“Run It Once Poker”: well, what do we know about Phil Galfond’s personal poker room?

Phil Galfond is known to have announced the grand opening of his own poker room about 1,5 year ago. All the gambling community was expecting the new poker room to make a radical change to the industry in general. But the launch of the anticipated web site was put on hold several times and could not yet go public.

But at last, Phil Galfond is ready to propose his creation – Run It Once Poker (RIO Poker). So far, it’s known quite little about the new gambling facility, so we’ve collected all the facts and commitments made by Phil Galfond himself about the upcoming grand opening.

The most important facts about RIO Poker room

Phil Galfond


Fact #1. The license issued by Malta Gaming Authority

Phil Galfond’s poker room is registered in Malta and licensed by MGA. If you take a look at the most important licensees of MGA, these are poker rooms (Titan Poker, Betfair), which belong to iPoker network.

Due to the specifics of the licensing process, the residents of the following countries would not be able to create an account at RIO Poker: Afghanistan, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany (the state of Schleswig-Holstein), Greece, Guyana, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Syria, Uganda, the USA, Vanuatu, Yemen.

As far as the EU is concerned (France, Portugal, Italy, Spain), Phil Galfond is considering an option to get licenses in these countries, but only after the poker room gets really rolling.


Fact #2. To be launched in summer… (2018)

Unfortunately, there’s no definite launch date as for today. We’re hoping, however, that under “in summer” Phil really means summer 2018. Earlier before, Mr. Galfond was planning to open his facility in the first half of 2017.

Fact #3. Two-stage launch

Stage 1 (summer 2018) – the launch of the games from the most popular disciplines – No Limit Texas Hold’em (NLHE) and Pot Limit Omaha (POL).

Stage 2 (no definite date) – the launch of tourneys: Sit’n’Go and Multi Table Tournaments. The second stage also includes the update of the software and the integration of new perks and bonuses (may be it will be included into the list of sites with no deposit bonuses).

Phil Galfond puts his kind of unusual approach towards the launch of the poker room down to the technical barriers in the software development and the change of the management. Due to the above-mentioned factors, Phil decided not to take any risks and not to promote the trial version of the poker room, but try to follow the proven algorithm.


What does Phil Galfond guarantees?

So far, there’s very little information about the new poker room. Almost every announcement made by Phil Galfond is followed by a promise to give more details about the up-coming opening. So far, the only thing we can do is to glean the necessary information about the expectations of the new poker room.

Expectation #1 RIO Poker is promised to become 100% transparent

“Transparency is something online poker has always lacked of. Really huge companies find it very hard to be transparent. I’m not going to blame any other gambling operators, but what I’m really getting at is that RIO Poker will be as transparent as possible”.

Expectation #2 Reasonable rakes and skill games

“Any poker web site should serve both to professionals and inexperienced gamblers. Players need to have a dream and believe that poker can one day become their professional life. That’s why we’re going to make rakes reasonable for all the games. Our aim is to create an attractive and entertaining environment for all kinds of players. We’re going to offer unique cash-games meant for authentic and clean poker as well as entertainment”.

But what does Galfond means when he says “authentic and clean poker”? Hard to say. Probably, he implies that RIO Poker will not allow HUD? The question on the usage of HUD was brought up several times, at 2+2 poker form and at runitonce, however, Phil Galfond gives confusing answers like: “Thank you a lot for your attention, your questions are very important for us. Wait for next announcements”.


Expectation #3 New rewarding mechanism for RIO players

Phil Galfond made a promise to consult the interests of both professional players and amateurs. Maybe, it would be a good idea to consider an option to guarantee a standard rake back to professionals and chests for amateurs? Anyways, all kinds of players should remain pleased.

Expectation #4 The protection of recreational players

“We guarantee to offer protection to recreational players. Under “protection” we mean the liquidation or maximum devaluation of “greedy” behavior by any means possible, including the original concepts. As new threats arise, we promise to find a way to neutralize them”.

When can we expect any updates?

Only one month remains before summer begins. Phil Galfond promised to give information about unconventional solutions and Run It Once Poker concepts. Online poker has changed a lot recently. Some companies took certain decisions, which definitely draw praise, whereas the others are basically moving towards something, which online poker used to be called, but not anymore. Phil Galfond and Run It Once Poker have strong reliance in the rectitude of their decisions and are exerting all effort to meet the expectations of their players. Let’s see, how it plays out. May be it would be able to compete with PokerStars or at least PartyPoker.

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