New poker site Run It Once Poker launched to the general public this week. The site, a brainchild of poker star Phil Galfond, opened for a public beta test on Feb. 6.
For right now, the site only offers cash games for no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha games. Unfortunately, the site is not and will not be available for players in the United States.
Run It Once is different in practice, not appearance
Galfond first devised the site after the 2016 World Series of Poker. He made a long post on the Run It Once forums about all the things that he felt a poker site should be.
Most of all, Galfond indicated the overarching need for transparency. This site is the product of that set of values he wrote.
Run It Once is a meat-and-potatoes site. The overall presentation of the site remains, at this point, rather rudimentary.
However, this simplistic quality belies the fact that there are some excellent design features on Run It Once. The chief differentiating feature on this site is the use of so-called “dynamic” avatars.
Avatars on poker sites are nothing new, and players can often use them as an extra element of their online game and presence. However, the dynamic avatars on Run It Once will actually yield information about their players to other opponents.
So, a tight player’s avatar might appear to be asleep. A wild maniac might have an avatar with hair and clothing askew.
In this aspect, the avatar acts similarly to a real-life person’s face, yielding information and tells to the opposition. On the other hand, the ever-changing avatar will also serve to help the player monitor his or her own table image.
The site will also take numerous steps to reduce the amount of player targeting. In other words, good players won’t be able to make notes and alerts when weaker players sit at various tables.
As a result, recreational players without a target on their backs. Any player who sits down at a new table will both have their identity concealed and be assigned a new avatar.
Run It Once also bans the use of heads-up displays at most of its buy-in levels. Only players at the highest levels can use these types of software.
These highest levels are meant to be the province of top players. At present, the cash games range from €4 buy-ins to €2000 buy-ins.
There are only five strata of buy-ins right now. Both the hold’em and Omaha games host each level of buy-in.
Run It Once offers a host of generous promotions
In keeping with Galfond’s ethos, Run It Once has more generous promotions than players might typically see. One of the most robust promotions is the Splash the Pot feature.
Run It Once Poker is already pledging to return 51 percent of rake back to all players in the form of splash pots. Pots at all buy-in levels will receive boosts at random times as play goes on.
Run It Once is also offering rakeback to players that stream their gameplay through various websites. The feature, known as StreamR, rewards players based upon their number of view hours. Potentially, a player could receive up to 110 percent rakeback through this functionality.
Finally, Run It Once is welcoming new players to the site with an expansive first deposit bonus. The site will match 100 percent of the player’s first deposit up to €600.
The match bonus will dispense in chunks according to a playthrough schedule. However, unlike many similar bonuses, there is very little in the way of a time limit on this bonus.
As long as the player plays one hand in a calendar month, the bonus will remain active on the player’s account. So, players don’t have to feel rushed to achieve any particular number of hands.
American players can’t run it at all
As indicated by the € symbol above, Run It Once Poker operates using the Euro as its currency. That choice is reflective of the fact that the site does not have any plans to open its operations to residents of the United States.
Although that fact may seem unfair or harsh, it’s quite understandable. For a new site trying to get off the ground, operating in the United States, under its numerous laws and red tape, would be an unnecessary headache.
For those of us in the “land of the free,” though, it’s a shame. There are a lot of things about Run It Once that would be fun to try out.