Phil Galfond Discovers Operating a Poker Site is Difficult

Phil Galfond Discovers Operating a Poker Site is ‘Difficult’ But Enjoys the Process

Crushing high-stakes online poker games might be easier than running a poker site for Phil Galfond. But two months since the Run it Once launch, the former Full Tilt Poker pro wrote in a blog post that the experience has been “fun” and he appears optimistic about his site’s potential.

Phil Galfond online poker

‘OMGClayAiken’ went from poker-playing legend to poker site creator. (Image: YouTube)

Galfond spent the past couple of years developing Run it Once. He initially projected a 2017 launch but the process was longer than expected.

Much hype surrounded the Run it Once launch. Many online grinders frustrated with what they perceive to be poor customer service and high rake at PokerStars eagerly awaited a more player-friendly poker site. Thus far, Galfond has delivered on that promise, but he admits there’s still plenty of work to do.

Honest Assessment

In a 2016 blog post announcing his plans to create Run it Once, Galfond described the attributes of a quality poker site.

“A poker site should value its players,” he wrote. “It should value the enthusiast and semi-professional for the liquidity they provide and for growing the game. For spreading the word, across different mediums, about their favorite site.

“It should value the professional for embodying the dream that brings so many people to poker. For proving that poker is a game of skill. For promoting the game of poker to their fans, students, followers or subscribers.”

Nearly three years later and one month post-launch, “OMGClayAiken” rated the progress his site made in February.

Phil Galfond Updates Run it Once Progress

More than a month has passed since Galfond posted that tweet. Has Run it Once made any progress over the past 30+ days? Is the pot-limit Omaha legend still optimistic about his poker site’s future? He addressed those questions in an April 1 blog post.

“It’s generally going well and that I’m happy with the launch,” he wrote. “That’s true, but to be entirely honest, it’s really hard to evaluate how things are going on the whole.”

Galfond admits he is stuck between optimism for the future and frustration “that we are still far away from doing everything we want to do.”

The poker pro said Run it Once averages 100 cash game players at any given time. But that figure exceeds 200 during peak hours. He compares the traffic to that of the PokerStars New Jersey site.

Financially, Galfond admits his poker site isn’t yet breaking even. But that’s to be expected from any new business. He says many online poker players have said they want to join Run it Once but are waiting for the player pool to increase.

“Right now, we’re working towards more consistency and traffic so that those of you who are waiting for those things before jumping into the action can finally make that jump,” Galfond said.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, Phil.

Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.


icnbe56 wrote...

It sounds like Phil found out it is easier to play then work !
Honestly , I hope he does well.
He may need to “give ” more away to get people to join, because if the players wait to see the “player pool” increase – then it will never increase – kinda like a line up of people ready to jump in a pool ,but no one does as they are waiting for the others ….
Offers like freerolls – with tickets to cash games, sign up bonuses etc . He will have to make it interesting like Poker Stars – and even a few different trials for players to join.

acidburnfx wrote...

I think anyone who is starting needs some interesting attraction, like offering tickets, bonuses, freerolls for cash games as mentioned so that the person can return again more often.

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