Luke Schwartz Tells All to Jeff Gross Before Starting the Galfond Challenge

Luke Schwartz has appeared on the Jeff Gross podcast and given a revealing interview about his career and his thoughts on the upcoming Galfond Challenge.

By: Mark Patrickson

Schwartz is one of poker’s most interesting characters, known for his outspoken personality and flamboyant table behaviour he has polarised the viewers opinions. His postings on social media platform Twitter are some of the most controversial in the poker niche.

How It All Started

Schwartz picked up the game of poker as a nine year old while on holiday in the USA. With American parents it seemed a natural pastime for the family to play and relax together.

His skills quickly became apparent as he entered his twenties and he racked up final table finishes for his first 18 registered events. Gross appears stunned at such consistency even if the fields were relatively small.

Tournaments, while exciting and always giving the possibility of a huge score, eventually gave way to the lure of cash games with more steady income and the chance to show his class without the possibility of people claiming he just ran hot.

Schwartz quickly rose through the ranks and arrived at the notoriously tough to beat $5/$10 games. This was where things started to get tough.

He found he didn’t have the self discipline to manage his money and repeatedly busted his roll trying to settle permanently into high stakes life.

It was only ever a matter of time, though. He eventually got a grip of things and put together an impressive run that stacked up $2 million into his Full Tilt account.


Even once Schwartz was established as one of the best cash game players he couldn’t keep away from betting on sports - horses in particular.

$20,000 bets on horses he knew nothing about became the norm. He just didn’t care.

Family was what turned the situation around for the Londoner. Realising that he needed to do better he reinvented himself as a mixed games player and now considers himself as the best in the world, although many will, of course, disagree.

His results over his career have gained him enough attention that Americas CardRoom signed him up as a brand ambassador.

Taking On Phil Galfond

When Phil Galfond put out his challenge offer nobody expected that Luke Schwartz would be a player to sign up. With PLO, he probably still wouldn’t take the offer, but Galfond agreed to play mixed games with him.

This is a dangerous proposition. Galfond is probably more in shape to fight with mixed games than he is against the world’s best PLO players. A regular in Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas, Galfond lines up against the best live mixed games players there are.

The pair made a deal to play 5,000 hands of $1,000/$2,000 8-game, with a $250,000 side bet included for the winner of the challenge.

Schwartz has also given Galfond a ton of grief over his performance in the challenge so far. Losing $1 million in such a short time was bound to attract such comments.

In Schwartz’s defence, pointing out that taking four years off and coming back to take on the best PLO players in the world, such as “VeniVidi1993”, was never likely to turn out well for the American.

The interview ends with some questions, where Schwartz is asked what he thinks about the most successful players in the live scene.

In typical humourous fashion, Schwartz lays into Phil Hellmuth saying he simply isn’t that good, regardless of his results.

On the other hand Phil Ivey, and more surprisingly, Daniel Negreanu are highly respected by him.

We will soon see later this year if Schwartz’s boasts about his ability will prove to be true when he himself sits in the hot seat and takes on Phil Galfond in his challenge.


Other Poker news

Leave a Reply

To post comments you need to Login or register your free HighstakesDB account.


No comments have been posted yet.