Galfond Joins Cates in All-Star Semis After Epic Win

Phil Galfond

The PokerStars $100k All Star Showdown is down to its final four as Phil “mrsweets28” Galfond outlasted Ben “Ben86” Tollerene yesterday in an epic 14-hour match to grab the last spot in the semis.

The two Vancouver-based pros had a friendly-but-swingy battle over 4,341 hands -- the longest quarterfinal yet -- that saw both players pushed to the brink.

Tollerene, one of the best heads-up players online, stormed out to the early lead and had Galfond down to just $20k of his original $100k buy-in in the first 1,000 hands.

A break for lunch shortly after – where the two actually met at a local restaurant along with fellow pro Jason Koon – seemed to settle Galfond down.

When play resumed, Galfond slowly began his climb back out of the hole he built. By hand 3,158 Galfond had the lead back and expanded it to $75k by the time they hit 4,000.

Galfond grinded out a win over the next two hours but attributed it as much to running good as his own effort:

Final Four Begins Friday w/ Haxton vs. Sulsky

Isaac Haxton
Haxton: Carrying the PStars flag.

Galfond will now face Dan “w00ki3z.” Cates in the semi-finals this Saturday.

Cates, who most know from his Jungleman12 days on Full Tilt Poker, advanced on Tuesday with a quarterfinal win against Alexander “Sussie Smith” Roumeliotis.

Team PokerStars Online pro Isaac Haxton and Ben “sauce123” Sulsky will meet up in the other semi-final on Friday.


  • 2 November: Haxton vs. Sulsky
  • 3 November: Cates vs. Galfond


  • 4 November: All Star Showdown final

For a full recap of all the action yesterday, check the PokerStars blog.

The specially designed heads-up tournament showcasin Haxton has a $100k buy-in with players battling over four tables at once.

Winner takes home over $500k. More info on the structure of the challenge here.

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