Run It Once Poker, an offshoot of Phil Galfond’s Run It Once training site, launched in February 2019.
The room immediately succeeded in generating a significant level of buzz thanks to its various innovative and unique features which sets it apart from other online poker sites including:
- Dynamic Avatars – You can select the avatar you want from the 11 available character, but your opponents at the table will see you as a random avatar. Additionally, each player’s avatar changes based on their recent play history.
- Splash the Pot – Money randomly added directly to the pot so you get rewarded faster.
- Legends – Further rewards with a traditional weekly cashback program.
- StreamR – This innovative rewards program pays players for live-streaming their action at RIO Poker tables.
- HeroIQ – Built-in HUD.
- SNG Select – Classic and “Lottery” sit and gos.
Run It Once Poker also has an AutoSeat blind lobby with fixed buy-ins that makes it fast and simple to get to the tables
And as a way of protecting its players from all of the sharks out there RIO Poker:
- Prohibits all third-party tools including HUDs
- Limits the number of tables a player can play at one time (this speeds up the games too!)
The project was first revealed two years ago as Galfond felt that the online poker sites at that time lacked “transparency” and he was looking for a “fair, honest, transparent” poker site.
Initially, the site was supposed to launch in Q1 2017. However, the project was delayed for various reasons.
The online poker sites is licensed in Malta and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority. The company also holds a license from the UK Gambling Commission in the United Kingdom.
Does Run it Once Poker offer a welcome bonus?
Like most online poker sites, Run It Once too has a welcome bonus for all new players.
RIO matches 100% of deposits up to €600 for 30 days. The bonus is released incrementally as indicated in the following table. For example, if a player deposits €250, he/she will be credited €5 for every €25 rake they contribute. Once the €100 bonus is cleared, they will receive €10 for every €57.10 for the next €100 batch and so on.
Run It Once Welcome Bonus Structure
|€0 – €100||€25.00||€5|
|€100 – €200||€57.10||€10|
|€200 – €300||€66.50||€10|
|€300 – €500||€100.00||€10|
|€500 – €600||€200.00||€10|
What makes RIO’s Welcome Bonus more appealing is that there is no expiration date to clear the bonus as long as players play at least 1 hand every 30 days. Additionally, all deposits in the first 30 days count towards the bonus and not just the first deposit.
The site initially launched with a standard bonus in the industry i.e., RIO matched first deposit bonus up to €600 with 100% but only the first deposit counted towards the bonus. However, this was later changed to an unlimited number of deposits following the players’ feedback.
No deposit code is required for the Welcome Bonus.
Run It Once Welcome Bonus
|Bonus Code||No Code Required|
|100% Match Up to||€600|
|Bonus Clear Period||Unlimited (as long as players play a hand every 30 days)|
|Last Verified||February 2021|
Run It Once Poker charges 4 — 5.75% rake for cash games, with rake cap from 0.50 up to 3.75, depending on the stakes and the number of players playing at the tables.
At No Limit Hold’em, rake is 5.75% at the micro stakes 5.5% at the low to mid-stakes, and it drops to 4% at the NL2000 tables, the highest stakes available. At PLO, it is fractionally lower—4.5% at micros, going up to 5% at PLO50 to PLO5000, then back down to 4% at high stakes.
Run It Once Poker Rake Structure
|Stakes (100bb buy-in)||NLHE||PLO|
In general, when compared with other sites, the rake on RIO is notably higher at similar game and stakes. However, with its generous rewards scheme, the “net rake” is much lower than its competitors.
How does Run it Once Rewards players?
Run It Once Poker offers two types of rewards—Legends (see below) and its unique Splash the Pot.
Splash the Pot (STP), as the name implies, returns 51% of all rake taken at the table in the form of extra money dropped randomly to pots. This “splashed” pot is based on the size of the pot on the previous hand. This additional money can vary from 1 big blind up to, on very rare occasions, 1000 big blinds. The winner of the hand takes the extra money.
This innovative way to distribute the rewards has been very well received in general and has been appreciated by all types of players for its innovative take on rewards. According to the company, STP helps it to achieve some of its objectives around rake including rewarding all types of players equally and eliminating unclaimed rewards.
In addition to the RIO’s primary rewards program STP, the room also offers a secondary rewards program called StreamR that encourages players to stream their play on Twitch in exchange for 50% to 110% in additional rakeback based on the number of viewer hours accumulated in a month.
StreamR has a four-level program where players on Level 1 which has been designed to be fairly easy to achieve will need 200 hours of “watch time” for 50% net rakeback. Similarly, Level 4 will require 20,000 hours of watch time and players will be rewarded 110% rakeback.
Does Run it Once have a standard loyalty program?
Yes. On top of Splash the Pot, there is also the Legends rewards program. The more you play, the more you get in cashback, as you move through five tiers: Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades and Legends.
Each of these tiers consists of five levels except for Legends, which has unlimited levels. As you complete every level, you are rewarded cash direct into your account, plus a level-up boost (free points towards unlocking higher levels).
You earn one point for every €0.05 in rake paid.
The entry-level “Clubs” tier starts at 10% rakeback, achievable for anyone who earns at least 60 points, equivalent to paying just €3 in rake.
These cash rewards increase as players generate more and more points, thus incentivizing players to put in higher volume—something that stands in stark contrast to the overall industry.
The final tier “Legends” guarantees €900 in cash rewards for every 90,000 points (€4500 in contributed rake) you accrue during a week.
Legends Rewards Program
|Tier||Cashback||Streak Reward||Max Cash Reward||Splash the Pot||Total|
What regular promotions does RIO poker run?
Besides offering a generous rewards program, Run It Once Poker also runs promotions on a daily basis, effectively increasing the value of the rewards up to the equivalent of 80% rakeback and sometimes even higher. There have been direct rakeback promotions, bigger pot “splashes”, rake races and more.
As of February 2021, the operator runs leaderboards across all its games every week. Many of these do not have much competition so can offer some great extra value for players.
The company also plans to run a table starter cashback program, encouraging players to start the table and keep them running.
What cash games are spread at RIO?
The site offers a limited range of game offerings, with No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha 6-max cash games starting at €4 buy-in (2c/4c) and going up to €1000 (€5/€10).
The room does not yet offer other game types and formats including tournaments and sit & gos. However, the company recently posted an update on the site’s progress suggesting that the development process for sit & go’s is “well underway” but the company has not provided a timeline yet. The addition of sit & go’s will be the room’s first major post-launch addition.
What tournaments are on offer at Run it Once?
In November 2020, the operator launched SNG Select. This offers both standard sit and gos, called Classic, and lottery sit and gos, called Cub3d. Cleverly, it uses the same player pool for both games. This means that games go off quite fast, even during quiet times.
Regardless of which you choose, the games are three handed and winner takes all, although if you are playing Cub3d there are special “Glitch” random prizes that can be triggered, rewarding you a prize even if you lose.
|Classic Buy-in||Classic Prize||Classic Rake||Cub3d Buy-in||Cub3d Prize||Cub3d Rake||Cub3d Glitch %||Glitch Prize|
What’s the software like?
Run It Once has its own in-house software offering many of the unique features designed for both the recreational and professional players. Most notably the Dynamic Avatars system, where each opponent has a random avatar that takes on a unique expression based on the player’s recently observed play style.
The cash game lobby is blind with fixed buy-ins, a common trend now in the online poker industry. Play is entirely anonymous, there is no chat box, though a canned chat system is available allowing players to express themselves with a shortlist of emoticons and phrases. Also unique is the player color-coding system, which accents each avatar’s shirt with the chosen color.
There is also a prohibition of all third-party tools including HUDs, cap on multi-tables to up to 6 tables, unique sit out policy.
The client is still in beta mode and will remain in this phase until the platform is “nearly flawless,” according to Phil Galfond, the founder of RIO. The site has been releasing frequent updates adding new features on a monthly basis including resizeable tables, ability to download hand histories, improvements to hotkeys, new table backgrounds and new table layouts, new card options, visual tweaks, etc.
Run It Once Poker is available to both Windows and Mac users.
Does RIO have a mobile app?
At the time of writing, Run It Once Poker has not yet revealed a mobile app yet. But it is expected, RIO will an app for Android and iOS users in the near future. There is no word on whether there will be a browser-based client.
What banking options are there at RIO?
Players can deposit on Run It Once Poker through a variety of options including VISA and MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, ecoPayz, Paysafecard, MuchBetter, AstroPay Card, bank transfer powered by Trustly. However, depending on the player’s location, these payment methods may vary.
RIO is also expecting to accept cryptocurrencies including Bitcoins soon but it is still waiting for the regulators to add those options.
Does Run it Once operate in my country?
RIO operates internationally under a Malta license and accepts players from dozens of countries. This includes Canada, South America much of Europe including Finland, Netherlands, Russia and Germany. It is available in the UK too, thanks to RIO’s UKGC license.
However, the site is not available in certain key jurisdictions including the US, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Czech Republic, Romania, Estonia, Greece, and the European segregated market made up of the shared player pools in France, Spain, and Portugal.
The operator is understood to have applied for a license in some of these countries including Denmark and Sweden.
Latest News on Run It Once Poker:
Rush Street Interactive (RSI) acquired Phil Galfond’s Run It Once Poker (RIO) platform in March. It could potentially launch BetRivers Poker in several jurisdictions in North America — though the company’s plans remain unclear.
Coupled with the Run It Once Poker team, the acquisition puts Rush Street Interactive in a strong position to launch online poker.
Rush Street Interactive, one of the leading iGaming operators in the US, acquires Galfond’s Run It Once Poker Room for $5.8 million in cash and stock.
Run it Once has shut its doors, with plans to focus on a future relaunch in the US. While details are scarce, we explore some of the potential avenues RIO could take towards entering the US online poker market.
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