Phil Galfond has been introspective during the first heads-up competition of his Galfond Challenge. And as he continues to dig a deeper and deeper hole, it seems his mind has been churning to try to figure out what the hell is going on. Now down nearly $1 million, Galfond has announced that he is taking a break to reevaluate his situation.
“As I mentioned in my last downswing post,” Galfond posted on Twitter on Tuesday, “a big consideration during any downswing is when it’s time to give up and play elsewhere, as is figuring out when it’s time to take a break and regroup.”
He said was proud of the way he had been handling adversity, but more recently, he “couldn’t seem to gather my thoughts coherently.”
The last time we reported on Galfond’s match against VeniVidi1993, he was down €569,164.31 after 11 sessions. He had a bounce in the next session, but after that, it was all downhill. He had his worst day during session 13 on February 7th, losing more than a quarter-million Euro. After 15 sessions, the last of which was February 9th, Phil Galfond is down €900,240.17, or $978,871.65.
Hence his need to pause the proceedings.
The continued losing is really getting to him. He wrote:
The most difficult thing about an extended downswing isn’t the loss of money – it’s the loss of hope. It’s the gap between the result and your expectations, and how it changes your vision of your poker future. For example, I’ve lost €900k, but when comparing my expectation for how this year would go to my new expectations, I’ve lost much more. For some people, they question whether or not they’ll be able to ever win again.
Galfond said that he has sunk into a “depression” and has reached his “mind’s limit.”
He added that after taking his permitted off-day (he and VeniVidi are on a schedule), he thought about just calling it quits on this challenge, something that would require him to fork over another €200,000 in a sidebet. He’s torn, as that “would feel awful” to him, but so would continuing to lose.
Galfond said that his plan is to not play the six upcoming sessions and pay VeniVidi a €3,000 penalty per day. He will then determine if he can pick up the contest again on March 1st or to just give up and move on to the next challenge.
The challenge that is in progress against VeniVidi1993 is €100/€200 Pot-Limit Omaha. They are playing on Galfond’s Run It Once online poker room (the challenge is a way to promote the site), two tables simultaneously. The match is to last 25,000 hands or until someone gives up. They have played 9,927 so far. The winner at the end keeps whatever money he made – it is a cash game, after all. The winner also claims the aforementioned sidebet. Galfond put up €200,000 to VeniVidi1993’s €100,000.