Phil Galfond leaving BlueFire Poker

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Dec 13, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

Since its inception, the BlueFire Poker training site has rarely been mentioned without the name of Phil Galfond being attached, and considering Galfond has been known to charge upwards of four-figures for an hour of coaching you can see why the site would want to focus on their preeminent coach and partial owner.

However, on Monday Galfond released a lengthy blog post (which was later deleted only to reappear on both the BlueFire Poker forum and the 2+2 poker forum) announcing he would be parting ways with the site after he created four more videos.

As newsworthy as Galfond’s leaving was, the real firestorm began after the deletion of his original blog post (which even confused Galfond) and subsequent changing of his BlueFire Poker password, thereby barring him from the site. Once the NVG forum on 2+2 caught wind of this the floodgates were officially opened, with everyone from current and former BlueFire Poker coaches chiming in to the usual conspiracy theories involving the Illuminati and the Knights Templar –ok there wasn’t any actual mention of these groups!

Both BlueFire Poker and current coach Niman Kenkre (who fell into the NVG snare after an outlandish allegation made by former BlueFire coach Don Nguyen which derailed the entire conversation) stated that the split is far from the conspiratorial rumors circulating, and BlueFire Poker has promised to release their own statement on the matter. For the time being Phil Galfond’s farewell letter will have to suffice:

Hey Guys,

Where do I start? I guess there actually aren’t that many options… I’ll start with the point of this post, and go from there:

As of today, and I are parting ways. It’s very hard to walk away from something I helped build from the ground up, but the most difficult aspect of this is the fact that I’ll miss the community… the members and my fellow coaches. Please know that it was a very difficult decision that I struggled with for a long, long time. I’m sorry that I can’t elaborate further.

Thank you to the coaches who joined our team, especially the small group who started the journey with me: Jason, Giggy, Niman, and Don. I’m extremely proud of the videos we’ve put out as a team over the last three years.

For the members who tuned in every week for my videos, thank you. I hope that I was able to improve your game as much as I tried to over the course of your membership. I’ve really enjoyed sharing my ideas with you, and I always have tried very hard to make sure you get something out of it.

I believe that the best way to teach and learn is through ideas, the thought process, and constantly questioning yourself… not through absolute statements. I made it a goal to fully share the way I think about the game, which includes uncertainty, but initially, I was scared about how that would be received:

“I thought Phil was supposed to be teaching us. Why is he unsure of the best play half the time?”

I started off trying to seem less uncertain, but my constant questioning of myself still leaked through. Once I saw how well you responded to it, I felt very safe to teach the way that I felt was best: Openly sharing my ideas, my thought process, my mistakes.

I guess my (long-winded) point is, the members here have helped me become a better coach, and as a result, a better player. So, thank you. Thank you for all of the comments, critiques, and questions on my videos and blog posts. I genuinely enjoy teaching poker, and the feedback from members makes it so much more rewarding for me. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate those of you who gave feedback regularly.

As you guys know, I’ve always tried to teach ways to think about the game, rather than just tips or tricks. If I succeeded, I hope you’ll be able to take those tools and continue progressing. You’ll just need to find someone else to continually repeat how he doesn’t understand his HUD and tell you to “take care” every week.

For the members, I’ll be making four more videos, and then saying my final goodbye. I’d like to try and customize these last four as much as possible for you guys, so please tell me exactly what you’d like to see or hear me talk about.

I’ll be discontinuing my blog here after this post. I don’t know if I’ll continue blogging somewhere, but for now you can follow me at I’ll work a little harder to keep it updated.

I guess then, this is goodbye.

Good luck, and take care, guys.


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