People News: Galfond Challenge Update; Bryn Kenney leaves GGPoker; Lewis Hamilton plays poker; Antonio Esfandiari buys $5.3 million mansion

In this column, we deliver you the latest and most interesting news and gossip from our favourite poker people.

Galfond Challenge Update

In the most recent $100/$200 PLO match on Saturday between Phil Galfond and Chance Kornuth there was a hefty win of $124,000 for Galfond.

This means that the host of this challenge won six buy-ins and reduced his loss so far to “only” 220k.

Roughly a third of all 35k hands has been played and it’s a back and forth between the two players and next week they scheduled five matches to be played.

You can watch highlights of the matches on the Run It Once YouTube channel. Yesterday’s match hasn’t been published yet, but here are the highlights of Friday:


Further updates are available on the Run It Once website.

Bryn Kenney leaves GGPoker

Bryn Kenney, the number one on the tournament All-Time Money list, was the first star to be signed by GGPoker in 2018. And now he is one of the first to leave.

Bryn Kenney
Bryn Kenney. Credit: Triton Poker

Recently GGNetwork has been working on quite a few changes around their ambassador teams. The GGSquad was created, including Kevin Martin and other streamers. Two other sections were created: GGHeroes and GGCrew.

GGHeroes include Daniel Negreanu, ElkY and Fedor Holz. And this is also where Bryn had been moved to. Bryn’s face had disappeared from most communications of the sire a short while ago and there hasn’t been any official comments on Kenney leaving.

Kenney is the number one in the poker tournament world with over $54 million in winnings. So what could be the reason for GGPoker to let him go. It is being rumoured that Bryn Kenney might have retired from poker altogether and that’s why it doesn’t make sense for him to represent a poker platform. He did not even partake in the WSOP Online on the GGNetwork this year.

Nothing has been seen or read from Kenny on the social media platforms for six months either. The only clue on what might be up with the poker star was given in an interview on partypokerTV, where he states:

“I would say my next plan is more involved on the business side of things because you know I have a lot of interest in doing a lot of good in the world so you know just with money that you make from poker, that’s why I’ve always seen it as like a stepping stone kind of. Now I’ve hit the plateau of where I wanted to go in poker and now, I want to compete in the next level.”


This wouldn’t be a surprise as several poker pros make the transition to business after a successful poker career. Most famously Fedor Holz.

We wish Bryn Kenney all the best and hope to hear about his adventures soon.

Lewis Hamilton plays poker

More GGPoker news, not about a sponsored pro, but a guest appearance of the Formula One star Lewis Hamilton.

He has been seen playing the $10,300 Event #7 of the GGPoker High Rollers Week alongside poker pros like Ike Haxton, Niklas Astedt and Artur Martirosian.

It has been stated by GGPoker that Hamilton was just a guest, so it sounds like no sponsorship is planned. But it might be a tactical move to get racing fans’ eyes on the poker site as the main competitor PokerStars is working to place CGI advertisements on F1 racing feeds.

Antonio Esfandiari buys $5.3 million mansion

Antonio Esfandiari 2
Antonio Esfandiari – Photo

“The Magician” Antonio Esfandiari is also being called the “18 million dollar man” after having won the Big One for One Drop in 2012.

He recently lost a bit of wealth in the Heads-Up “High Stakes Duel” against Phil Helmuth, handing over a total of $350k to the “Poker Brat”, but this should not have made too much of a dent. His lifetime earnings are $27 million total, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he recently splurged out in the purchase of a $5.3 million mansion in Los Angeles.

Some impressions of the beautiful estate can be found on the website Dirt.