Phil Galfond Private Heads-Up Poker Challenges

Phil Galfond on The Future of Private Heads-Up Poker Challenges

The future of private heads-up poker challenges was discussed at length in a recent episode of the Poker Life Podcast hosted by Joey Ingram.

On the heels of a whirlwind High Stakes Feud in which Doug Polk bested Daniel Negreanu for $1.2 million, Run It Once Poker CEO Phil Galfond shared his reflections and insights on organizing and promoting heads-up matches in the future.

NOTE: As of February 2021, Phil Galfond is seeking to extend his own undefeated streak in high stakes heads-up Pot Limit Omaha matches beyond its current mark of 3-0.

* The derivative summary material posted below is directly sponsored and funded by BestBetUSA.

Phil Galfond on Private Heads-Up Poker Challenges (Timestamps)

Following are timestamps from the 75-minute live dialogue featuring Phil Galfond and Joey Ingram.

Phil Galfond || Poker Life Podcast — Joey Ingram YouTube Channel (Original Airdate: Feb 5, 2021)

(0:00) Live from Las Vegas – Poker Life Podcast w/Phil Galfond – February 5th, 2021
(1:28) Phil is very pleased with outcome of the Polk vs. Negreanu grudge match
(2:29) Shout-out to highlight reel editor Moonlightmaster
(3:00) Phil troubleshoots appropriate ‘total hands’ for private heads-up poker challenges
(4:11) ‘Cards up’ high stakes matches would be great, but Phil acknowledges this is a “big ask”
(5:00) Joey and Mike Brady have brainstormed how ‘cards up’ coverage could evolve
(6:01) Phil says the best high stakes players will never agree to show hole cards
(6:40) Phil describes how the Run It Once Poker Legends Showdown was organized

(7:43) Joey compares the disadvantages the Legends Showdown faced compared to the High Stakes Feud
(8:25) Doug and Daniel both have large platforms that aided promotion of their own grudge match
(8:40) Joey suggests that those with big platforms could collaborate to raise profile of other matches
(9:14) Joey always knew Doug and Daniel would wind up becoming friends
(9:38) Phil is not surprised because of unique bonding experience that comes with heads-up competition

(10:58) Phil and Joey discuss a High Stakes Feud hand
(15:18) Fan reaction to the challenge matches has been overwhelmingly positive
(16:04) Phil Galfond’s epic PLO match and finale versus Venividi {VIDEO CUED 1:07:51-1:10-53}

(16:57) Joey and Phil agree that Pot Limit Omaha suffers more than NLHE from not sharing hole cards
(17:50) Joey shows off his patented High Stakes Feud graphics
(18:04) Joey battled through COVID to announce the Polk vs. Negreanu grudge match
(18:54) Paying homage to loyal fans and viewers who tune-in to coverage of the heads-up challenges
(19:20) Putting graphics into OBS is the nuts
(19:39) Daniel Negreanu: net-win or net-loss for the High Stakes Feud?
(19:57) Phil says Daniel gained respect for skill-based advances, but lost respect for losing/ranting/tanking
(20:30) Joey argues that Daniel “won massive” because of poker improvement and widespread exposure
(21:38) Phil agrees that Daniel will benefit from more heads-up poker skill, but contests need for awareness
(22:30) Phil also believes the grudge match benefited from Doug & Daniel’s comfort with being controversial
(23:19) Doug Polk: net-win or net-loss for the High Stakes Feud?
(23:22) Phil says that Doug is obviously a “big winner” following as a result of the grudge match
(23:37) Phil was “surprised” that Doug was so “elated” once the match concluded
(24:26) Joey also noted how happy Doug has been since completing the challenge
(25:35) Joey lauds Doug’s hard work and preparation
(26:04) Will fans see Doug Polk at the tables soon?

(26:37) Doug might return because private heads-up poker challenge are becoming a “trend,” Joey says
(26:50) The Doug Polk media blitz is still going strong
(27:36) Phil says that WSOP Nevada is a “big winner” because of the challenge
(28:08) However, Joey is “insulted” by and WSOP Nevada’s efforts in marketing the match
(28:33) Phil points out that the High Stakes Feud was still a “freeroll” for WSOP Nevada regardless
(28:44) But Joey is still “shocked” the brand didn’t do more to promote the match(es)
(29:18) Joey reminds his audience of the ongoing lack of coordination within the poker industry and media
(29:45) The landscape for the WSOP brand will change is very positive going forward
(30:20) Phil and Joey acknowledge that poker fans are “big winners” in high stakes challenges
(31:06) The poker meme game is “strongly lacking” compared to other sectors, Joey says
(31:40) Phil says the people at GGPoker are “big winners,” but it would have been better on that site
(32:43) Dozens of poker players were able to show off their commentating skills in front of thousands
(33:35) Bill Perkins and Rob Yong were “not winners” in the High Stakes Feud
(34:25) But then again, having action on the match could have also benefited Perkins & Yong
(35:09) What’s next for Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu?

(35:40) GGPoker (once available in NV) could easily host a Hellmuth vs. Negreanu challenge match
(36:08) Why Daniel Negreanu should be eager to accept new heads-up poker challenges
(36:30) Thoughts on a potential Phil Galfond vs. Daniel Negreanu NLHE challenge?
(37:15) Phil is shy about directly challenging opponents — that’s what we have Joey for
(38:49) Phil Galfond feels his NLHE is rusty at the moment, but he could improve
(39:45) Which direction should Phil Galfond go in the near future? NLHE or PLO?
(40:35) “I’m not that good {at Texas Hold’em}.” -Phil Galfond
(41:55) NLHE is still the “Cadillac” for poker viewership, Joey explains
(42:15) Joey gives shout-outs to live viewer chat
(43:05) “Everybody needs another challenge.” -Phil Galfond
(43:44) Joey Ingram challenge match on the way?

(44:00) Joey has some ideas about future online poker challenges and presentation
(44:37) Phil knows he is a “quiet” personalty, but Phil also brings knowledgeable value during appearances
(45:00) Thank you for the donation!
(45:16) Do these poker challenges motivate and inspire others to play poker more competently?
(46:08) Is there a sole element that provokes others to aspire to achieve greater things?
(47:30) Joey “can’t do two and a half months” for a challenge – that’s too long
(47:58) Shorter matches: does having a relatively large sample size “really matter” for these challenges?
(48:45) Phil personally appreciates that the High Stakes Feud went the full 25,000 hands
(49:40) Put ’em in the “hot zone” with a 100,000 hand challenge? Live chat doesn’t concur
(50:12) Daniel and Doug proved that you can play 2,000 hands (two-tabling online) of HU-NLHE in a session
(51:24) Joey wonders aloud if the community needs a 10,000 hand challenge to gauge “sweet spot”
(51:40) Rob Yong, PokerShares, and prop bettors in general want shorter matches to wager on

(52:14) Shout-out to poker player, forum contributor, and commentator Gary @GazzyB1233 Blackwood
(52:45) Upcoming talent in poker? HU4ROLZ w/Greg the poker video maker?
(53:28) Phil’s thoughts on how challenge match handicapping affects both players and prop bettors
(54:34) Ideas for the formation and realization of a new poker league
(55:45) Phil calls the Legends Showdown a “proof of concept” that failed
(56:57) Coordinating video content coverage of private heads-up poker challenges
(57:55) More troubleshooting for a future poker league – planning and getting ahead of the issue
(58:44) Phil Galfond’s (lack of) predictions for “live” poker in 2021
(59:15) The Joey Series of Poker that was recently played at Bally’s Las Vegas
(59:58) Phil concedes that player criticism of poker league scheduling commitments is “fair”
(1:00:12) Phil’s experiences as a GPL player
(1:00:24) Phil Galfond’s role as a real time mediator in High Stakes Feud {35:08-35:20 – Jan 27, 2021}

(1:01:43) Reviewing a February 1st, 2021 tweet by Ben Wilinofsky
(1:02:50) Doug Polk’s team of 30 – what it means for the future of poker training and software
(1:04:05) Ben’s negative point was based on the plight of recreational players, not the act of preparing
(1:05:05) Even Phil Galfond was “blown away” by the dozens of individuals Doug Polk hired for the challenge
(1:05:44) Phil says that a lot of high stakes players currently have private or semi-private poker software
(1:06:36) Phil argues why the act of compiling preflop charts was a waste of time for Doug’s team
(1:07:00) Phil says solvers and other tools are a main reason behind the popularity of private HU matches
(1:07:55) If it’s easier to get better at poker now, then…
(1:08:48) Phil and Joey have both personally gone through a process in acclimating to software realities
(1:09:08) Joey explains why the appetite for private poker matches isn’t going to subside anytime soon
(1:09:29) “It’s still the same game.” – “It’s still poker” -Phil Galfond
(1:10:12) Many of the crucial decisions in NLHE are on the Turn and River
(1:11:05) Phil himself doesn’t use an RNG, nor does Phil have poker software of his own
(1:12:08) Phil says the solvers grant a smaller edge over the field as some people think
(1:12:45) Training lessons for chess – the realities of training software and skill-based PvP games
(1:13:28) Does the real money aspect of competitive poker restrict promoting the game as fun?
(1:13:48) Phil emphasizes that studying is important, even if one doesn’t use an RNG
(1:14:26) The way people are playing poker now (on the phone) will force industry adjustment
(1:15:23) Phil Galfond’s big takeaways from the High Stakes Feud
(1:15:46) Travel time? Heads-up challenge match between Phil & Joey on Run It Once Poker?
(1:16:25) Outro – Phil Galfond Poker Life Podcast (February 5th, 2021)
(1:16:45) Joey reviews highlights from the Polk vs. Negreanu grudge match, plus shout-outs
(1:24:10) END

SOCIAL MEDIA CONSIDERATION (TWITTER): @PhilGalfond, @Joeingram1, @RunItOncePoker

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