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The eagerly-awaited Run It Once (RIO) poker platform will be finally opening for a ‘public beta’ launch on Wednesday, February 6. ROI founder Phil Galfond made the public announcement on his latest blog on February 3 and expressed his excitement stating, “I can’t express how excited I am to see this project come to life. Support from the community has been overwhelming, and I’m so glad that I don’t have to ask you to wait any longer.”
‘Public Beta’ Launch Scheduled for February 6
According to Galfond’s latest blog, the site will remain in the ‘public beta’ mode until the platform is nearly flawless. The site will launch with 6-max NLHE and PLO tables, with more game types and formats to be added at a later date.
Galfond tweeted about the same on February 4.
To everyone saying that they’ll be there to play @RunItOncePoker on Wednesday – Thank you so much! You truly will make a difference for us.
And when I say “see you there,” I mean it. All sign-ups will be able to join us on Discord, and I’ll be there to chat with you! ❤️
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) February 3, 2019
He even requested supporters to help by playing, at least, one hand on Wednesday and sharing one impression, via social media or with a friend.
Galfond’s latest blog was also tweeted by RIO on its official Twitter page announcing the launch date.
— Run It Once Poker (@RunItOncePoker) February 4, 2019
Discussing his vision regarding the launch, Galfond told PokerNews, “The main hope I have, and I’ve mentioned it in my most recent post, is that players who want to support us will give us a try as soon as possible. We really need the liquidity in our games in week 1 in order to have a successful launch, and I know as a player how easy it is to wait and never get around to signing up for a site until I know I’m going to move a lot of my play there. If people will give us a shot early, it will mean a lot for our chances of achieving those long-term goals.”
The poker site, Run It Once had been under development for three years now and according to Galfond’s blog dated January 31, the site was very close to an official launch. Last year, the three-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner had announced that the site was being beta-tested for glitches and bugs. A sample site was launched, and Galfond has since been regularly updating fans and poker fraternity of different software developments, sharing insights on how the site will look and function.
In November last year Galfond had divulged plans for a unique rewards program that centred around live streaming. In his January 31 blog, Galfond has unveiled more details, and this time he talks about “Rake and Rewards.”
Run It Once Poker shared the latest blog on its Twitter handle.
- Check out @PhilGalfond’s latest post, #7: “Rake and Rewards,” where he provides our plans for rake, along with introducing our primary rewards system. #LongLivePoker https://t.co/akyTUqvgMi
— Run It Once Poker (@RunItOncePoker) 31 January 2019
Run It Once is likely to feature a higher base rake with high rewards to achieve net rake targets, so that recreational and professional players are equally rewarded. Galfond’s blog gives us a sneak peek into these aspects, the rake structure players can expect on the site, and the rakeback system.
Rake On Run It Once
While Galfond has talked at length about how rake is an important part of running a poker site in order to make it sustainable, his blog also gives a sneak peek into the rake structure players can expect on the site. The rakeback system at Run It Once he emphasized would differ from those currently in place at major sites like PokerStars and partypoker.
i) Mixing Streaming with Rakeback System
This will be one of the primary features at Run It Once, revealed Galfond in his November blog. Galfond has explained the reasons why, underlining the significance that poker streaming holds in the fast-changing landscape of poker technology. Run It Once’ rakeback system will reward players who live stream.
ii) Rake A Necessary Evil
Nobody like rake, says Galfond, it’s just part of the game – a necessary evil.
“A poker site shouldn’t simply charge whatever it can get away with. A poker site’s pricing decisions should be guided by their values and beliefs. We’ve made some unique and innovative decisions in building our platform, but at the end of the day, rake is rake. Though I wish I could tell you we’ve come up with some ground-breaking method to reduce rake by 75%, that’s just not the case.”
iii) Lower Rake On Run In Once
Rake at Run It Once will be set at the lower end and adjusted as the site grows over time. The site’s net rake, according to Galfond, would be certainly lower than the “big two” sites – PokerStars and partypoker.
“In some cases, we’ve reduced it by what I consider a wide margin. In others, the numbers are closer. How much we beat them by also depends, of course, on what type of player you are and what you qualify for in terms of rewards at our competitors’ sites,” Galfond wrote.
iv) Adjustable Rake
Galfond laid out the belief system that would guide the pricing on Run It Once- that all poker games should be beatable, and that rake should be adjusted according to the game types, speeds and achievable edges.
This will also be factored in future developments at Run It Once as the site introduces new game types. Galfond spelled it out, “As a basic example…Games with faster structures and lower achievable edges should be rakes lower than their slower counterparts.”
Summing it up, the upcoming poker portal is likely to feature a higher base rake with high rewards to achieve net rake targets, so that recreational and professional players are “equally rewarded”.
Reward System on Run It Once
Galfond had in his previous blog post talked about the testing process that Run It Once was undergoing and revealed a unique rewards program. He revisited the rewards program topic again in his latest blog. “There are”, he says, “several reward systems out there: Chests, missions, rakeback (or points redeemable for rakeback). We didn’t go with any of them”.
According to Galfond, the Run It Once rewards program will be:-
– Easy to collect
– Always allocated- no rewards would be left unclaimed
– Engaging during play but analytically instead of mindlessly.
– Called “Splash the Pot,” since “At the start of randomly selected hands, chips will fall from the sky into the middle of the table.”
– The chips will be in the form of free antes and range from one big blind to 1,000 big blinds.
– The smaller amounts will fall more frequently- to enable players to immediately benefit from rewards as there is no way to leave the chips on the table at the end of a hand
– Players must quickly adjust to a splashed pot, those who do it most effectively will benefit financially
– Deters bots due to the sudden changes in the betting structure when a pot is splashed
– Every player will receive 51% rakeback, regardless of type of player, number of hands played.
Galfond claims this will be the most visible rewards system in the online poker industry.
Run It Once – Years in the Making
While Galfond has been envisaging the launch of his new online poker site since 2013, he officially announced his plans for Run It Once poker only in 2016.
In April 2018, Galfond announced that ‘Phase 1’ of the site was ready for a 2018 summer launch, however, the site ran into functionality obstacles and on May 2, Galfond divulged that games on the site would not allow Heads-up displays (HUD). The same month, he revealed the two primary features that poker players could expect from the site – a fixed buy-in system and auto seating.
Later in August, Galfond started a discussion on the limit of tables for multi-tabling, and whether to restrict multi-tabling at four tables or six. While Galfond was in favor of four tables, he posted his query to the poker community on Twitter and around 59.5% people voted for six tables.
Galfond then posted a 20-minute video on Run It Once’ YouTube channel in September, giving viewers a visual look into the different processes in site’s software. He informed that private real money beta will be getting a boost and by September 13, the site would be adding another 1,000 players to the worldwide beta. Depending on the players’ feedback, the scale of the beta may be increased in terms of uptime and players.
Galfond, had revealed that with the involvement of poker pro Elias Gutirrez, the Run It Once team had settled on an idea that would give streamers the chance to compete for cool awards. Streamers on the site would be judged on their ‘watch time’ i.e. number of hours viewers watch a stream clubbed with their viewers’ hours. Streamers would then be rewarded according to four tiers of the Run It Once Rakeback program.
*This story has been updated on 05.02.2019.