Off Topic: Negreanu back-tracks, Jungleman agrees to take on Galfond as list of challengers grows

The run up to Christmas has seen Phil Galfond throw down a challenge to the poker world, reminiscent of that offered by Tom Dwan a decade ago.

Dangerous names have stepped out of the shadows to accept, which should give us all something to look forward to in the new year. Daniel Negreanu’s new year is also looking a little different, as he has had a sudden change of heart regarding re-entry tournaments.

Negreanu changes his mind

Negreanu dd
Negreanu chose not to take a stand against re-entries

Just two weeks ago, the Canadian star took to Twitter to voice his opinions on re-entry tournaments and to announce that he was seriously considering avoiding them throughout 2020. Other professionals offered their support for his stance, but before 2020 had even begun, Negreanu had completely changed his plans.

The impact re-entries have on major events and their results, not to mention handing an advantage to those wealthy enough to rebuy countless times.

When talking to this week, Negreanu said:

“I talked to a lot of people and realized it’s just really stupid from my perspective to burn EV, for what? To take a stand for something that’s not going to work? It’s not like if I don’t rebuy you’ll stop seeing them do re-entry events. It’s just not going to happen because they make so much money off of them.”

Negreanu then asked his Twitter followers their opinion on the matter and they gave a narrow verdict:

Galfond’s challenge accepted by Cates

As the man who took up Tom Dwan’s challenge almost 10 years ago before battering him for $1.25 million before they had even played 20,000 hands, Cates is he obvious challenger to take on Galfond.

Despite his challenge with Dwan still being stuck in limbo, Daniel ‘jungleman12’ Cates confirmed his acceptance of the challenge with a statement to Galfond:

“I’m here to teach you a lesson. I’m going to break your spirit. That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m not even trying to break your bankroll, I’m just trying to break your spirit.”

Galfond offered his challenge to jungleman while the two were at the Bellagio, with the format set out as 7,500 hands of PLO at €100/€200 stakes. This match, and the others set to take place are to be streamed live on Twitch.

 Five players accept Galfond’s challenge

Jungleman is the most high-profile player to have accepted Galfond’s challenge so far, but he is not the only one. Challenge was announced last month and is open to anyone. 

Fernando ‘JNandez’ Habegger had initially accepted as well but backed out of the agreement after apparently becoming aware of the fact that playing 50,000 hands would take up lots of time and Phil Galfond was actually a good PLO player.

The four other challengers at the time of writing are ‘Venividi93’, Actionfreak, Brandon Adams and Bill Perkins.

Little is known about Venividi93, only that he has posted consistently strong results at PLO at the highest stakes since 2016. Both he, and Cates will likely provide a stern test for Galfond, who may be somewhat rusty after being away from the online scene for some time.

Bill Perkins will represent a known entity for Galfond, having played recreationally at the highest stakes for many years. Perkins is not considered a top-level player but has some experience and with the variance-heavy nature of PLO, will be hoping he can spring an upset.

Article by Craig Bradshaw