Phil Galfond is the most recent bracelet recipient at the 49th annual World Series of Poker, winning his third piece of WSOP gold and $567,788. The 33-year-old conquered Event 60: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship, which encompassed a total of 237 players and took three days to complete.
Michael McKenna was Galfond's final opponent. A large pot was scooped by Galfond early on in heads-up action, giving him a nice chip advantage. From there, Galfond slowly whittled down McKenna's stack. After beginning Day 3 as the outright chip leader, McKenna was left as the runner up, walking away with $350,922 for his deep run.
Returning to the winner's circle, Galfond added a third WSOP gold bracelet to his collection. The poker pro's debut bracelet manifested during 2008 in a PLO Rebuy Event and his second was won in the No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship of 2015. Galfond now has two bracelets stemming from Pot-Limit Omaha, but the recent was his first in the realm of Hi-Lo.
“I’ve basically never played PLO8 online. There is a mix game I’ve been playing live for two and a half years, 12 games, and one of them is PLO8... So, I’ve played a little bit," Galfond explained "Honestly, I don’t think it helped me very much… So, I was figuring out as I went. I think I definitely ended the tournament a better tournament PLO8 player than I started.”
Even with very limited experience when it came to Omaha Hi-Lo tournaments, Galfond pushed through the field as usual, calm, cool, and collected. Some other notable names who cashed in the $10,000 buy-in event included Marco Johnson (6th place), David "ODB" Baker (7th place), Brandon Shack-Harris (12th place), Cliff Josephy (19th place), and Eli Elezra (22nd place).
When asked to compare his past gold-bracelet accomplishments with his recent milestone, Galfond responded with “I guess there’s nothing like the first one. That stands ahead, but it still feels really good and definitely on par with the second.” He also added that the victory was "a little more unexpected" than the others.
The surprise factor of bracelet number three stemmed from the fact that Galfond has had very little exposure to poker competition throughout the past year.
“So, from last summer to this summer, in between, I almost played no poker whatsoever and I just worked," said the Maryland native. "I mean I enjoyed it in a different way, but I definitely miss poker.
Launching a new Run It Once Poker site has been an ongoing project for Galfond in recent years. The business venture and passion project is set to launch this summer.
Along with the launch, Galfond and his Camerman, Colin, have been working on "documentary-style" videos of Galfond's 2018 WSOP schedule for the Run It Once channel. Little did they know, after Galfond registered late for Event #60, there would be soon be some golden footage to grab.
Galfond's momentous score marked his second cash of the summer and 20th career cash with the WSOP, bringing his total earnings to right around 2.8 million dollars.
Final Table Payouts (POY points in parentheses):
1st: Phil Galfond - $567,788 (1,105.31)
2nd: Michael McKenna - $350,922 (552,66)
3rd: Ali Abduljabbar - $240,497 (497.39)
4th: Chad Power - $168,275 (442.1)
5th: Chris Lee - $120,263 (414.5)
6th: Marco Johnson - $87,830 (386.9)
7th: David "ODB" Baker - $65,579 (331.6)
8th: Yong Wang - $39,149 (221.1)