Run It Once Poker says goodbye


On December 30, 2021, Phil Galfond announced that the end of the year coincides with the end of Run It Once Poker; four days after this message, all games will stop. How will we remember this room, and what are Galfond's plans for 2022?


New Year's gift from Galfond

The American pro became the author of the first most resonant news of the year yet to come. On this Twitter and on his website, he announced a complete reboot of his most important poker project of the past few years:

On January 3, 2022, at 10:00 CET, all Run It Once Poker games will be suspended.

The complete shutdown of the poker room will occur gradually:

  • Account balances can be withdrawn until April 3, 2022. You can download the client up to this time — the withdrawal can be requested only via the cashier.
  • All promotion payments will be made until January 4. Instead of a weekly loyalty payout, all players will get 45% rakeback over the last seven days of playing.
  • All non-wagered first deposit bonuses will be credited in full.
  • All personal data of the players will be deleted or anonymized after the end of the payout period.

The support service will answer all questions via email at [email protected].

Reasons for closure

The history of Run It Once Poker is unlike any other room, first of all, because the trial period lasted several years, and the desire of developers to create a unique product.

But a rather banal reason led to its closure: a drop in players' interest and the failure of all attempts to bring the traffic to a balance point.

For example, there were only 44 connections in the cash games last night, most of them in NL50/PLO50.

Phil highlighted the following facts that led to such a deplorable situation:

  • Unfulfilled hopes for a traffic boost after launching SnG Select
  • A big pause in Galfond Challenges
  • Overhiring of staff even before launching the room
  • Underestimating the inertia of the players about new rooms

We would like to add that throughout this year, Run It Once Poker "lost the peg" to the regular poker movement, and regular races with small prizes could not reverse this situation in any way. This undermined the already very precarious situation of the room.

RIO Poker innovations

Run It Once Poker SnG Select

Although the site was lost somewhere in the seventh top ten of the PokerScout rankings, it was very different from all other rooms, not because of a man like Phil Galfond behind it, but in its approach to the game.

The Run It Once Poker client had:

  1. Dynamic avatars showing the style of the game
  2. Built-in lobby pages with race results and progressive loyalty system
  3. Built-in HUD — HeroIQ
  4. SnG Select — mixing Spins and classic SnGs
  5. Splash The Pot — the world's first version of cash drops

And all of this is in addition to a series of fashionable options such as random seating at the tables, anonymized nicknames, table cap of four, stacks in BB, etc. Unfortunately, only software "stuffed" with innovation and good direct rakeback was not enough for the survival of the room.

Running It Again

At the same time, Phil Galfond named his text announcing the closure of RIO Poker: "Running it Again." What does this mean?

In 2022, Run It Once Poker will be reborn, but as a legal room in the United States within one of the local reservations.

Simultaneous work on the ROW and USA markets were called by Galfond "not the right path forward." In other words, the closure of the room with a Maltese license will open the doors to get a license, for example, from the state of Nevada.

In this case, Phil's fame in the USA can work for him, but an easy road to conquer players should not be expected. Even with fewer competitors, they are all long-time and highly experienced in the poker market. 

We wish Phil good luck in his new endeavors!

We hope that RIO Poker will eventually return to the global pool, but for now, its players have access to dozens of other poker rooms. If you have any questions about how to get the best rakeback deals, reach our team:

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