Phil Galfond to Launch New Online Poker Room
The online poker industry is ultra-competitive. There are hundreds of poker sites from which to choose; starting a new one to compete with them, including such giants as PokerStars and 888poker, seems like a fool’s errand. But poker pro Phil Galfond announced yesterday that he intends to make a go of it and he ain’t no fool.
That’s right. Phil Galfond has put together a team and is going to launch an online poker room during the first quarter of next year. He has not given details of anything as of yet, so we don’t know if it will be a skin of a network or independent, if it will use brand new client software or recycle an older product. He has said, though, that it will not be open to players in the United States, which is not surprising; there is absolutely no reason to court legal problems from the get-go.
In a lengthy blog post on his poker training site, Run It Once, Galfond explained that he motivated, above all else, to do things right. He has an idealistic vision for his online poker room, wanted to combine fun, profitability, customer focus, transparency, and “something for everyone” into one, perfect package.
“A poker site should value poker players,” he began. Expanding on that, Galfond wrote:
It should value the casual player for the money he’s willing to put on the line to play a game he loves. For choosing poker over other hobbies, and for choosing their site over other sites.
It should value the enthusiast and semi-professional for the liquidity they provide and for growing the game. For spreading the word, across different mediums, about their favorite site.
It should value the professional for embodying the dream that brings so many people to poker. For proving that poker is a game of skill. For promoting the game of poker to their fans, students, followers or subscribers.
A poker site needs to believe in the dream of poker as a career. It shouldn’t cater to professionals over other players, but it must make every policy change with the viability of the dream in mind.
He went on to say that the software, of course, needs to be something that adds to players’ enjoyment of the site, as opposed to just being a vehicle for virtual cards, and that players’ input on the software and “user experience” should be welcomed.
Fairness was also a key point for Galfond.
“Not fairness for the sake of public image and profits, but fairness for fairness’s sake. It shouldn’t let honest players, professional or recreational, be taken advantage of by others exploiting unenforceable rules,” he said.
“A poker site should understand that it doesn’t have to lose for the players to win,” wrote Galfond, explaining that the relationship between the poker room and its players doesn’t have to be an adversarial one.
“Poker operators, professionals, and non-professionals all have their goals/wants/needs and these lists aren’t mutually exclusive. It is possible for policy changes to be a win-win-win, or a win-win-tie. The search for these changes should be never-ending.”
Considering the plan is to launch within the seven months, it is very probable that this has been in the works for quite some time. This, in addition to Galfond’s impassioned treatise, would also lead me to believe that Run It Once Poker (if that’s what it will be called) will not just be a skin of an existing network. Regardless, it will all be quite fascinating to see how it all plays out.
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