Phil Galfond has announced that as of January 3, 2022 online poker sitePoker will be ceasing its Rest of World operations in order to pursue entry into the United States regulated market.
According to Galfond in, with traffic on the international site declining to pre-pandemic levels, in order for the company to proceed it would need to “pivot” and the direction will be to compete in the United States.
“This has been a dream of mine since well before we first launched. I didn’t initially think it would be an option for us for another half-decade so I’m very excited to be on our way to achieving it,” Galfond wrote.
“The very unexciting part of this news is that, in order to head in that direction, we’re shutting down our Rest of World operations and focusing fully on getting our platform complete and prepared to operate in the U.S. regulated environment.
Gameplay on Run It Once Poker will stop on January 3, 2022, and players will have until April 3, 2022, to withdraw any remaining account balance. Run It Once customer service will be available before then to help players resolve any issues they may have in logging on or removing balances.
It’s been nearly two years since Run It Once Poker has been operational after a long ramp-up that, according to Galfond, featured failures with their technical leadership and initial miscommunication on what they wanted their product to be. He also professes that along the way he learned valuable lessons he intends to bring with him moving forward one of which included predicting player behaviors on dealing with hurtles to play on a site with lower liquidity.
“Needless to say, I have learned a lot, and I’d have done a number of things differently if I had it to do over. This is something I’m particularly excited about – getting the chance to start over, in a way, with all of the experience we’ve gained.”
In addition to the experience, Galfond hopes to bring some of the innovations that Run It Once Poker brought to market to players in the U.S. including Dynamic Avatars which acts as a built-in HUD and their Splash The Pot rewards system, one that other operators in the market have also adopted for their customers.
However, one of the most popular forms of online poker, multi-table tournaments, never became a reality on Run It Once, something that undoubtedly hindered the site’s growth.
“Had I not made the mistakes I did, perhaps we’d have been able to grow large enough to stay in Rest of World markets and head towards the U.S. – I’ll never know,” he wrote. “I do have some regrets, but more than anything, now that I can add our experience to everything we already did well, I’m feeling optimistic about what we’ll be able to accomplish this time around.”
“We’ve poured our hearts, minds, and souls into Run It Once Poker. We didn’t accomplish everything that we set out to, but we’re far from finished.”