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The Baby Face Poker Assassin: Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond

This article was written by: Jannah Strat for Celebrity Poker Players

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Jannah Strat is an efficiently writer from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. She's writes anything that has to do with online gambling. She tackles all about Casino Games, Poker Players and Sports Betting. She also owns two blogs about some of the best and hottest Poker Players and her blog about Celebrity Poker Players.

In the past couple of years, the face of poker has drastically changed as baby-faced assassins have infiltrated the poker world at break-neck speed. OMGClayAiken is the online moniker of feared poker pro Phil Galfond, a not-so-crazed American Idol fan caught up in the euphoria of having just taken down his first WSOP gold bracelet.

For those poker enthusiasts who've been eagerly following the career of Phil Galfond, his take down of Event 28 at the 2008 WSOP came as no surprise. An accomplished high-stakes online poker pro who regularly beats the $200/$400 Pot-Limit Omaha game at Full Tilt Poker, Phil Galfond has come a long way since his days at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied philosophy and dabbled in poker
Now a full-fledged poker pro, Phil Galfond circles the globe with his buddies - known as the "Ship It Holla Ballas" - in search of pretty girls and plentiful poker games. He regularly wins and losses hundreds of thousands of dollars online and has defeated some of poker's biggest talents, including at the WSOP green felt.

After outlasting a record-breaking field in the 2008 WSOP $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha re-buy event, Phil faced a final table that included John Juanda, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan, David Benyamine and Kirill Gerasimov. Between them, the pros had 28 WSOP bracelets and more WSOP cashes than you can stomach.

Growing up as the oldest of three children, Phil Galfond fell comfortably into the role of the protective overseer. A soccer and football player for much of his life, Phil Galfond was competitive but not extraordinarily cutthroat. After high school, he went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study philosophy. At the end of his freshman year, a friend of his won a tournament on PartyPoker for $30,000. 

For most college kids, that's a lot of money, so Phil Galfond listened with ears wide open to learn how he'd done it, which eventually led to his decision to try poker out, as well. He deposited $50 on the same site and began playing $10 sit-and-gos. Having played various card games for years, poker seemed to be a natural fit for him.

After winning $30 or $40, Phil Galfond stepped up to $20 sit-and-gos, a jump that is not highly recommended in common bankroll-management guidelines. He went broke. He then decided to make one more deposit of $50. This time, "I ran better," he said, smiling. 

He continued to play poker while going to school, and built up his bankroll under the alias "Jman28." In just a little over a year, his avatar was a common and feared sight in the sit-and-gos with buy-ins ranging anywhere from $200 to $2,000.

Phil Galfond has earned the respect of the best players in the world. Brilliant in both no-limit hold'em and pot-limit Omaha, he's been crushing the $500-$1,000 mixed games such as half pot-limit hold'em and half pot-limit Omaha on Full Tilt, where he plays under the screen name "OMGClayAiken." The void created by the absence of the "Big Game" seems to have been filled by the Internet. The online setting seems to be the future of high-stakes poker, and Phil Galfond is clearly ahead of the curve.

Phil Galford has been out of the limelight in recent months and in this interview below he talks about how he currently feels about the state of High Stakes online poker and about the new wave of emerging online poker stars.

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