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OMGCLAYAIKEN (Phil Galfond) is sick

Phil “Omgclayaiken” Galfond

OMGCLAYAIKEN or Phil Galfond is one of the very few online players that has successfully transitioned to the highest stakes live cash games. He recently confirmed he is one of the best by winning more than 800.000 dollars and taking first prize at the 2008 World Series of Poker 1.5 K rebuy PLO event. Some would have said he was severely outmatched at the final table. There were indeed a total of 28 bracelets among the final tablists. But At only 23 years of age, he showed he could hold his own and defeated some poker legends including Phil Helmuth, Johny Chan, Daniel Negreanu, John Juanda and David Benyamine ! Online, Phil Galfond has winnings that exceed 2 million dollars on Full Tilt Poker alone. Not bad !

Check out his interview below. Ever wonder what phil looks like ? In this video he also reveals why he has chosen the name OMGCLAYAIKEN.



Online, Phil Galfond is a railbird favourite. He plays the highest stakes against the absolute best players, the likes of Phil Ivey. That’s right, Phil Galfond is a force and he knows it. He’ll take anyone online when he thinks he has an edge. And apparently he thinks playing Ivey is profitable !

Here is a video of him getting bluffed in a huge pot by young poker phenom Genius 28. Genius is also a sick player and he decides to show on the river after betting 34 grand…


Phil “OMGCLAYAIKEN” Galfond also has quite a following on TV and has appeared on the High Stakes Poker TV show playing against some elite poker players. Here is a video of him where he is dabbling in pots with Sam Fahra.

Phil Galfond’s High Stakes Poker experience in his words

When asked about his experience on the show, this is what he said: (long)

[” So I got on this next season of HSP thanks to a friend of mine putting in a good word for me.

I was 2nd alternate on day 2 and starting on day 3.

Day 2 was a 100k min buyin and day 3 was 500k min. I brought 720k with me, planning on playing with 220k max on day two if I got a seat (which the producer made to sound unlikely) and saving the last 500k for the next day, or whatever I had leftover from day 2.

I showed up for day 2 around 2pm, just after taping started. Mori, the producer, was extremely nice. He let all of my friends come on set (there were not many people on set). He made me feel very comfortable there, as did all of the other producers and everyone working on the show.

It was cool on set. Free food. Random pros walking around. I did some on camera hand analysis for a feature, which I wasn’t prepared for, but I think I did okay. I was watching the game for hours. Extremely loose action. People were calling down when someones entire range is ahead of their hand. I almost had a boner about it.

I got into the game with 2 hours left of taping on day two. I don’t know if I can say exactly who was playing, but I’ll say that the table was very loose and aggressive (in a good way for me) and very talkative. It was the best game I’d played in all year. I was glad I got in, but bummed that I only had two hours. Not to mention that it was live and on a TV set, so I was probably dealt 40 hands the whole time. The players were very friendly for the most part. Jamie Gold was actually a really nice guy (I say actually because I didn’t expect him to be) and improved a lot since last season. Negreanu also played much much better than he had in previous years, and is a great guy from what I can tell. I’m gonna stop listing off players in case I’m not supposed to.

I had 100k on the table and 100k in my pocket and was saving the rest for day 3. 90% of hands were straddled and a few were double straddled. That left me with ~40-80bbs effective. With that, and no one folding preflop, the game got really boring for me. I basically had to play 10% of my hands if I wanted to max my EV. Phil Hellmuth called me a nit, which is probably the most embarrassing thing that I can remember happening to me in my lifetime.

I was really proud of my ability to hand read live. I was worried that I wouldn’t to be able to pick up on things, but I was catching tons of timing tells and was able to put people on hands pretty well, which was what I did to keep busy while folding. There was one hand where I bet and got two really weak seeming calls on a very drawy board. I was really mad because I had the nuts (like 4th nuts, but clearly the best hand) but I couldn’t check turn and let draws hit even though I was sure they were folding their midpairs with a gutter or oesd. I guess I don’t know if my reads were right, but I feel good about them.

There was another hand that I wasn’t a part of where one player shoved the river for about 2/5 pot after check-raising the turn. The other player tanks, saying his hand is as good as ace high. People started to chatter about what he could possibly have, which made me feel awesome since I was 90% sure he had 88-JJ with one club and was calling the turn in hopes for a club to hit or a free showdown and was folding to a river bet. After he folded, Negreanu said that he knew the one player would never bluff there, and I thought to myself how I’d always bluffshove that river. I’m looking forward to seeing that hand to check my read.

Overall though, it was a boring day for me. Lots of anticipation and only got the chance to play for 2 hours with a small roll since I was saving 500k for the big day.

Just before going to bed that night, I was informed that 3 of the TV Pros from day 2 decided last minute that they wanted to play on day 3, and that I wasn’t good TV because I was so tight and didn’t talk enough to the players who don’t know me. So, I lost my spot on the table. To say the least, I was very mad. Had I not been saving $500k for day 3, I would’ve been able to play a much more open game. I guess nobody there had any idea of my reputation and playing style, because I have never been accused of being a nit before that day. Usually I get ‘station’ ‘monkey’ or ‘FPS-machine’. I also had less than 50 hands to show what I had. Hellmuth spent over 15 minutes negotiating and discussing insurance deals when he was all-in.

Not to mention the fact that I had to fly halfway across the country and move $720k twice (not easy for me, and probably will get me audited) to play for 2 hours and get bumped from my guaranteed spot by people who have been on the show many times, live in Vegas, and aren’t affected at all by being on the show one more day.

Another frustrating aspect of it is that I didn’t get a chance to prove myself. America still thinks that my whole Day 2 table (besides me) is full of the best poker players in the world, when I would’ve salivated over playing any of them HU. (Maybe wouldn’t have salivated over one or two but would surely be a favorite) I know that I need to get over this part. It shouldn’t bother me what the public thinks, and I’m working on not caring as much.

After getting angry for a while, I looked for somewhere/someone to place my anger. That’s when I realized that there was really no one to be angry at. I was lied to, in a sense, which is my number one pet peave by far. But the players we almost all extremely friendly, and I’m positive the ones who wanted to play the next day didn’t consider the effects on me. Mori gave me a shot at being on one of the most watched poker shows on TV. He was nothing but nice and accommodating. While I’m sure he had a lot of say as to whether I got to keep my day 3 spot, I don’t blame him much for his decision. He doesn’t want to upset some of his biggest name players, and I didn’t show him anything on day 2 that he could show to execs to defend his decision to keep me on the show. As far as he knows, I am a complete nit and maybe not even good at poker.

I think it’s really unfortunate that America would rather watch bad, loud poker than extremely high level thinking from the true best players in the world, but I guess they don’t know any better.

I would love if someone would do a show where Me, durrr, Aba, and two more (Not saying I’m necessarily one of the best 5 online players and don’t wanna make a top 5 list) each play HU v Ivey, Doyle, Negreanu, etc. Like, we each pair up with a pro and play best of 3 HU 200bb freezouts. Each team puts up $2mm or whatever and whichever team wins most out of 5 splits the prize amongst themselves. Online pros v Live pros. Then maybe America would realize how it really is. Anyways, I’m ranting now.

I didn’t have a good experience at HSP, but it was really nobody’s fault. Mori told me he owed me and would make it up to me. My friends didn’t believe him, but I do. He seems very genuine. Hopefully I’ll get my chance sometime soon.

Oh. I finished up $20k! YAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!”]



So what’s in store for Phil Galfond now that he has taken over the poker world ? Something few people know is that Phil’s game has a substantial theoretical component. Phil likes to discuss strategies and to conceptualize his various line of plays outside of the poker table. He coined a new poker theorem called G-Bucks, named after himself of course. His theorem states that a player should always estimate their equity against their opponent’s projected range of hands. Skanklsy Bucks are a measure of your equity or expectation when you know what you and your opponent’s are holding. Since we never know what our opponents are holding in practise, it is better to estimate our equity against a range of hands. Anyways, google G-Bucks if you want to learn more about this concept. Phil said he might write a book about this and his overall style of play sometime soon. We’ll be waiting. Thanks OMGCLAYAIKEN (Phil Galfond)!

For more information on Phil Galfond, check out Phil Galfond on Wikipedia. 

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