01 Sep Phil Galfond Is Starting An Online Poker Room
“I know it’s a monumental task. I understand the risks and believe we have the right team in place to make it happen.” These were just a few of the confident words spoken by Phil Galfond, an accomplished online poker professional and entrepreneur, on his training site’s blog yesterday afternoon. In addition to winning a WSOP bracelet back in 2008, Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond also crossed the $10,000,000 career earning mark in February of 2012. In mid December of 2012, Phil launched RunItOnce.com, an online poker training site where he and other successful poker professionals create incredibly insightful poker training videos. In case you missed it the first time around, here is what Phil stated in his blog post:
A poker site should value poker players.
It should value the casual player for the money he's willing to put on the line to play a game he loves. For choosing poker over other hobbies, and for choosing their site over other sites.
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.
A poker site needs to believe in the dream of poker as a career. It shouldn't cater to professionals over other players, but it must make every policy change with the viability of the dream in mind.
A poker site needs to be a software and user experience company. Like other software companies, it should be eager to mine the trove of knowledge, experience, ideas, and feedback that is its player base. It should seek to build a fun and engaging environment that all types of players enjoy playing in.
A poker site should be transparent. It can't respond to every little idea, thought or wish, but it should do its best to explain its actions. It can't seek to please everyone by making changes that hurt the business, but it shouldn't ignore the public. It should be held accountable for the decisions it makes. It should be able to explain itself in a way that reasonable customers will understand.
A poker site should believe in fairness. Not fairness for the sake of public image and profits, but fairness for fairness's sake. It shouldn't let honest players, professional or recreational, be taken advantage of by others exploiting unenforceable rules. It should seek to put a stop to predatory behavior and to cheating of any kind. It should strive to create as level a playing field as possible.
A poker site should be agile in this ever-changing online environment. New ideas for improvement should be acted on. New advances in technology should be responded to. New problems should be met with creative solutions.
A poker site should understand that it doesn't have to lose for the players to win. Poker operators, professionals, and non-professionals all have their goals/wants/needs and these lists aren't mutually exclusive. It is possible for policy changes to be a win-win-win, or a win-win-tie. The search for these changes should be never-ending.
A poker site shouldn't obsess over where poker was five or ten years ago. It should seek to build a sustainable economy in the conditions of the present. It must continue to adapt to the climate.
I want a fair, honest, transparent poker site that believes in the dream that I have lived.
I'm going to give it my best shot.
Galfond, who now plays online poker under the moniker “MrSweets28” on Pokerstars also had this to say about his upcoming online poker site, which is scheduled to arrive in Quarter 1 of 2017. “Launching a site isn’t easy, as I know you know. The experience of building Run It Once Training from scratch not only taught me a lot, but helped me find a lot of good people to surround myself with for a project of this magnitude. We’re ready!”
Before you go and get your wallets ready though, there is big caveat about Phil Galfond’s new poker site. When asked whether or not the new poker site will be accepting United States poker players, Phil responded with the following, “I wish we could, but we don’t plan on accepting US customers in the current climate.” Bummer, I know. But can you blame him though? Just look at all the hoops sites like BetOnline, Ignition, and Americas Cardroom have to jump through in order to just accept our money. If I started an online poker site tomorrow, I too would forego United States traffic – it’s just too cumbersome.
Here’s a last look at some encouraging words he left in the comment section of his post:
Hey, Guys. I've received a few questions about what our policies and offerings will be. I expected nothing less, and I expect many more!
Initially, I didn't want to announce our impending launch until much closer to our launch date. However, we reached a point where it was becoming difficult to prepare for launch while keeping this a secret. Potential employees like to know where they're applying. Potential marketing partners need to know, when talking to us, that this isn't a random startup with nothing behind it. Basically, it had to get out sometime soon, and I wanted you to hear it from me.
As we're still several months from launch, there are some policies that haven't been decided on yet, and some others that we don't wish to reveal this early. We also will be making some of our decisions based on the opinions and feedback of the community, which we felt was one of the biggest benefits to announcing now rather than later.
As I mentioned in my initial post, transparency is one of our company's core values. It's very important to me that with every big decision we make, we also include our reasoning behind it. Some of these decisions will be very difficult. We won't be able to please everyone all the time, but we will be ready to explain each of our policy decisions when we announce them.
Our plan is to release policy announcements, as well as requests for feedback from the community, over the course of the next several months. This way we can present our ideas and reasoning and give each issue the attention it deserves.
I still welcome questions and feedback, but please understand that we can't answer all of your questions just yet, and that we will share information as we're ready and able to. Thank you!
What do you guys think about Galfond’s decision to start his own online poker site? We all know that he is a tremendous poker player, and presumably a savvy business man as well, but do you think he can assemble a team ready to tackle the online poker market? Can you see a Run It Once Poker site attracting enough recreational players to counterbalance all of the professionals who will be undoubtedly drawn to his new site? After all, Run It Once is a training site frequented by some of the best online poker players in the world.
If you’d like to read the full post regarding Phil Galfond’s new poker site, click here to read the original post on RunItOnce.com.