Online poker upstart Run it Once Poker has hit cash game traffic levels not observed since the first weeks of launch, thanks to generous promotions and a very visible, very risky poker challenge undertaken by its founder, Phil Galfond.

According to data tracked by independent industry monitor GameIntel and available on the PRO Data platform, its seven-day moving average of concurrent cash game players has reached 80 seats. Outside of a one-off spike six months ago, it is the highest level of traffic seen since its first month after launch.

This burst of interest is thanks in part to the start of the Phil Galfond Challenge, a high stakes gamble from the founder of Run it Once Poker to generate interest in his fledgling site. He offered an open challenge to any player to engage in a high stakes, heads-up battle on his site, with a large side bet to sweeten the deal. Half a dozen pro poker players have registered their interest, and the first battle started just over a week ago.

So far, the challenge has been a costly endeavor for Galfond—but a success in terms of driving interest to his online poker room.