By Steve Beauregard
Phil Galfond is one of the winningest poker players of all time, yet it may be a kiddie slide in his apartment for which he is most famous. (More on that in a second).
The humble, down-to-earth Galfond is that rare online poker superstar who is brilliant, rich, uber-successful, yet still fun, likeable, and approachable. He has sat down for numerous interviews, and seems to enjoy taking questions from regular poker fans.
Galfond’s Full Tilt poker screen name is now legendary: OMGClayAiken. He said he chose the name as a sort of contrarian approach to the hyper-aggressive and macho monikers often taken by poker players wanting to sound tough.
He says that when Full Tilt went under, he had about a half of million dollars on the site. However, he also says he had just lost about a million dollars on Full Tilt right before Black Friday.
Phil Galfond’s Training Site
With millions in documented winnings on sites like Full Tilt and PokerStars, and countless other money not shown from his days crushing the sit-n-go tournaments on Party Poker, it seems natural that Phil Galfond would be a much sought-after poker coach.
Phil owns and helps run the online poker training site, Runitonce.com
In 2008, he and a business partner, Billy Murphy, started a training site “Blue Fire Poker.” Phil left Blue Fire in 2011, after a falling out with Murphy over accounting issues.
In 2012, he started, (this time without a partner), Runitonce.com. Coaches included Hac Dang, Galfond, and Ben Sulsky (“sauce123” online). Other coaches are Brian Rast and Sam Grafton.
Plans include a basic membership, costing $9.99 per month, to an elite membership, in which you have access to all videos for $99 per month.
Phil Galfond Twitter and Blog
Phil’s Twitter handle is: @PhilGalfond, although he doesn’t tweet much. When he does, it’s mostly about chip counts, or spreading the word about media appearances by his friends.
He famously tweeted: “What’s the best way to make a quick $1.4m back? Asking for a friend.”
He blogs at PhilGalfond.com, where he has published some very long essays, albeit not very recently.
In addition to social media, he has written columns for Bluff magazine, fulfilling a long-held desire to write. His articles and thoughts about “polarized ranges” brought new insight into the traditional poker mindset.
Phil Galfond Slide at his Apartment
In October 2008, Phil purchased two separate apartment units (one right above the other) in the “A Building” in New York City. He paid $3.2 million (combined) for two units, then hired an architect and contractor to remove walls and combine the units into one large bachelor pad.
(Here’s a quick, unsteady look at Phil Galfond’s slide in his apartment)
The new, 2,400 square feet apartment even featured a putting green on the outdoor terrace. Phil has written that one of his favorite features of the apartment was the wall safe he had. In front of the wall safe, he hung a painting he had commissioned of the exact wall safe behind it.
More famously, he had the architects build a slide. The stainless steel, half-tube slide started at the top floor (the upper level apartment), and took riders down to the lower level, landing at the living room.
Phil told the Mental Game of Poker Podcast that he never really used the slide much, especially in the morning, before he was fully awake, since the slide was very fast and took some agility to complete.
He did use it a lot when playing poker online upstairs, and needed to get to the kitchen downstairs quickly for a drink or snack in-between hands.
He listed it for $3.99 million, eventually selling it for $3.3 million four years later in October 2012. The buyers reportedly removed the slide.
On May 16th, 2015, Phil married his long time girlfriend, former soap opera actress Farah Fath at the couple’s Las Vegas home.
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) May 17, 2015
When not playing poker, Phil says he watches a lot of TV. He once even had a $7,500 prop bet on the outcome of “The Voice.” (Photo courtesy of AmyLizH via Flickr)