Phil Galfond Makes Unique Play By Exposing Himself to Run It Once Community

August 30th, 2019 | by Kaycee James

Ever the one to try something new, Phil Galfond has confirmed he’ll now be a regular player on his own online poker site, Run It Once.

Phil Galfond Run It Once

Phil Galfond will become the first site founder and owner to play openly on his own platform, Run It Once. (Image: Run It Once/Phil Galfond)

In a move that’s virtually unprecedented, Galfond has been given regulatory clearance to use the site he created.

Announcing the news via his personal blog this week, Galfond said he’ll become the first non-anonymous player on Run It Once.

“If I’m at your table, I won’t know who you are, but you’ll see my name and avatar,” the high stakes pro wrote.

In tandem with revealing himself to the international Run It Once community, Galfond is putting a bounty on his head. Anyone that stacks him for 100bbs or more will win an additional €20/$22.

Interacting With Run It Once Players

During his first week of live play, the American will focus on micro and low stakes games. His aim to is to interact with those who wouldn’t normally get to play against him.

Beyond that, he’s also planning to stream his sessions. Despite being a relative novice when it comes to streaming, its popularity within poker has inspired Galfond.

The streams will be shown on the official Run It Once Twitch channel and initially run from August 30 to September 4.

In the short term, having a poker icon at the felt will generate some buzz around the site’s cash games. However, as its founder, Galfond also hopes the move will have a longer lasting effect.

By assuming the role of owner and, now, ambassador, Galfond wants to blur the lines between online poker executives and players. With other sites being accused of not listening to players, the American wants to do things differently.

Creating a direct connection with the Run It Once community through his presence at the table is his way of doing that.

Unique Play to Increase Traffic

But while that may be the primary aim, Galfond also implied it’s part of an effort to increase traffic. During his August 26 blog post, he admitted player numbers have dwindled in recent months.

Although that’s to be expected for a new site, he believes delays in deploying updates have taken their toll.

“Some players grew frustrated with the bugs that hadn’t yet been fixed. As they left, liquidity suffered, which is, unfortunately, a problem that compounds – other players who still loved Run It Once couldn’t find their games available when they wanted, and they followed suit,” Galfond wrote.

With important updates released, Galfond is now hoping his own star power will attract players.

That may not be enough to spike traffic levels on its own. However, Galfond clearly isn’t giving up on his dream to make Run It Once a successful, “player-friendly” online poker site.


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