Hey dear poker community,
the last couple days were pretty special for anyone within the Run It Once community. They were of course even more special for people within th Run It Once staff. However, in this post I don't want to write from this perspective. And while working for Run It Once surely grew my love and passion for the site, I'm not doubting one second that the same emotions would have guided me to start clumsily patching up a post like this if I never started working here.
The poker site is launching - this wednesday.
You got this right? After years of taking punches as poker players, starting off with something that felt like a big hit in the face you most likely all know about. The community survived. We pulled ourselves together and stumbled but finally stood back on our feet. But the hits continued. Some of us just took them and showed admirable composore in still continuing what they loved to do. Simply by adjusting to the new environment. Some others started shouting and complaining against the hits being thrown at them. Many left.
Of course a major reason for certain market players taking actions that felt like punches for passionate poker players were reactions to a changing environment - the fade away of the incredible poker poom that couldn't persist and sustainably continue in the way we experienced. Free market rationality can be brutal. And while we often claim that profit maximization shouldn't be leading company values try to be honest with yourself. Many of us might decide for the easy path as well when it comes to adapting to new things. But no matter for the exact reasons, it ended up in a poker community trying to cover itself from further hits, maybe once and a while depicting their disgust but else just trying to limit further harm.
There was someone who observed this. Someone who didn't like what he was seeing like so many of us. Yet, he wasn't willing to just stand there and see how the poker community was getting bullied - by the changing environment that's maybe nobodys fault, but also by market players that have had the power to make decisions the one or the other way. There was one additional special trait to this person. When you see someone getting bullied in school or on the street the value of any third person trying to help is equally brave and praiseworthy. But this person wasn't a regular kid on the schoolyard. People looked up to him They knew of his capabilities, in short respected him. He also had more resources than most other players by running a poker training site.
When I first read Phil's post on Run It Once announcing that he had seen enough, I understood all the stories I've met so far about hope. About hope being one of the most special emotions of mankind. Why hope can overcome pure logic and rationality. Why it seems to have a special mysterious power. It is up to today the most profound example of hope I have experienced in my life. You might see that I was raised in a safe country and probably had a very easy life so far. But it made me grasp and personally relate to how something like hope can move mountains even in much more critical situations, for humans and complete societies.
From this day on I was feeling much better about taking the yet to come many further punches being thrown at us. Sometimes I even had to smile when hearing news about further rake increases and structure changes - because I suddenly had hope again. And I felt positive about poker again even though from a rational standpoint this might have been idiotic.
Why am I writing this? I love this community. Phil is correct that the support the poker project of Run It Once received over the last couple years has been incredible. It probably wouldn't have been able succeed without it. I'm not a part of the poker team so I can only imagine how much every kind word of you has helped them.
But this wednesday a poker site is launching that only got started because it wants to protect the poker community. For the first time in years the community can abandon it's defense position and start throwing punches themselves - we can fight back!
We can turn around a fight so many thought to be over - maybe we might still be an outsider to win in the long run. But for the first time in years I like our chances.
And while I see excitement in the community - even lots of it - I'm still thinking: This is it?
Seriously people, there are more questions about restricted areas for players and when MTTs will launch (no offense guys I understand these questions and it's 100% cool to ask them) - than what I was really expecting to see: poker players going nuts!
I'm not in the position to know what will be the biggest contribution to a successful launch. But Phil is. And he asked you for two things in his post:
1) Play One Hand
2) Share One Impression
As soon as possible, ideally right on Wednesday!
All of you know how modest Phil is. And this is reflected in this post. But of course he knows and believes that even these small actions will have an invaluable impact on a successful launch.
Once again, I'm trying to write this post not from staff perspective but from a very personal one. This is inofficial.
If you have ever feeled unhappy about the direction people in power in the poker market have acted over the last couple years
P L A Y - O N - W E D N E S D A Y
If you have ever felt hopeless and sad about the future of poker but wish that poker has a sustainable future
S P R E A D - T H E - W O R D
If you have ever felt the wish to fight back for poker and reward value based decision over easy ones
M A K E - T H I S - L A U N C H - A - S U C C E S S
And I'm not even talking make Run It Once Poker survive/handle the first couple weeks, which is of course still the main objective so that it can keep growing. I'm talking show that there is no doubt that it will succeed.
T H A T - W E - H A V E - W A I T E D - F O R - T H I S - D A Y - T O - C O M E
This day has come. The day to take action and throw everything we have at this shot for poker. Because it's now up to all of us. Phil (and all the RIO poker team) can't make this on their own.
Show that you care.