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Run It Once Poker to Close and Head Towards US Market

December 31, 2021

Run It Once founder Phil Galfond has announced that it is to cease offering games from January 3, 2022. The news was posted yesterday in a blog piece written by Galfond, disappointing many of the players that had supported his drive to make a site run by players, for players.

Change of Direction

When Phil Galfond announced that he was to launch Run It Once Poker, many were excited to see if he could really pull it off. The success of his training site gave us real confidence that he would once again be able to attract the best people for all of the positions.

Sadly, for various business reasons, he has decided to pull the plug on the global player pool project and refocus on entering the US market.

Players now only have four more days to enjoy playing on Run It Once and then three months to withdraw their balances.

  • Gameplay will stop on January 3rd, 2022.
  • You will be able to withdraw your account balances from the client anytime from now until April 3rd, 2022.
  • If for some reason you’re unable to login and/or withdraw, please email support and the team will help you resolve it!
  • For further details, click here.

Many Reasons

Phil Galfond writes that his dream was always to build his brand in the global player pool with a view to entering the US market as soon as an opening was available.

With the pandemic changing life over the last two years, it looks as if planning a strategy for the future became difficult, with nobody really having any idea how it would all plan out.

The Galfond Challenge and Legends rewards program offered a considerable boost to traffic. New games helped, but not by as much as hoped, and as the world now returns to a more normal state of being, Run It Once was hit hard by what was Covid-traffic leaving to pursue other interests.

The net result was a return to traffic figures last seen in late 2019—a real kick in the teeth.

“With few new signups, our SNG traffic was underwhelming, and our cash game traffic levels began to fall. With a break in the Galfond Challenges and our SNG Select campaigns falling short, among other things, our player acquisition efforts weren’t enough to outpace churn.”

“Along with the world opening back up and the compounding effect of liquidity on itself, the decline in traffic accelerated. We were right back to where we started in late 2019.”

This realisation was the impetus that for the business to survive, a dramatic change in direction was needed. Galfond doesn’t go into all of the details but explains that many different options were assessed.

After it was decided to concentrate on entering the US market, the team quickly understood that this would mean shutting down the global operation, for the time being at least.

“My goal when we started this was to become a major competitor in the markets we launched in, and then work towards getting into the US. While we’re on our way to half of that, it makes me sad that we didn’t first achieve the other half.”

“For many reasons, I wish that we could continue operating across the world as we worked our way towards the US, but, also for many reasons, it’s clearly not the right path forward.”

Galfond writes that his urge to innovate at every turn was likely a mistake, causing issues with his original tech leadership. He is also honest enough to admit that without all of his mistakes the site might have been able to grow large enough to survive and support the push for a US licence.

We wish Phil Galfond and his team the very best of luck for the future and look forward to seeing him back in business servicing US customers.

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