Phil Galfond Offers High Stakes Online Challenge; Run It Once Introduce Legends Rewards Program

It seems its more natural to breath life into dead flowers than run an online poker room. 

Ask Phil Galfond.

Yet, the man didn’t become one of the best in the business without the grit, determination and resilience needed to overcome the obstacles that Joseph Campbell always maintained would bar your way. 

Galfond needs more sweaty palms covering mice that fire arrows onto Run It Once like Robin Hood on crack, and one of the ways he intends to do that is to bring high stakes online cash game action to his baby. 

In a post entitled: “Heads-Up Battle,”, Galfond goes old school, issuing a high stakes challenge to everyone except his current roster of Run It Once pros. 

“Who wants to play some high stakes poker with a washed-up ex-pro?”

There are two ways to get involved in the action.

Galfond is offering a Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) challenge to all coaches that work on Run It Once’s competitor sites. He suggests Heads-Up, PLO over 50k hands, and a 3:1 side bet of 10 buy-ins played at 100/200+.  

Galfond would consider dropping the stakes to get some action, but judging by feedback on his blog, it’s likely high stakes fans will get the knitting needles in the eyes they so desperately want. 

Outside of PLO superheroes, Galfond offered a second challenge to anyone who thinks they have what it takes to topple a man the poker community would gladly memorialise with a golden statue. 

Here are the deets:

  • Prefer 100/200 through 300/600 PLO.
    • Will consider as low as 25/50
    • Will consider PLO/NL, PLO / limit games, and perhaps even straight NL if I get desperate enough!
  • Strongly prefer play on Run It Once Poker, but would consider some or all of the match played elsewhere if necessary.
  • You accept that I might make training content around the match and/or stream some of the match.
  • Any opponent who would stream some of the match (on RIO Poker) will get preference and possibly better terms.

The format is similar to the ‘Durrr Challenge,’ and who was the only player Tom Dwan omitted from that challenge – Mr Phil Galfond. 

If you are interested in taking him on, then send an email to with “Phil’s HU Challenge” as the title.

But there’s more than one way to skin a sloth.

Want to be a Legend?

Galfond has many attributes, and one of them is his humility. In a blog post, entitled “Become a Legend , the online cash game genius admits that his beloved ‘Splash the Pot’ Rakeback system, isn’t as loved as he would like.

During his time streaming and talking with players, Galfond has had to admit that some poker players prefer the older, volume-based way of grinding profits through Rakeback. 

“As should be obvious from all of my previous discussion on the topic, I don’t share that view, but it doesn’t really matter what I think,” wrote Galfond. “If we are giving back over half of our rake collected and a number of players view our rewards as worse than sites which offer 20% flat Rakeback, then we are failing miserably at getting the most out of our rewards system.”

In what Galfond calls ‘the first time that we’ve substantially altered course based on customer feedback,’ Run It Once’s rewards system changes. Rakeback reserved for Splash the Pot reduces from 51% to 30%, and soon, players can compete for splashes worth 100bb without risking any chips. Run It Once are set to implement “all-in for nothing” splashes, where the best hand at showdown wins 70% of the splash, with 30% reserved for the table.

The reduction in ‘Splash the Pot’ Rakeback allows Galfond to siphon rake to the new Legends program where players can earn up to 45% Rakeback (making that 75% in total). Legends is a point-based, tiered-system where a single point equates to €0.05 in gross rake paid, and there is a variety of fun and innovative ways that you can boost your scores including the first login of the week, first hand of the day, and clearing a rewards level. Run It Once plans to pay Rakeback weekly, and they’ve also added a rolling 4-Week Streak Rakeback boost for achieving a specific tier or higher four weeks in a row.

There is also insane value for people brave enough to keep games running with 1.5x point multipliers for 3-handed action, and 2x multipliers for battling heads-up.

Click on this link to learn more about the Legends program.