Posts Tagged ‘Phil Galfond’

Phil Galfond wins 2015 WSOP 2-7 Draw Lowball

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

phil-galfond-2015-wsop-draw-lowballIt’s been eight years, but Phil Galfond finally got his second gold bracelet, winning the 2015 WSOP $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship. Galfond beat an extremely talented 77-player field to win the $224,383 top payout.

“It means a lot — especially in a field this tough and at a table this tough,” said Galfond. “I have a ton of respect for all my opponents […] It’s been seven years since I won [a bracelet]. I’m very happy.”

The last time that Galfond won at the WSOP was in 2008, when he got a bracelet in the $5,000 Omaha event, collecting $817,781 in the process. That final table featured greats like Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth and John Juanda. So it should be no surprise that the final table he faced this time around was equally as tough.

Jorryt van Hoof, Bernard Lee, Eli Elezra, Erik Siedel and Dan Smith all made final table runs. And Galfond’s heads-up opponent was Nick Schulman, who was seeking his third-career win in this very event. However, Schulman came up short in second place, taking $138,665 for the runner-up finish.

“When we were shorthanded, everybody’s so good,” said Galfond, while reflecting on the difficult final table. “Normally in tournaments you tend to sort of shy away from spots because there are going to be better situations to get your money in […] When I was heads up with [Schulman], I’m going to take every spot that presents itself. There’s no huge edge later. Just try to play every hand as best you can.”

With this victory, Phil Galfond now has over $2.3 million in live tournament winnings to go along with the $8 million that he’s won in online poker cash games.

2015 WSOP $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Final Table Results
1. Phil Galfond – $224,383
2. Nick Schulman – $138,665
3. Dan Smith – $87,898
4. Erik Seidel – $59,532
5. Jon Turner – $42,298
6. Eli Elezra – $31,463
7. Adam Owen – $24,457
8. Bernard Lee – $19,824
9. Jorryt van Hoof – $17,067

Debate over whether Full Tilt Players cheated Guy Laliberte

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Earlier this week, Cirque du Soleil owner and high stakes poker player Guy Laliberte told Le Journal De Montreal that he was essentially cheated at Full Tilt Poker.

Although the French-to-English translation is a little choppy, Laliberte alleges that famous pros were borrowing an endless supply of money from Full Tilt. Combining this unlimited bankroll with their skill edge, the unnamed online poker players (reportedly Patrik Antonius, Tom Dwan, Gus Hansen, David Benyamine and others) were able to beat Laliberte out of an estimated $26 million. Here’s a translated look at what Guy told the Journal:

“I should have remembered that I am a dinosaur compared to this [internet].”

“The story of Full Tilt is clear: I got scammed, squarely, by people I knew personally who used unfillted bank, paying no money.

“By dint of” All in “all the time, when it’s not your own money, and they printed money to play against me, and they put two, three …; I was stupid. “

A TwoPlusTwo thread quickly opened up on the matter and it already contains a sizable number of posts. First off, nobody knows exactly what to make of Laliberte’s statements because A) they are a little vague, and B) most 2p2 users speak English and are only getting the google-translated version. But the general debate here revolves around whether or not playing with an unlimited bankroll is considered cheating, at least when the whale in question doesn’t know about it.

Another point of contention is whether certain FTP players were equity chopping behind Laliberte’s back. Assuming he didn’t truly know about this, then one could definitely make a case that secret equity chops would be cheating. Here’s a good point from “iosys” on page 2 of the TwoPlusTwo thread:

If we are not talking heads up matches but fill ring tables where multiple people shove in a hand (all in) with him being in that pot and everyone sharing equity. He got ripped off and that is morally wrong to be doing that to someone. He is definitely not a sucker for having that happen to him and I can see why he would be mad, even if the money doesn’t matter to him.

Reverting back to the unlimited bankroll topic, many TwoPlusTwo posters have gone back and forth about this one. Some believe that Laliberte would’ve lost anyways since he was competing against the best. So if they were merely borrowing fake money from FTP, it doesn’t matter because they still won. Some have even likened it to the Andy Beal situation, where he took on “The Corporation,” a group of elite pros who pooled their bankroll to play at stakes as high as $50k/$100k.

But the difference here was that Beal knew full well what he was up against. Laliberte, on the other hand, likely had no knowledge that he was competing against players with a near-infinite bankroll. That said, he probably thought that his massive reserves of money was one of his advantages, just like Beal did several years earlier.

It’s hard to say for sure where the moral line lies in Laliberte’s games against some of poker’s best. Moreover, we should also consider that maybe not everything Laliberte assumes is the truth, and he could’ve simply been beaten by better players.

Jonathan Duhamel responds to Hachem’s Comments on WSOP Ambassadorship

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

One subject that’s frequently come up this year is the level of responsibility that WSOP Main Event champions bear in regard to making poker fun/inviting. Joe Hachem is the one who kicked this discussion off when he said that Main Event champs need to be ambassadors for the game. He specifically called out Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang for “destroying the legacy of the world champion.”

He didn’t elaborate, but we can only assume that Hachem thinks both players have done a poor job of promoting poker after winning the Main Event. The Aussie may also think that Gold’s ME bracelet being auctioned off and Yang’s tax troubles have further tarnished what it means to be a champ.

In any case, 2010 WSOP Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel recently gave his take on ME champs and young players in general. Writing from his PokerStars blog, Duhamel doesn’t totally agree with Hachem, but he does point out that everybody bears some kind of responsibility in making poker fun and keeping recreational players around. He wrote the following two excerpts in his post:

Joe mentioned Jamie Gold and Jerry Yang in his comments (who won in 2006 and 2007) and how those two kind of disappeared from the poker scene after winning their titles, but to me that’s not necessarily good or bad. Sometimes a career in poker is not for everyone, especially for guys who have other jobs or families as can be the case for players who are a little older. Not everyone who wins the WSOP Main Event wants to tour all of the time or continue playing tournaments, and that is absolutely their choice.

(cont’d later) So Joe’s making a call to everyone — Main Event champions, young players, and those with more experience, too — to keep in mind when playing live to be friendly and do what we can to make sure everyone is having fun. Obviously the recreational players aren’t going to come back if they don’t have fun, and that hurts not just them but everyone.

Duhamel also cited posts that he liked from Daniel Negreanu and Phil Galfond, two more guys who present broader visions for what can keep poker entertaining.

The overall takeaway from Duhamel’s post is that all successful pros need to work at keeping both profits and fun in mind. After all, if the recreational players don’t keep coming back, the dead money drives up in poker and you’ll have less available profits, smaller game selection and a poker world that looks more like 2001.

Barcode – The Mysterious Online Poker Phenom

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

When it comes to high stakes online poker, we’re used to seeing names like Phil Galfond and Viktor Blom dominating the news. However, a new and mysterious player named “Barcode” (a.k.a. 1Il|1Il|1il|) has been experiencing most of the success lately.

Getting into the specifics, this player is fresh off of a week where he made over $554k. And this isn’t the only success that Barcode has experienced because he’s managed to collect over $1.3 million while playing against some of the top online poker players in the world. October 11th was an especially good day since he was able to win $557k in profits!

Apparently, Barcode makes the bulk of his money on the PokerStars $100/$200 and $200/$400 PLO tables. This certainly isn’t surprising because these games are a favorite among many of the world’s top players. It’ll definitely be interesting to see if Barcode continues to top the nosebleeds and haul in major profits.

Tony G backing Jungleman

In other big high stakes news, Tony “G” Gouga has announced that he’s going to stake Dan Cates. Gouga wrote about the news with the following:

I have talked before about how I wanted to stake Isildur1 – well I am back in the staking business now as I am backing Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates. I think this guy could turn $5 million into $100 million – he’s a genius. I started off by backing him for the WPT Grand Prix de Paris and intend to back him live but predominantly online.

To those who’ve followed high stakes in the past, it may seem weird that Cates is being staked. After all, he made over $5 million in 2010 profits and has collected around $8 million overall. However, he’s also had a lot of money locked up on Full Tilt over the last year and a half. Plus it seems like he may have hit a little downswing as Gouga said, “He has definitely had his ups and downs but his heart is in the right place.”

With a rich backer like Tony G, it will be very interesting to see how Cates does in the near future.

Phil Galfond robbed by Blue Fire Poker?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

No online poker instructor is as famous as Phil Galfond. The high stakes PLO expert developed a cult following over the past few years for his personable, knowledgeable and humble training videos on Blue Fire Poker. Unfortunately, the days of Galfond doing training videos came to an end when he mysteriously left the site late last year.

No true reasons were given for the split, and many people felt like it was weird because they thought Galfond owned Blue Fire Poker. But as it turns out, he was merely a minority owner who made training videos and served as the face of Blue Fire. Now it appears as if a corrupted business relationship between him and former business partner Williams F. Murphy may be behind the story.

According to Galfond, his contract with Murphy stated that he was to retain 38.33% ownership of Blue Fire and be entitled to 33.33% of the profits. However, the popular poker pro doesn’t feel as though Murphy stayed true to this deal, and he’s suing the current Blue Fire Poker owner. Galfond’s legal stance is summed up with the following statement:

Blue Fire has been immensely successful, having thousands of members who pay an initial enrollment fee of $100 in addition to a subscription fee of $30 per month. Upon information and belief, the defendant Murphy has misappropriated and converted to his own use and possession the assets of MGH (parent company).

Elaborating on the legal statement, Galfond never saw any accounting records for how much money the site was making. He merely trusted that Murphy was keeping up his end of the deal. And despite receiving a collective $409,000 in 2009 and 2010, Galfond maintains that he is still owed money – especially for 2011, which he hasn’t received any compensation for.

Vegas Inc covers Online Poker Move to Canada

Monday, August 8th, 2011

As we discussed at the beginning of August, several prominent online poker pros like Phil Galfond, Cole South and Dan “Jungleman12” Cates have either moved to Canada, or are in the process of moving to Canada. This being said, the website Vegas Inc did a good story on this subject entitled “Exodus of Online Poker Players under way.”

This article revolved around how lots of Las Vegas poker pros are seriously considering going up north because the live poker game just isn’t the same. Vegas Inc wrote the following:

Las Vegas became a favored home base for many poker professionals because of the concentration of big-money poker games, tournaments and all-hours access to amenities and entertainment. Many online players also play poker in casinos — although those who make most of their money in virtual poker rooms have little use for the typically slower and more expensive games offered in Las Vegas casinos.

Tony Dunst, who not only plays online poker professionally, but also works for the WPT, had plenty more to say on why Las Vegas-based online poker pros hate the live game so much. He said, “Live (casino) poker is really slow and monotonous, and the casino setting is generally unpleasant. You’re sitting in a chair for nine hours around people you might not like or want to listen to.”

He finished by adding, “For people like us who play eight to 20 games at a time from the comfort of our own home … your buddies are around and you can watch movies and order food. You can talk strategy and communicate with friends from all over the world.”

Shaun Deeb was also featured heavily in this article, and he looks to be the next big-time pro to make the jump to Canada. Deeb told Vegas Inc, “I used to play poker for 100 hours a week. Every day I sit around I get more motivated to leave.” With over $6 million in online poker tournament winnings, it would be stupid for Deeb not to leave for the greener pastures in Canada.

Assuming you want to see more from the Vegas Inc article, you can check it out here.