Phil Galfond Chance Kornuth PLO Challenge
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Phil Galfond to Face Chance Kornuth in Heads-Up PLO Challenge

Phil Galfond has announced that he will compete against highly-skilled Pot Limit Omaha player Chance Kornuth as part of Galfond’s 2020 heads-up PLO challenge matches.

Run It Once Poker administrator Phil Galfond and Chip Leader Coaching instructor Chance Kornuth have confirmed that they will face each other in 2020 as part of Galfond’s open challenge to heads-up Pot Limit Omaha players around the world.

Kornuth joins Dan “Jungleman” Cates, poker stream boat captain Bill Perkins, and 2018 Poker Masters purple jacket recipient Brandon Adams as potential challenge opponents versus the real money poker site founder, with the vast majority of hands slated to be played out on the Run It Once Poker site.

Aside from the real money €100/€200 Pot Limit Omaha stakes, Galfond and Kornuth have agreed in principal to a 4:1 sidebet in which Galfond will risk €1,000,000 against Kornuth’s €250,000.

Who is Chance Kornuth? What is Chip Leader Coaching?

Chance Kornuth vs. Phil Galfond Heads-Up PLO
Chance Kornuth – Chip Leader Coaching (Twitter: @ChancesCards)

According to The Hendon Mob, Chance Kornuth has accumulated over $7.4 million in live poker tournament cash prize winnings throughout an 11-year career, including two coveted World Series of Poker bracelets — one of which Kornuth received in 2010 when he was victorious in the $5,000 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha event for just over $500,000 USD.

Chip Leader Coaching offers poker instructional training services to poker fans around the globe. The site is led by Kornuth, 2015 WSOP Main Event champion Joe McKeehen, 2019 WPT Bellagio Five Diamond winner Alex Foxen, 2019 WSOP $5k NLHE first place finisher Daniel Strelitz, 2019 Poker Masters Event #2 winner Ryan LaPlante, along with several other high stakes poker coaches.

Fans React to Phil Galfond Heads-Up PLO Challenge

The RIO Poker challenges offered by Phil Galfond have been generally well received by fans and contributors who frequent the TwoPlusTwo News, Views, and Gossip forum, although some have balked at the fact that Galfond plans to play most (if not all) of the online hands on his own poker site.

DISCUSS NOW: Rio Poker Executive Offers Heads-Up Battle to Anyone (2+2 NVG – Nov 19, 2019)

The commentary on Twitter has been much more conciliatory on the matter, with partypoker partner and Dusk Till Dawn proprietor Rob Yong dipping his toes into the water by requesting a separate challenge versus Galfond in the discipline of No Limit Hold’em (NLHE).

Other fans have pointed out the clear perceived edge that Galfond is communicating by offering a heads-up challenge to any player while spotting opponents odds that may strike a casual observer as insurmountable.

Galfond later confirmed that he stands to lose approximately $6 million if he is defeated in all matches.

The comment was immediately picked up on by spouse Farah Galfond as well as poker pro and YouTube personality Andreas Froehli.

Will Phil Galfond Heads-Up Challenges Be Good For Poker?

Phil Galfond PLO Challenge
Phil Galfond – Run It Once Poker (IMAGE CREDIT: Poker Central)

The 2019 calendar year has seen an abundance of concerns that revolve around game integrity for both live and online real money poker games. Customer complaints surrounding the increased use of online poker bots (aka “prohibited software”) combined with the ongoing Stones Gambling Hall scandal have all but wiped out any hope of such high stakes challenges (some hands of which may be played in a brick & mortar setting as opposed to online) being streamed from within the United States. At least not without express consent from a casino/venue beforehand.

The laid back, easy-going nature of informed poker community members that was prevalent in the mid-2000s has been gradually replaced by outright skepticism concerning poker dramas — with potential ramifications extending into massive crackdowns on commercial card rooms that operate in the state of California along with continued restrictions on “for-profit poker.”

The final outcome of Phil Galfond’s heads-up PLO challenges — mainly whether or not the matches take place without any drama/accusations/scandals tied to game integrity or real money payouts — could go a long way in determining whether such projects are feasible within regulated markets in 2020 and beyond.

In the United States, the UK, and worldwide.

Read More Part Time Poker News Coverage

Norman Chad Criticizes Unlimited Re-Entries in WSOP Bracelet Events (Oct 24, 2019)
Michigan Legalizes Online Poker (Dec 11, 2019)
Regulated U.S. Online Poker 2020 FAQs (Dec 17, 2019)

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