Highlights from Phil Galfond’s AMA on Reddit

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On Friday night online poker legend Phil Galfond offered himself up to Reddit users for three hours, letting them pepper him with questions in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights.

Galfond’s introduction to Reddit

For those that don’t follow poker, Galfond described himself as a seven year poker pro with a resume that includes $1.8 million in live tournament winnings to go along with the $10 million he has pocketed at the online tables, mainly playing PLO and No limit Holdem cash games – oddly, there was no mention of his WSOP bracelet.

It must be nice to be able to have a resume extensive enough that you can overlook such an achievement.

Galfond also spoke about his latest poker venture, the online poker training site RunItOnce.com:

Just under one year ago, I launched RunItOnce.com, and it has since grown into the most respected poker training community online. I am both the company’s owner and lead instructor.

The Best Responses

The majority of Reddit users who participated in Galfond’s AMA took advantage of the chance to ask a $1,000/hour poker coach some strategic questions, and Galfond answered all of these thoughtfully. But I’m not going to bore you with dry strategic advice – if you want strategy talk go read the thread!

Instead, below are some of the more entertaining/interesting/enlightening answers Galfond doled out.

Galfond on meeting and becoming friends with Tom Dwan:

Tom and I actually became friends before we’d played much together. We met through our mutual friend, Dave Benefield, around 7-8 years ago. Tom was playing $50/$100 already, and I was just a lowly $5/$10 player 🙂

He was extremely generous, letting me watch him play NL (and later PLO) even after not knowing me very long. To say Tom had an impact on my early growth as a player would be an understatement.

Galfond on the biggest mistakes by mid limit pros:

I think that a lot of low-midstakes pros play a little bit too systematically, and fail to think outside the box. There are times and situations that call for massive adjustments, and if you miss these, you’re losing a lot of EV.

Auto-piloting is one of the most serious and most prevalent forms of tilt, and most people don’t realize there’s anything wrong…

… Strategic rules, preflop charts, ‘standard’ cbet sizings- these are all crutches that help you play competently faster, but limit your growth potential.

Galfond on Chris Ferguson:

I hung out with Chris a couple of times before Black Friday. He was extremely kind and interesting. I still would like to believe he had no ill-intent, and maybe even little to no knowledge of what went on.

I haven’t seen him since, but if I did, I would greet him with respect and give him the benefit of the doubt until hearing him out.

I don’t hear many people talking about Chris specifically, but I know that Howard is viewed very negatively by the poker community and is often confronted when he shows up places.

I don’t know anyone who’s in touch with them. Well, I’m sure I do, but I’ve never asked about it.

Galfond on his most memorable hand:

I was playing HU 50/100nl when I couldn’t afford to. I 3bet KQo and was called. Flop 632r (or something like that).

I bet half pot, he called.

Turn 2 I checked, he bet near full pot. I didn’t believe him, and shoved.

He timed down and called…

With KJ.

J on the river and I end a session where I lose half my roll.

Galfond on PokerSnowie:

I haven’t played with PokerSnowie, but in general, I do think that AI technology is a legitimate concern for the future of online poker.

I don’t think that any players will be capable of emulating PokerSnowie’s play, and as far as I know, PLO is a much larger game than NL and hasn’t been touched yet.

So, even as the technology progresses, as long as the sites invest in not allowing players (who try to cheat) to hook bots up to their software, I think that games will be just fine for quite a while.

Fun Questions and Answers

nothings_epic: Can you tell me something about these players that I don’t already know? 1) Yourself 2) Isildur1 3) durrrr 4) Ben86

Me: Couldn’t think of anything so I just asked my girlfriend- “great butt”

Viktor: can be spotted playing for massive stakes in his apartment eating a full can of Pringles and sipping on a box of apple juice. He owns a ton of movies, mostly comedies.

Tom: once tried to tip $100 to get us a bowling lane early, but was rejected because he accidentally was holding out a $1 bill. He usually has over 100 unchecked texts/voicemails on his phone.

Ben: is the only poker player I know who actually underestimates his skill and his intelligence. He and another friend of mine bet large lots of money on MLG Starcraft results.

krobs12: Did you end up selling both stories of your slide home together or did you have to remove it and sell them separately?

I was able to sell them together. After the construction I did, it would’ve taken a lot of work to turn it back into two apartments. The buyer took the slide out though 🙁

Sezmic: Got any interesting prop bets going on atm?

I have $7.5k riding on this season of The Voice! Probably not as exciting a prop bet as you were hoping for 🙂

PhilGalfond: Phil, I have a confession to make, I’m not really Phil Galfond. I impersonated you in the Vanessa Selbst AMA thread and she called you a jerk =(

No Response

ZavBanks: Any tips on how to decimate your good friends in cash games?

Make friends with terrible players.

And finally, here are a couple of my favorite responses:

I have around a half million tied up in FTP. Luckily I lost $1m in the week leading up to Black Friday!

My first hand that I ever played at 300/600nl, I was dealt 44 in the BB, HU v Phil Ivey. I check-raised on 984ss and we got it in. He had 99, and I didn’t step back into 300/600 for a while after that.

Read the whole AMA thread.

- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.
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