Galfond Challenge match.

Against ‘ActionFreak,’ Galfond held the overall lead virtually from start to finish. Of the 16 sessions that were played, Galfond was only behind overall following the first two sessions. Following a win of more than €310,000 in the third session and more than €113,000 in the fourth session, Galfond never looked back.

Through 10,000 hands, Galfond was up six figures. Galfond then won €165,000 and €179,000 on back-to-back days of May 21 and May 22, which pushed his lead to more than €450,000 overall. From there, Galfond held on to the finish.

In the final session, ‘ActionFreak’ did what he could to battle back but the hole he was in proved too deep to climb out of. One aspect that likely helped Galfond maintain his lead was a feature that was added to the challenge later on. Galfond and ‘ActionFreak’ were aware that partypoker, where they were playing the challenge, was going to be implementing a feature that all all-in pots would be run twice in games in private rooms.

The Galfond Challenge between the two was being played in a private room on partypoker. Eventually, the two had to run all of the all-in pots twice. If ‘ActionFreak’ was looking to gamble more and increase the variance to try and cut his deficit, a variance-reducing feature such as running it twice wouldn’t be in his favor.

Galfond vs. ‘ActionFreak’ Results

Hands Played Daily Winner Amount Won
Day 1 (Apr. 27) 145 ActionFreak €11,162.32
Day 2 (Apr. 28) 1,017 Phil Galfond €3,632.83
Day 3 (Apr. 30) 844 Phil Galfond €310,594.59
Day 4 (May 1) 665 Phil Galfond €113,377.48
Day 5 (May 4) 680 ActionFreak €95,304.17
Day 6 (May 5) 734 ActionFreak €78,919.35
Day 7 (May 7) 746 Phil Galfond €26,980.36
Day 8 (May 9) 944 Phil Galfond €165,093.85
Day 9 (May 11) 721 ActionFreak €256,044
Day 10 (May 12) 776 Phil Galfond €19,003.35
Day 11 (May 14) 784 ActionFreak €23,363.64
Day 12 (May 15) 710 ActionFreak €57,580.53
Day 13 (May 16) 716 Phil Galfond €48,169.76
Day 14 (May 19) 740 ActionFreak €61,136.84
Day 15 (May 21) 832 Phil Galfond €165,417.31
Day 16 (May 22) 674 Phil Galfond €179,545.58
Day 17 (May 23) 725 ActionFreak €180,000
Day 18 (May 24) 840 Phil Galfond €135,000
Day 19 (May 25) 820 ActionFreak €168,000
Day 20 (May 26) 881 ActionFreak €123,000
Total 15,000 Phil Galfond €114,803.51

What’s Next for the Galfond Challenge?

As mentioned, Galfond has a challenge against Perkins that has already started, so he’ll be able to resume that whenever the two are able. Sessions between Galfond and Perkins have been more sporadic but will likely pick up now that Galfond’s battle against ‘ActionFreak’ is done. Galfond could also start playing one of his other challenges as well, such as the one against Chance Kornuth.