Day four of the Galfond Challenge went down against his newest and quite possibly toughest viral of the challenge given the even money side bet on the line.
We take a look at some of the biggest hands of the hours of play, which saw Phil get buried pretty early on by losing a succession of small pots, he got lucky in this 4 bet pot though with all the money going in with ActionFreak being a huge favourite with his top set on this 8 high board, Phil managed to hit running clubs to make the nut flush with his AAxx.
Seems like there is only ever one way to play the nuts in PLO and that’s get the most value you can with a pot, pot, pot line and that’s exactly what Phil did here with his Turned three Queens and Rivered Nut Full house.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though, you can’t just peddle the nuts in these heads up games. We saw Phil switch things up here and check-raise bluff with blockers to the straight. ActionFreak was in no mood to fold his set of Kings on this board though with only one hand beating him he was at the very top of his range, so a call is pretty mandatory, Phil might even raise with worse hands for value.
This is a pretty interesting pot where both players reacted well to the board run out, Phil turned a hand with a lot of showdown value into a bluff here because he had 2 perfect blockers to do so. Other players might make a crying call or a tight fold, but Phil always thinking the next level opts to use this hand as a bluff, something not many players would even consider.
This is a 4 Bet pot that got checked down after a small bet from Phil in position on the Flop. With an underpair to the Queen but the nut flush draw this line makes a lot of sense, he could pretty happily bet and call a raise with his pair and flush draw on this board and there aren’t many hands that ActionFreak could raise him with that have him beat. If he has a hand with a Queen in it he is likely to just call and not get stacked by Phil’s overpairs to this board.
This is what we call being protected and betting range here, we can have loads of super-strong hands, not just hands as weak as JJxx on this board, so it’s really hard for our opponent to raise us.
Phil turned his two pair into a huge bluff on the Turn with a pot-sized bet, maybe trying to fold out some straights or deny equity from other hands, whatever his reasoning it didn’t matter once the River gave him the second nut full house against ActionFreak’s flopped second nut flush. I wouldn’t hate to see a fold once this River bet goes in from Phil, there are now many possible full houses and even a few straight flush combinations on board as well as just the nut flush beating ActionFreak’s holding.
It’s important to think what better hands he might have to call here, and there are quite a few… but in-game it is pretty hard to lay down a flopped flush, even in PLO.
When the dust settled and the near 700 hands were done Galfond was the victor once again with €113,377.48 bagged up in this 3/3 winning streak. ActionFreak is definitely running poorly, so I can’t see him needing to adjust too much moving forward he just needs to start running better. It’s still early days and with this being the highest stakes match yet we look forward to some more huge pots.
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