High stakes legend Phil Galfond has opened up about his professional life on a podcast with Bencb. The PLO wizard talks about everything from starting Run It Once Poker to studying the game, and even turning professional.
Phil Galfond and His Dream
The interview kicks off with a question about when Run It Once Poker became more than a dream. Galfond says it’s not so clear but after PokerStars abused their loyal customers around three years ago the momentum picked up.
There were many different obstacles over the journey to today, but the software was the bottleneck. It was simply too risky to launch with bugs likely to upset the customers. Licensing and payment processors have also caused difficulties along the way.
Galfond thinks 2020 will be a telling year as to the future of the poker room. The first year in business has effectively still been spent in beta, with little effort towards growing their customer base.
The next five years will be spent trying to implement all of the ideas mooted thus far. As for now, creativity is on hold while this process takes place.
The Phil Galfond Challenge
Anybody who reads about poker these days will be aware of the Phil Galfond Challenge. A series of hands played at high stakes PLO with a side bet giving odds to the opponent.
Ben asks what his motivation was to offer such a challenge to all comers. The answer is as many might expect, given the social media chatter on the subject.
Phil Galfond feels people have slowly drifted away from his own poker teachings due to being out of the top level game for so long. Now he feels the time is right to prove that he can still hack it against the very best.
— PokerShares (@pokershares) December 30, 2019
You can really see the fire stoking in Galfond’s mood when he explains this. Simply a matter of honour, and this confidence is likely not misplaced.
He is really excited to get going with the actual playing and says it will be great PR for the Run It Once training site.
The Future of Online Poker
This is a subject close to all our hearts. Galfond starts by telling us what a great job Rob Yong is doing at partypoker. This no doubt relates to just how hard he is working to ask and then give the customers what they want.
Hopefully, Phil Galfond will be taking the same approach as the site continues to grow over the next few years. We need people like this to put pressure on market leaders PokerStars to prevent them from ruining the games with negative changes.
The bot issue comes up next. This coupled with regulatory changes are possibly the biggest threat online poker faces in the immediate future.
Galfond takes this seriously but is confident that the games are far from ruined right now. Although we can expect a ramping up of the battle between poker room security departments and the bot programmers.
One way suggested to help this war is to make new games and change existing ones. Also, the innovative “Splash the Pot” rakeback method used on Run It Once Poker is a great way to combat bots. The problem is long-time players are resisting the change on game purity grounds.
There is much more in the interview worth listening too. Phil Galfond talks about how to study, including his own errors, and also what to think about when turning professional.
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