Phil Galfond is using his position within the high-stakes community to create another online spectacle for poker fans.
Fresh off his own online challenges, the American is preparing to host a showdown for the ages. Although details are scant right now, we know there will be eight elite-level players battling in a heads-up knockout tournament.
As expected, the action will take place on Galfond’s Run It Once poker site and he’s currently inviting applicants to register their interest.
Legends Line Up Alongside Phil Galfond
I’ll be slowly sharing details of the HUNL Legends Showdown on @RunItOncePoker. Here are a few to start…
8 Players ?
1 Trophy ?
<0 Rake ?
We’ve got a few players (& their cool avatars ?) in below and I’m talking to many more. Reach out to me or RIO if you want a spot. pic.twitter.com/VflMCUKJAm
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) June 23, 2020
From the initial tweet, three names are visible: Kevin “Rabichow” Rabichow, Mikael “Thuritz” Thuritz and Wiktor “limitless” Malinowski. Galfond will also be part of the HUNL Legends Showdown and, by all accounts, the remaining spots are filling up quickly.
At this stage, we don’t know what the buy-in will be but Galfond has confirmed it will be pitched at those within the high-stakes community. Those that compete won’t have to pay any rake. In fact, Galfond commented that tournament will feature “<0 rake,” which suggests there may be incentives for entrants.
One important clause for prospective players is that they have to be in a region where Run It Once is operational. This excludes players in the US but means Europeans and Brits can compete for the winner’s trophy.
Online Entertainment for Everyone
The market for online poker entertainment has been steadily growing over the last six months. Galfond’s own high-stakes challenge captivated the community’s imagination and started a trend that’s been exacerbated by COVID-19 lockdowns.
The HUNL Legends Showdown will capitalize on the “new normal” and give poker fans something to watch in lieu of live tournaments returning. Some, however, would like to get more involved in the action.
Commenting on Galfond’s tweet, Chris Abela asked if “mere mortals” could take part in something similar.
@PhilGalfond Love what you’re trying to do with your site. But find it really disappointing you keep promoting heads up challenges, yet don’t offer it to us mere mortals. Would be nice for a site to stand up for the purest form of poker, for a change.
— Chris Abela (@ChrisAbela1) June 26, 2020
Although both complimentary and critical, Abela’s comment shows the appeal of heads-up tournaments.
Of course, this isn’t the first time poker’s best have competed in heads-up challenges. Tom Dwan started the trend more than a decade ago.
However, thanks to Twitch, events have become much more of a spectator sport. Galfond’s recent challenge featured commentary and critical breakdowns. Moreover, it upped the entertainment stakes.
The HUNL Legends Showdown should raise the bar once again and show that online tournaments can be just as engaging as their offline counterparts.