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Galfond Closes the Gap, WSOP Announces Spring Championship, Online Champs Win Big

Poker news

Online poker is still surging as lockdown measures around the world are forcing everyone indoors. A bunch of live tournament series moved online, rooms reported a surge in activity and both PokerStars and WSOP Online recently held massive tournaments. WSOP Online also announced the Spring Championship of Online Poker. 

Phil Galfond has also been faring well during quarantine. Galfond and his training site, Run It Once, announced a new challenge at the beginning of the year. He would challenge a number of different high-stakes pros to thousands of hands of poker with giant side bets to go with the nosebleed stakes. 

Galfond had a huge dip against his first opponent, but he’s clawed his way back as the challenge is coming to a close.

Galfond Turns the Tide

At the beginning of the year, Phil Galfond announced a massive challenge. He’d take on some of the world’s top high-stakes pros heads-up and stream it live for the world to see. Galfond is slated to take on six different pros that include Chance Kornuth, Dan (Jungleman) Cates and Brandon Adams. The challenge differs for each player, but usually involves a set number of hands and an additional side bet. 

Galfond’s first opponent was VeniVidi and the two players agreed to play 25,000 hands of €100/€200 Pot-Limit Omaha. Aside from whatever cash changed hands at the end of the 25,000 hands, Galfond laid down a €200,000 side bet to VeniVidi’s €100,000. 

Things started out rough for Galfond and it quickly got worse. After 15 sessions, he had lost €900,000 and even thought about quitting the challenge. 

But Galfond persisted and clawed his way back. Then, on April 3, he regained the lead for the first time since the challenge started back in January. He did finish the session behind, though, but now he’s down by €40,000. There are still nearly 5,000 hands to go, so it’s anybody’s game. 

For more information about the Galfond Challenge and a chance to watch it live, head on over to Run It Once.

WSOP Online Announces Spring Championship

WSOP Online announced a new tournament series for the month of April. The Spring Online Championships kicked off on April 1 and will run until May 3. The tournaments are open to players in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey and will feature more than 100 events, over $4 million in guarantees and buy-ins that range from $10 to $1,000. 

Every Sunday will have a Sunday Special Edition tournament. These will have $215 or $320 buy-ins with a $100,000 guarantee. The series culminates with a $525 buy-in Main Event on May 3. That tournament has a $300,000 guarantee. 

If you’re looking for a little more action, there’s a $1,000 High Roller event and a $500 High Roller PLO event on the schedule too. Check out WSOP.com for a full schedule.

Brito and Douglas Win Big Online

The end of March saw some pretty big online tournaments with big payouts. The WSOP Online Super Circuit, which replaced the WSOP live circuit, concluded with a $525 NLHE Main Event on March 29. 

The event drew 1,134 entries for a total prize pool of $567,000. The biggest chunk of that went to Champie Douglas from Las Vegas. Champie faced off against a final table that included David Williams, Gordon Vayo and Brian Altman. He then had to battle Scott Blumstein heads-up to win the title and $130,410. 

The victory was Douglas’ largest win and first Circuit win. Aside from the six-figure payday, he also won a seat to the 2020 Global Casino Championship. 

While Douglas earned a hefty amount, Alex “AAAArthur” Brito won almost 10 times that amount after winning the largest Sunday Million in PokerStars history on March 25. It was the 14th anniversary of the Sunday Million, so PokerStars announced a whopping $12.5-million guarantee. 

Tens of thousands of players flocked to the tournament and it ended up with a $18.6-million prize pool. Brito, a Brazilian amateur who qualified to the $215 buy-in tournament for just $11, won $1,192,802 for outlasting the 93,016 entries. 

In an interview with the PokerStars Blog, Brito said he and his wife lost their jobs at the end of 2019. Now they can rest a bit easier with $1.2 million in the bank.