Phil Galfond's avatar

Elite Pro

Phil Galfond

Thanks, Thallo! Glad to here that my rambling was welcome.

If I have to generalize about sizings, I think that I spent a long time betting 2/3-3/4 pot just out of habit. I actually believe that I still bet smaller than would be optimal in a lot of situations, but I'm getting closer. I believe I'm finding the theoretical reasons to stray from my default sizings more and more often.

I've said this in the past, but I think you should be careful when changing sizings from what you're used to, because it changes the stack:pot ratios that you'll see, along with how opponents will play against you. They will continue with different ranges than you're used to, so your intuition will be off.

I'm a player who relies heavily on intuition and experience (at least in terms of players now - I used to consider myself more analytical than most but the game has changed), so it's especially relevant for me. For players with a more technical approach, it likely wouldn't be much of a problem.

Jan. 20, 2017 | 12:34 a.m.

Thank you very much for the well thought out questions, Jonna, and thank you for the well thought out response, Midori!

I am a bit surprised to see that this hand is as high up as it is in his range, even on this brick river.

I think it's important to note that his hand contains zero blockers to my value range unless I add sets.

He also doesn't block my bluffs too much. The 3 very slightly does and the 4h does as well.

So, I don't think the blockers are great for a call, but it's likely the case that he's just too high up in his range, even after taking blockers into account, to want to fold this hand.

The main thing I will take away from this is that I was overestimating the strength of his range in comparison to mine. The fact that he will have hands like T8/T9/96/95 (and I basically won't) has a pretty large effect on brick rivers. His range becomes so much weaker than mine when no draws come in.

With this large a range advantage and the more polarized range, I can capture a huge % of the pot.

FWIW, I am unlikely to bet hopeless hands on the turn unless they contain a couple of blockers, but that shouldn't matter too much in terms of him deciding which hands he should call the river with (if we assume I have the right bluffing frequency).

Jan. 20, 2017 | 12:26 a.m.

Phil continues to break down his high stakes PLO match against Jungleman.

Jan. 16, 2017 | 5 p.m.

There are many posts in here that I'd like to say "thank you" in response to, but I would just be spamming/bumping this thread relentlessly.

The support that I/we received after our first announcement, and the support we continue to receive means a lot to us as a company and a lot to me personally.

Thank you so much, guys. I hope to make everybody rooting for Run It Once proud!

Jan. 16, 2017 | 12:36 a.m.

I am not positive yet about specific countries, but for smaller countries that require an individual license, we likely won't be able to offer to them at launch. As the business grows, we will start applying for more.

I'm sorry if we can't operate in your country as quickly as I'd like to.

Jan. 16, 2017 | 12:30 a.m.

Thank you very much!

This is interesting to me! I've always assumed that coaches use 1/2/3/4 as a shortcut for themselves, and that the viewers had to get used to translating that into tables in order to follow.

I was under the impression that 'top-left' was easier as it requires no translation. I'm curious to hear what others think, because I definitely want to make my videos as pleasant to watch as possible!

Jan. 11, 2017 | 11:22 p.m.

Listening back I didn't hear myself mention 3betting, but if I did it was misspeaking and not misunderstanding the action, so the analysis still applies.

A hand like T876 , JT87dd or similar makes sense to not cbet and x/c T.

I'd be surprised to see him check twice with these reasonably strong drawing hands with zero showdown value. I think it's very reasonable to check the flop with both of those hands, but I think it's likely a mistake to check the turn as well.

I agree that he may bet a lot of Ax hands on the turn, especially two pair, which is why I was a bit hesitant about what otherwise would appear to be a clear value bet.

I think a smaller river bet would be nice for our particular hand, but I don't know how much sense it makes for our range. I don't know if using two sizings on this river makes sense because I don't expect to bet two pair for any sizing, and I almost never have a set given the action. That leaves the overwhelming majority of my value range as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd nut straights, and it feels weird to me to use two sizings for a range that narrow.

If we go with just one sizing, I also don't think a small one makes sense for a range that strong.

Jan. 11, 2017 | 11:20 p.m.

Thanks, Midori!

1) I think the Ah definitely helps. Eliminating the majority of his value and bluff x/r range will always be beneficial for a VB or a bluff.

2) I guess my question back to you is: What are relevant blockers on this board? What I like about my hand is that I don't block a lot of draws that will call once and fold the river. Blocking pairs means that I will have a pair or two pair myself, and blocking spades or J97 means that river bluffs on bricks won't be very appealing. I think we want hands like this in our turn betting range so that we have good bluffing hands on brick rivers

3) I don't know what Jungle's strategy is here. Some players don't ever bet this flop - he obviously isn't one of those players.

I agree with your analysis and the general read that most people bet a strong range on an unfavorable board like this and then check this turn near 100%. I think that this strategy is a clear leak:

Firstly, people need to mix in bluffs if they're betting their strong hands on this board (as well as mix in checks with strong hands, of course).

Second, if one does have a very strong betting range on this board, then I would argue that they continue to be the favorite on this turn and shouldn't allow free cards 100% of the time.

So, the strategy and reasoning you suggest are based on the assumption that we (the population) are far from GTO in these spots. When we believe we're this far from equilibrium, you have to be careful employing strategies like this against a tough opponent, as they may be countered by an opponent swinging his strategy very much another way (betting weaker and checking stronger on this flop, for example, and getting a free card on turns like this quite often). And then we swing back, and so on and so forth until we finally find the equilibrium :)

I think you're right but just wanted to point out that I think this hand is likely to be a good bet-call in a game where people are playing closer to GTO.

Jan. 11, 2017 | 11:07 p.m.

Phil continues to evaluate and discuss his HU play against Jungleman.

Jan. 9, 2017 | 5 p.m.

I do think we're folding too much if I let go of the Qc blocker on the flop, yeah.

I think he could be going as thin as J hi or possibly T hi (but probably not) here, but I also am not sure whether the sizing choices are his default strategy or if he is splitting his ranges.

I think reading too much into sizing and assuming Jungleman is splitting his ranges is dangerous, and shouldn't be done against players of his caliber without good reason.

I discussed in the video whether or not 2 or 3 low club hands would be better than Qc, and it really depends completely on our assumptions about his ranges.

For example, if we assume that his value hands are J high flushes and higher and that his bluffs are dry Jc/Qc/Kc, it would be much better to have two low clubs than the dry Qc, since the Qc blocks a big portion of his bluff range but the low clubs only block his value range.

If instead, we think his bluffs will be more random, or that his bluffs will ONLY be the Kc, but his value range would be Q or J hi+ flushes, then the Qc is a much better blocker.

I think the truth lies somewhere in between, especially since some Qc hands are more likely to have sets or two pair that may decide to show down.

Jan. 5, 2017 | 5:15 a.m.

I'd usually 3bet 7765ss against an 80% open. I'm not sure why I didn't. I try to have a 15-25% 3bet against players who open that much (depending on how they play otherwise).

I think that some regs over 3bet against my 50% open strategy :), but I don't think many 3-bet too often against 75+% openers.

Jan. 5, 2017 | 5:09 a.m.

Either explanation is dreadfully inspiring.


I don't think I can call my intentions and ambitions purely selfless, but I do mean everything I've written. I've loved building a company and seeing people really enjoy the work they do, and I always love hearing that people get something positive out of RIO Training.

I really hope that people get something positive out of everything we're doing, and I really, really hope that RIO Poker can play a significant role in preventing online poker from turning into (effectively) an online casino game, which is my greatest fear as a poker player.

Many years ago, long before RIO, Jay Rosenkrantz gave me some unsolicited business advice that I completely agreed with. I'm paraphrasing here, but: Focus on creating a product that people want and that they will get value from. Think about what is best for the customer.

It's not about spamming/upselling/tricking customers into thinking they need something that they don't. Marketing and other non-core-product skills are very important, but they should come after the value is there.

I want users to be happy with what they get (buy) from RIO Training and happy with what they get (pay rake for) from RIO Poker.

Much unlike playing poker, business is not a zero-sum game where a company is pitted against the consumers.

Both sides can win, and that's when things will work out best.

...or at least it's the philosophy I want to have for my business, whether it's true or not :)

Jan. 5, 2017 | 4:58 a.m.

Thank you, and you're somehow the first to have mentioned the mystery projects!

Jan. 5, 2017 | 4:33 a.m.


I love you, but I have seen between 15-30 posts from you on RIO requesting more theory videos :)

I appreciate when our pros make theory videos, and we do often request it of them, but we try to give them creative freedom with their videos when possible.

As a video-maker, I can speak to the difference in production times. I would usually have to spend 20 hours each making the handful of theory videos that I have released. Some pros may have a faster process, but it is a considerable difference for me between a theory and a live play or review video.

As a video-watcher (I watch a RIO video almost daily), I strongly prefer to watch live play videos. I know that I'm probably not in the majority, but I also know that there are people who prefer each type of video.

Jan. 5, 2017 | 4:32 a.m.


I think a discussion about price points as they relate to the changing poker economy would be a very long and complex one.

To be entirely honest, for a long time we were planning on raising the price of both memberships to what we considered fair levels, especially as our libraries grow and get reorganized (Learning Paths is our first attempt there).

While my gut reaction is that you're likely right about the market not being what it was (in terms of value gained from a membership in plain $EV), I still don't think the price is approaching a 'fair' value. I'm biased, of course :).

Your comments on the shift to MTTs/SNGs are duly noted.

We had been spending so much time on other projects as of late that we hadn't considered many big changes for RIO Training. We've just started to have the resources available to focus our energy on more RIO Training related things. We will be having more discussions soon regarding any shifts like the one you mentioned, though be patient with us - things take longer than one would expect!

Jan. 5, 2017 | 4:24 a.m.

Jan. 5, 2017 | 4:10 a.m.

Not much is open right now, but sending a resume to can't hurt. We will save it for later.

Jan. 5, 2017 | 4:10 a.m.

We are pretty set with staff right now. It still can't hurt to send in a resume to that email address for us to save for later.

Jan. 5, 2017 | 4:09 a.m.


Honestly, we've just been too busy with other things to do the quality of job that we'd like to when entering the world of Twitch. It's on our minds, though, as we approach the launch of RIO Poker.

Jan. 4, 2017 | 5:27 a.m.

Thanks, Midori!

Meanwhile, please let us know if there's anything we (as a community) can help!

This means a lot, and I do hope we can get some help from the (awesome) RIO community when it's time to launch. It's too early for anything at this point, but I will remember to ask for a favor when it's time :).

Jan. 4, 2017 | 4:46 a.m.

Jan. 4, 2017 | 4:45 a.m.

I'm not sure where to start, so I'll type and see where it takes me. It seems like the most logical place would be...

The Beginning

Run It Once began as a two man operation between myself and my long-time friend, Dan. It started in large part because I wanted to continue teaching poker. Very soon after launching in December of 2012, my passion became split 50/50 between teaching and running the business.

I funded the company, made training videos, and reviewed a demo for every pro we considered hiring. Dan did basically everything else. To say RIO wouldn't be where it is today without Dan would be an understatement.

Dan and I saw several problems in the training market:

  • Sites were releasing videos sporadically, and less than once a day on average
  • Cancellation buttons were hidden or non-existent
  • Email Inboxes were spammed with useless information
  • Website quality wasn't representative of the size of the businesses
  • Many top pros had stopped making videos
  • Membership fees were too low for the content top pros were able to provide

To us, the path was simple: Do things well and charge appropriately for it.

We would release two videos every day, without fail. We would make our website easy to use, and our memberships easy to navigate. We wouldn't spam our customers; we’d try to send only information they’d want. We would seek out the best pros we could find, and most importantly (in my opinion) we would build a company that top pros would be proud to be a part of.

Internally, we told ourselves and anyone working on the project, "If poker training were an airplane, Run It Once would be the first class cabin."

We expected to lose some customers due to pricing higher, and we expected complaints, but we wanted to release a premium product, and we did what we felt was fair (we actually felt it was still under-priced, but we were scared to push it too far).

Our goal was to have the only potential criticism of our product be: "Yes, of course Run It Once is the best, but they're expensive."


We launched Run It Once Training in December of 2012, and we quickly became the market leader - much more quickly than we expected in such a competitive environment.

We received almost no complaints about the price, although that may have been in large part due to the decision to offer a lower tier of membership for much less. Still, for the first couple of years, we actually had more Elite members ($100/mo) than Essential ($10/mo)!

I realize that launching a successful business in a space I'm very familiar with, as a sought-after coach, and with connections to other great coaches, doesn't make me an entrepreneurial expert.

If asked for business wisdom, which I never am, my answer would not be a unique one: Surround yourself with great people - people who are smart, hard-working, passionate, and most importantly, people who you like to spend time with.

The recurring theme at RIO is that we've been incredibly lucky with the people we've brought into the company. We can take some credit, but in large part, we've hired people who seem smart and who we like, and the results have been incredible. I would start listing the names and stories, but I wouldn't know where to stop.

I should take a step back…

I'm realizing now that this is sounding a lot more like a backwards-looking success story than what Run It Once truly is: A business still working towards its success.

While we have been successful in terms of our brand and our revenue, I have made no money from Run It Once.

Firstly, we spend more than any other training site on pros and staff, as well as promotions.

Second, once I recouped my initial investment, we poured 100% of profits back into the business. In fact, this year I've put more than that early investment back into the business, so I'm a net loser even after the startup costs.

What you've seen on the outside is a growing Poker Training site, with new features added here and there, but internally we have been growing at a much faster rate (more on this later).

With growth comes new challenges.

In our early days, Dan and I could personally oversee anything and everything done within the company. We could read all of the support emails. We could make sure customers were being listened to. We could make small changes in the wording of a video description.

As we grew, Dan and I had to hand off some responsibility. We found out in the early days how hard it is to let go of control and trust that things will be done the way we wanted... "the Run It Once way."

Apparently, handing off a task to someone and looking over their shoulder the entire time doesn't help productivity. Who knew!?

Over time, we learned how qualified our team was and how well they had grown to understand our vision. Within our first year, it stopped feeling like me, Dan, and our employees; It felt like a fully integrated team.

We went from a team of two to a team of fifteen over the past four years. This team handles Run It Once Training as well as two other projects yet to be announced.

(Of course, that fifteen doesn't include all of the awesome pros who are also part of the RIO family!)

At each stage of growth, people have been stepping up to the plate to handle more and more responsibility, and they've been able to do so at a pace that allowed them to get used to our way of doing things while we got comfortable with them.

Enter Run It Once Poker:

Four months ago, I announced that Run It Once would be starting a Real Money Poker Site:

We had, of course, begun that project long before then, but we have ramped things up quite a bit since.

In fact, the main reason that I decided to go ahead with the announcement is that we needed to ramp up our hiring efforts. It turns out that most people like to know where they're about to sign on to work!

It was going to get out, and I wanted everyone to hear it from me.

If you were around when we launched Run It Once Training, you might remember that we never said a word prior to launch day. We even had several pros and beta testers instructed to keep it a secret, and somehow they did.

I preferred it that way - no expectations on when or what we would deliver, no hype before people could get their hands on the product, no questions about our soon-to-be-released product that would all be answered automatically at launch.

I was hesitant to announce Run It Once Poker as early as we did, but in hindsight, it was the best thing for us.

The outpouring of support we received was inspiring, both to myself and to the rest of the staff. The questions, concerns, ideas, and comments were very helpful and encouraging.

Unsolicited job applications flew in, and our ability to share our brand name when hiring helped tremendously. We had now gone from around 15 people, early last year, to over 40 (between 10 and 15 still working on our other projects)

All-in-all, it went as well as I could have hoped. So of course, I felt…


Holy shit. Everyone has such high expectations of me!

Everyone thinks RIO Poker is going to have the policies that they think are best yet nobody agrees on which policies those are! Is half of the community going to be disappointed by whatever we do?

The community trusts me, and I'm not in total control! We have teams working on customer support, game integrity, software development, etc., and I'm putting my name on ALL of their work. I haven't even met them!

See, while the original 10-15 team members grew together over time, the RIO Poker staff had practically appeared out of thin air by comparison.

We picked our CEO, who helped us meet and hire our COO.

We chose a CTO from our existing team to move over to RIO Poker, along with a couple of developers. We hired a few more familiar faces, but that's only a handful of the over 30 employees we now have working on RIO Poker.

The team we put in place handled the majority of the hiring from there, and while we put them in place for good reason, it's not the same as having worked with everyone directly.

The responses to my announcement made me realize just how much the poker community trusts and supports us, which was humbling and inspiring. However, coupled with team RIO going from a small family to a big company that I couldn't possibly oversee, it was overwhelming.

I spent a while shouldering the persistent anxiety that came with my (delayed) realization.

They trust me. I can't let other people let them down!

Everything has to be taken care of! Everything needs oversight!

My brain went a thousand miles a minute thinking through every possible scenario where something could go wrong that was out of my control.

I had initially expected to be the "idea man" for Run It Once poker. I'd be very involved, yes, but I would be focusing on the big picture rather than all of the moving parts. That's how it was for RIO Training.

We have a full team in Malta with leaders who know what they're doing. I'll just take part in decisions on policies and innovations and marketing.

I'll prioritize RIO Poker above our other projects but still will spend my time across all of them. In between poker sessions, of course.

After our announcement, I realized that I didn't have enough time to do it all.

I'll skip the topic of how all of this relates to my poker career because it will be another 2000 words. Another day perhaps! For now, the bottom line is that I'm going to focus on Run It Once for the next several months, and poker will have to wait.

The Grind

The largest hurdle standing between us and our launch date is software development.

While developers already had been working, they can't work on specific features, game types, rules, etc., until they have both a detailed description of how things will work and finalized, approved designs.

The designers can't start working until they've been given direction, and none of the above can happen until decisions are made: policies, game offerings, and several other things.

Our Poker Room Management (PRM) team makes the majority of these decisions, and wow, there are a lot of decisions to make!

After every detail is discussed and agreed upon, each decision gets written up in PRM draft, reviewed and edited many times, then completely re-written in detailed technical terms (by another department), accounting for all areas of the software that may require changes to accommodate the decision. Then, PRM approves or helps edit that write-up, and we finally ship it off to the development team.

Anyways, that was likely incredibly dull, so I'll try to keep the frivolous details to myself from now on.

The point I was attempting to make is: Poker Room Management needed my focus, so that's where I spent my time.

I was on calls five days a week with PRM (with a 9 hour time difference), and I spent most of my days writing, commenting on, and editing many of the drafts mentioned above.

Though we made good progress, the distance was an undeniable obstacle.

I had first planned to wait until our launch date to visit our Malta offices.

After our announcement and my control-related anxieties, I decided that I'd go in December or January, as that was the earliest that it fit with my schedule. After working several 70 hour weeks from a distance, it became clear that I just needed to get there.


I headed to Malta in early November. After a long travel day, I checked into a hotel and spent a day and a half adjusting my sleep schedule.

My first interaction with the whole team was a big group dinner that they planned for my arrival. I had worked with around half of the 15 or so who were able to make it to dinner, though several of them I'd only 'met' via email or video chat.

(I've thrown team numbers out several times now, so to clarify: We had 16 in Malta when I arrived and are now over 20. We currently have another 10 people working remotely.)

It was a big table and just one meal, but I was able to meet everyone, get to know a handful of cool people, and catch up with some old friends.

Remarkably, I remembered everyone's name, which I'm extraordinarily bad at.

Apparently, our HR & Admin Manager (who planned the dinner) was mortified when I passed on the first couple of appetizers and mentioned that I don't love seafood because around half of the (fantastic) meal she had planned was seafood.

I explained many times that it was absolutely fine and that I really enjoyed the meal!

Also... if I didn't enjoy it, that would have been fine too.

That was the first of several experiences where I noticed people treating me, for lack of a better way to phrase it, like I was their boss.

It was new to me!

At Run It Once Training (and our other mystery projects), I never actually played the role of the boss. If any boss-like things had to be done, they fell to Dan.

I've never thought of myself as in charge of anyone. In charge of decisions, definitely, but not in charge of people. I feel like we all just work on projects together, and my role is to do whatever I can think of to make the projects better.

To be clear, this isn't some new-age, anti-structure, company morale thing; It's just me feeling weird viewing things differently.

Going to Work

Our CEO picked me up in a cab for my first day in the office, along with a marketing team member who was staying with him. I ended up moving in with them too.

Most days after that, we'd catch the bus between 8:00 and 8:45, leave the office between 6 and 8, then work from home until 10 or so.

This was new to me too! I've never had a traditional 9-5, much less a 9-9.

As expected, I was exhausted. I'm not sure if my body has just gotten accustomed to too much sleep or if I actually need it, but man, I was struggling. Everyone else was there working their asses off day after day, so I decided not to exercise my option to skip a day or to come in late.

Thankfully, coffee exists, and I did exercise my option to drink a lot of it.

As I mentioned above, most of my focus initially was on Poker Room Management. I had just over two weeks in town to finalize as many decisions as possible. While this was the focus of my own work during the trip, I spent time with all branches of the company.

The Team(s)

I got to spend a lot of time with our Marketing team. I watched presentations on many of their ideas, spent afternoons brainstorming with them (fun!), and took part in several meetings between Marketing and other departments.

I worked a lot with our CTO on all things development-related (which is like, everything), and I even got to spend some time helping a developer solve a poker-related coding problem, as he isn't an experienced poker player (yet!).

I spent a bit of time with our Operations team. Most of it was used to educate me on what everybody has been working on and precisely how we would be handling things like customer service, payments, fraud detection, licensing, etc.

I joined in on more types of meetings than I can remember. In fact, after the first few days, about half of my time was spent in meetings.

I even got the chance to sit in on two job interviews, both of which ended in hirings.

We had another two company dinners, which I loved because I got to spend time getting to know people rather than just working with them (which is actually another way to get to know people).

It Hit Me

Here's an excerpt from an email I sent to my family:

“It was a bit surreal for me to meet everyone and work in the office. I've been doing work on this company from the US for a while now, and I knew that we had hired all these people, but I only worked directly with 4-5 of them. Meeting them and going through everyone's background and what they're doing for us, seeing the different teams work together, hearing people talk about how they love working here and how excited they are about the project... it was a very cool feeling.

Many people moved to Malta to take the jobs they have, and those who were already here in Malta also seem really excited about the company. They (almost) all have worked in the industry a long time, but I think the start-up feel and the company culture that we've built is making this job more exciting.”

I sent that email after my very first day in the office.

Over the course of my two and a half weeks, I grew more and more impressed with our team.

I felt so thankful to the leaders we put in place for building this group of talented, passionate, hard-working, cool people that I was eager to work and hang out with... a team that felt like Run It Once, despite growing so quickly and so far away from the original Run It Once team... a team inspired and excited to provide the best platform we can to the poker community.

That anxiety of not being able to oversee every aspect of the business dissipated, and the scary realization that prompted this trip was replaced by a new one:

There are now several dozen exceptional people working at the company that Dan and I dreamt up just over four years ago.

The experience of people treating me like the owner of the company reminded me that I actually am. No matter how I felt about being a boss, I actually do employ all of these people.

I witnessed them working hard and loving the work they were doing. I saw people interview, hoping to be able to work for Run It Once; I saw them join the team. I saw people with years of industry experience working with guys who have been a part of the Run It Once family since the beginning.

It was humbling.

I sat at our final group dinner before leaving town, just looking back and forth across the table filled with old and new faces. I had a mini-life-flashing-before-your-eyes kind of moment.

I thought back to first starting the company, especially my first meetings with the few guys that moved from RIO Training over to our Malta offices. I remembered the growing pains early on, the mistakes we made and learned from, as well as the successes, of course.

We actually had conversations that night about how we met each other, both the old team members and the new; the series of coincidences that led us to that day.

I have had several memorable moments as a professional poker player (and I hope to have many more), but nothing compared to this. No career achievement has ever made me as proud as I felt on this trip.

RIO in 2017

This next year is going to be an adventure. I expect a lot of excitement, frustration, pride; many challenges, long work days and short nights. I will learn even more about running a business and about myself.

I have no illusions about the magnitude of the project we've taken on. We've already faced setbacks and will face many more.

I had hoped to be able to give you all a guaranteed launch date by now, but I can't. Though I’m happy with how things are progressing, our original target of Q1 is likely out of reach.

I will keep you posted as I have more information, but I wanted everyone to know that Run It Once Poker is going strong. We have the right team for this, we're hungry, and we are working tirelessly towards the finish line.

Here's to an exciting 2017! Happy New Year, guys.

Jan. 3, 2017 | 9:37 a.m.

I think it's a good play but should be used sparingly. He's likely to have raised some portion of his AQ hands at some earlier point, so he doesn't have a ton of value combos to work with. He also has a +EV river call, so he needs to mix in the x/r bluff rarely enough that it's as or more profitable than a call.

Jan. 3, 2017 | 8:27 a.m.

I think both options are viable, but with the bit of value my hand has, and the (un)likelihood that I improve to a very strong hand by the river, I like to take my value/protection on the flop.

Checking back and either calling or checking back turn allows him to realize a lot of equity. Checking back and delay c-betting isn't a very attractive value play unless I improve to two pair.

Again, I don't think this is clear-cut, but those are my reasons for preferring a bet.

Jan. 3, 2017 | 8:14 a.m.

Definitely. Thank you for pointing this out! I forgot to mention it, but that's something that I've improved in my game since the time I recorded the footage.

Jan. 3, 2017 | 8:06 a.m.

Phil recaps the action from a heads up session against Jungleman, sharing his thoughts on battling tough regs.

Jan. 2, 2017 | 5 p.m.

In his last video of 2016, Phil releases the final installment of this 8 part PLO series.

Dec. 26, 2016 | 5 p.m.

As for my results, I'll go back 3 years (when I got this computer), since my sample sizes are quite small. Traveling between the US and Canada really cut into my volume, among other things.

I delete the 500pl and lower hands from my DB, as they clog up me viewing my results. They're only for videos or to test software or audio and things like that. They'd probably drag my results down slightly, but I was still winning in that small sample.

It looks like I need to start teaching how to run good. You're supposed to run above AIEV guys!


I spent a good deal of 2014 (and early 2015) focusing on Triple Draw, which took up a fair amount of my poker time. (Also, there's a reason I don't teach limit games here at RIO!)

You can see a few 10/20 hands here, but I think they were for videos. 2015 was the first year I decided that I wasn't too cool for 10/20. Without 10/20, I struggled to find action whenever I was available to play.

Also, the start of 2014 was the last time I played PLO on my FTP account, and I was -800k over a 5k or so hand sample. Most of my play was a HU 300/600plo session against Viktor, who pummeled me for $1m.

I played a bunch of MTTs during the summer in Vegas. I believe I made two FTs but couldn't close either out.


In early 2015, I was still playing TD, but my results weren't good and the games were dying, so after summer I focused on PLO.

I also got married (in the US) in May of 2015, and finished building/closed on a house, so the first part of the year I didn't play much.

I played a lot of WSOP events over the summer and zero cash. I made a couple FTs and won a bracelet!

I played a lot of these hands in the fall and felt really good about my game around then. I wonder if my videos here got better during that stretch.


2016 has obviously been my lowest volume year by far, mostly due to how much time I've spent on the business.

I spent the first half of the year in Vegas, occasionally playing live poker. That picked up a lot during the summer, of course. I had been playing live cash all year and decided to stick with it, only playing a couple of WSOP events.

My live results were very good. I played very roughly 12k hands and won at between 40-45bb/100.

I don't think I ran that hot in AIEV, but I did make sure to cooler everybody whenever I played.

Since summer, I spent 3 weeks in Mexico playing the 19k hands you see here and have otherwise not played a hand of poker. Run It Once business has had me working well over 40 hours a week.


A very small sample for a three year span, but I believe it should show that I'm likely still good enough to teach PLO!

Dec. 25, 2016 | 6:30 p.m.

I really appreciate the RIO pros who are sharing their results with the community. Thank you, guys.

As Mikey said, it's not something require, as we believe it would limit our ability to recruit some great pros. While the pros we hire are winning players and do provide us with graphs during the hiring process, it's a bit daunting for a pro to promise to share his future results with the community.

The RIO community is extremely advanced for a group of (what you could technically classify as) "students."

I believe that many would-be RIO pros finding it unnerving enough already putting their play and thought process up for scrutiny in front of such a strong group of players (who are paying a good bit of money to learn from them). We lose some potential pros just due to that.

Poker is a swingy game, and while many of the subscribers at RIO know better than to be results oriented over small samples, some don't. Sharing results on top of your play and thought process opens pros up to even more scrutiny.

I agree that in a perfect world, coaches would share their results and "students" wouldn't jump to conclusions, but the world is not perfect. We at RIO have put a lot of thought into this and believe the trade off of not requiring pros to share results in exchange for being able to recruit more pros is worth it, and ends up being a decisive win-win.

One thing we could consider is requiring pros to share their results when they make their first video for the site. I think this wouldn't turn as many potential pros off as a guarantee to share results every so often no matter what.

Dec. 25, 2016 | 5:52 p.m.

Phil continues his review of a 6 table session of high stakes deep stack PLO.

Dec. 19, 2016 | 5 p.m.

Load more