Monday, July 2, 2018 3:25 AM Local Time
Phil Galfond Wins Third Bracelet in Event #60: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Championship
Between high-stakes cash games, getting ready to launch an online poker site and preparing for a new addition to his family, Phil Galfond finds himself a very busy man these days.
However, he did find enough time to sneak into Event #60: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Championship, where he claimed his third bracelet in as many games, along with a $567,788 first-place prize for topping a field of 237.
"There's nothing like the first one, so that stands ahead," Galfond said when asked where this one ranks. "It still feels really good, on par with the second.
"I just ran really hot at the right time. I ran bad all summer, so I was saving it up for now. Now, it's even."
Final Table Results
|1||Phil Galfond||United States||$567,788|
|2||Michael McKenna||United States||$350,922|
|3||Ali Abduljabbar||United States||$240,497|
|4||Chad Power||United States||$168,275|
|5||Chris Lee||United States||$120,263|
|6||Marco Johnson||United States||$87,830|
|7||David "ODB" Baker||United States||$65,579|
|8||Chase Steely||United States||$50,086|
Galfond called the win "unexpected." Part of that comes from PLO8 simply being a game in which he has less experience. Most famous for his online cash game prowess in no-limit hold'em and PLO — Galfond has banked some $8 million in profit according to HighStakesDB — Galfond said he's never played a hand of PLO8 online. His only reps have come as part of a 12-game mix he's been playing in for the past two-plus years.
"Honestly, I don't think it helped me very much because all of that experience is 200 big blinds deep," Galfond said. "It's just a completely different world than being short-stacked in a tournament. I was figuring out as I went. I think I definitely ended the tournament a better PLO8 tournament player than I started."
Another part is that Galfond has simply been playing hardly any poker at all for the past year. He's been focused on the impending launch of Run It Once Poker, with Galfond himself slowly leaking details to the public via series of blog posts.
"I enjoyed it in a different way, but I definitely miss poker," he said.
When the nosebleed cash legend had managed to make time for some grinding this summer, he had expected to play more tournaments but found himself immersed in the cash game scene once again. Some mixed games that Galfond termed "good" ran, so he fired away in those.
Galfond decided to register at the last minute for the PLO8 Championship and advanced along with 23 others to Day 3. As he said himself, he ran quite well throughout the final day in a number of spots.
He got it in behind against Assani Fisher for his tournament life but binked a straight to survive. Later, he twice found himself all in and one card from elimination at the final table. Both times, he chopped on the river. He was also dealt aces a number of times, which his tablemates took notice of and ribbed him about. Galfond wasn't above acknowledging his good fortune.
"As long as I keep getting dealt aces more than the other players combined, I have a good feeling about this one," he wrote on Twitter when he made it to three-handed, outlasting the likes of David "ODB" Baker, Marco Johnson and fellow former online superstar Chris "Genius28" Lee.
Under the watchful eye of a Run It Once videographer, Galfond switched up his strategy and began limping in frequently on the button.
"Three-handed, this game is a game that lends itself to limping more than PLO high," he explained. "You have a lot of hands that are very flop-dependent one way or the other. It's a great low hand or its a great high hand and you'd like to get in there without spending too much to see the flop."
Michael McKenna came into the day as chip leader and continued his domination for most of Day 3. He took a 2-1 lead into heads-up play with Galfond but the two-time bracelet winner continued his small-ball strategy and turned things around.
"Heads up, I didn't raise any hands until the last one," he said. "I just wanted to see a lot of flops. Since I wanted to see flops with my bad hands, I have to limp my good hands because he'd just attack me in that situation."
In the key hand, Galfond made a nine-high straight with four to an eight-high straight on the board, along with the nut low. McKenna paid off a pot-sized river bet of just under 3 million. With only a little under 12 million in play at 80,000/160,000, that meant Galfond moved into a big lead. Within half an hour, he finished off McKenna, who booked his second top finish inside of a week after coming fourth in $1,500 Razz.
So, Galfond added a third bracelet to his trophy case. He's inching closer to launching the project of his dreams after years of effort, which could mean a lessened workload.
Is Phil Galfond, poker pro, ready to return to the felt full time, to the likely chagrin of his opponents, competing for bracelets and crushing cash games once again?
Don't count on it.
"It feels like we're almost there and finally I'll be free," Galfond said. "But, I can only imagine there's going to be more work once we launch the poker site. I'd like to find a way to play more poker because I really miss it. But, Run it Once poker is going to be the first priority."
A talent like Galfond can make even his cameo appearances into star turns, though, as he proved once again in securing his third piece of WSOP gold.
Monday, July 2, 2018 1:57 AM Local Time
Michael McKenna Eliminated in 2nd Place ($350,922)
Phil Galfond potted on the button.
"All right," Michael McKenna said. "Let's go."
He stuck in his 800,000 or so and they showed down.
The flop helped neither player but Galfond paired up on the river. The kept him best with a two-way hand while McKenna totally bricked to finish runner-up.
|Phil Galfond||11,850,000||1,400,000 |
|Michael McKenna||0||-1,400,000 |
Monday, July 2, 2018 1:48 AM Local Time
McKenna Under Two Million
Phil Galfond limped and Michael McKenna checked.
The pair checked the flop and the turn was the . McKenna bet 160,000 and Galfond called.
The pair checked the river.
"Fours," said McKenna. Galfond showed for a pair of fives and the low and took down the pot.
|Phil Galfond||10,450,000||700,000 |
|Michael McKenna||1,400,000||-700,000 |
Monday, July 2, 2018 1:42 AM Local Time
River Saves McKenna
Michael McKenna raised to 320,000 and called a pot-sized raise to 960,000 from Phil Galfond. The flop came and Galfond piled, with McKenna quickly calling with . Galfond had and turned a flush when the hit. However, McKenna made a low with the river.
"I scoop?" he asked.
Galfond indicated his flush.
"I thought I scooped, actually," Galfond said with a smile.
Monday, July 2, 2018 1:27 AM Local Time
Galfond Moves into the Chip Lead
Michael McKenna raised to 260,000 and Phil Galfond called.
Both players checked the flop. Galfond checked the turn and McKenna bet 300,000. Galfond check-raised to 1,200,000 and McKenna called.
The river was the . Galfond bet pot for 2,920,000 and McKenna called.
"I have ace-deuce and a straight," said Galfond, showing .
"How big is your straight?" said McKenna, peering down towards the end of the table. "F*ck," he said before counting out the chips for his opponent.
|Phil Galfond||9,750,000||5,080,000 |
|Michael McKenna||2,100,000||-5,080,000 |
Monday, July 2, 2018 1:21 AM Local Time
Level 30 started
Monday, July 2, 2018 1:14 AM Local Time
Galfond Gets Some Back
Phil Galfond and Michael McKenna saw a flop for the minimum. Galfond check-called 125,000. He check-called 300,000 on the and 700,000 on the .
"Queens and a low," McKenna announced, showing .
Galfond announced something we didn't hear but it must have undersold his hand as he apologized after revealing for a straight and a slightly better low. He scooped the pot.
|Michael McKenna||7,180,000||-1,620,000 |
|Phil Galfond||4,670,000||1,620,000 |
Monday, July 2, 2018 1:08 AM Local Time
McKenna Extends His Chip Lead
Both players put in 320,000 pre-flop. On a flop, Michael McKenna bet 300,000 and Phil Galfond called.
The turn was the and McKenna bet 750,000. Galfond called again.
The river was the . McKenna announced pot, and bet 2,740,000. Galfond took just over a minute with his decision before folding.
|Michael McKenna||8,800,000||1,450,000 |
|Phil Galfond||3,050,000||-1,450,000 |
Monday, July 2, 2018 12:59 AM Local Time
Galfond Wins a Small One
Phil Galfond limped and Michael McKenna raised to 240,000. Galfond announced pot to 720,000. McKenna called.
The flop came and McKenna check-folded to a bet of 1,000,000.
|Michael McKenna||7,350,000||-1,100,000 |
|Phil Galfond||4,500,000||1,100,000 |
Monday, July 2, 2018 12:57 AM Local Time
McKenna Takes Early Momentum
Michael McKenna bet 150,000 on after he and Phil Galfond saw it for the minimum. Galfond called but folded to 300,000 more on the turn.
The next hand, McKenna raised to 260,000 and Galfond called. McKenna bet 300,000 on the flop and Galfond called. Galfond checked the turn and folded to a bet of 600,000.
|Michael McKenna||8,450,000||500,000 |
|Phil Galfond||3,400,000||-500,000 |
Monday, July 2, 2018 12:55 AM Local Time
Ali Abduljabbar Eliminated in 3rd Place ($240,497)
Michael McKenna raised to 240,000 and Ali Abduljabbar defended his big blind.
The flop came . Abduljabbar checked and McKenna continued for 300,000. Abduljabbar then announced pot and raised to 1,460,000.
"Before you act," Abduljabbar said to McKenna. "Before you act, let me propose a toast for my rail!"
McKenna paused before he did anything and the three players, including Phil Galfond, and their respective rails all loudly said "Cheers."
"Ok let's get this in," said McKenna after a pause to count the pot.
"I have a set boys," said Abduljabbar.
"Low cards!" cried the rail, but the turn gave McKenna a straight. The river was the and Abduljabbar was eliminated in third place.
|Michael McKenna||7,950,000||2,550,000 |
|Phil Galfond||3,900,000||0 |
|Ali Abduljabbar||0||-2,580,000 |
Monday, July 2, 2018 12:43 AM Local Time
Galfond Pays McKenna
Right after they chopped a pot on — Phil Galfond played for a low straight and Michael McKenna had for low — Galfond and McKenna saw a board of .
McKenna bet 400,000 on the river and Galfond considered awhile and called, losing to for trips.
|Michael McKenna||5,400,000||615,000 |
|Phil Galfond||3,900,000||-515,000 |
Monday, July 2, 2018 12:20 AM Local Time
Level 29 started
Monday, July 2, 2018 12:10 AM Local Time
Chip Counts at the Break
|Michael McKenna||4,785,000||335,000 |
|Phil Galfond||4,415,000||-1,035,000 |
|Ali Abduljabbar||2,580,000||0 |
Monday, July 2, 2018 12:07 AM Local Time
Abduljabbar Bluffs Some Off
Phil Galfond completed and Ali Abduljabbar checked. They both checked the flop to a board of . Galfond bet 100,000 and Abduljabbar made it 250,000. Galfond called and the river was a .
Galfond checked and Abduljabbar bet 300,000. Galfond called and his opponent must have indicated it was a bluff, because Galfond turned over for trips.
|Phil Galfond||5,450,000||1,650,000 |
|Ali Abduljabbar||2,580,000||-320,000 |
Sunday, July 1, 2018 11:53 PM Local Time
Chad Power Eliminated in 4th Place ($168,275)
Chad Power raised to 300,000 and Phil Galfond re-raised. The other players folded and Power was all in.
"Hearts are good, a jack is good," said Power, "And low cards."
The flop came . "A jack would be good," said Power. The turn was the . "That's bad," he said. The river was the and he was eliminated in fourth place.
|Phil Galfond||3,800,000||900,000 |
|Chad Power||0||-1,810,000 |
Sunday, July 1, 2018 11:45 PM Local Time
Friendly Double from McKenna to Power
Michael McKenna opened for 300,000 and reluctantly called the shove of Chad Power, who had 855,000 in the small blind.
"Look at this cheese!" Power exclaimed. "Don't let me lose to this piece of trash. I wouldn't play that hand at a discount."
He didn't as the board ran .
"Man, we are friends, but I didn't know we were that good of friends," Power joked.
|Michael McKenna||4,450,000||-950,000 |
|Chad Power||1,810,000||910,000 |
Sunday, July 1, 2018 11:41 PM Local Time
Chris Lee Eliminated in 5th Place ($120,263)
Chris Lee raised to 350,000 from under the gun. Michael McKenna defended his big blind and then put Lee all in on the flop. Lee called.
The turn gave McKenna a flush and Lee could not make his low on the river and he was eliminated in fifth place for $120,263
|Michael McKenna||5,400,000||760,000 |
|Chris Lee||0||-700,000 |
Sunday, July 1, 2018 11:39 PM Local Time
Marco Johnson Eliminated in 6th Place ($87,830)
Marco Johnson opened for 350,000 under the gun. Michael McKenna called in the next seat and they saw a flop heads up. Johnson potted and McKenna said he was setting him in for the last 200,000 or so.
Top set for McKenna and the and runout was clean for him, good for a knockout with queens full.
|Michael McKenna||4,640,000||1,390,000 |
|Marco Johnson||0||-1,200,000 |
Sunday, July 1, 2018 11:33 PM Local Time
Updated Chip Counts
|Michael McKenna||3,250,000||685,000 |
|Phil Galfond||2,900,000||-700,000 |
|Ali Abduljabbar||2,900,000||700,000 |
|Marco Johnson||1,200,000||-200,000 |
|Chad Power||900,000||-400,000 |
|Chris Lee||700,000||-345,000 |