Become a Legend

When I first announced our plans for Splash the Pot, we received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from the community.

It’s been a very well-liked feature amongst most of our players, but since launch, we’ve also heard grumblings from players who have wanted something more – something similar to what they’re used to seeing on other sites.

We have taken many steps to make ourselves accessible to the community because feedback from players is extremely important to us.  Today, I am excited to announce some major changes to our rewards program(s) which have been directly inspired by such feedback.

For those who love Splash The Pot – don’t worry – we’ve still got it!  We’re just going to be splitting our rewards between that and a new system so that we can give our players the best of both worlds.

Making Big Changes

This marks the first time that we’ve substantially altered course based on customer feedback.  We’ve made small tweaks and UX changes, come up with new promos, and have done other things based on input from our users, but making a big change to something we’d been planning for years hadn’t yet happened.

With our new system, we’re able to show you guys the appreciation you deserve.

The main reason we haven’t made big changes is due to practicality.  

Any large change requires a lot of time from multiple departments, including our development team.  With a development queue full of exciting and important things like SNGs, MTTs, and more, it’s rare that our best course of action will be to redo something that’s already ‘done’, even if we think we could do it a little bit better, at least until we’ve got a more complete poker site out the door.

I mention this for two reasons.

First, it’s been our goal to be transparent and open, and I know that many of you reading like to hear a bit more about what goes on inside the company and the reasons behind our decisions.

Second, I’ve noticed when responding to feedback or suggestions from our users that some players think I’m being stubborn when I say that we aren’t going to consider changing X,Y, or Z right now.  That’s not at all the case! Yes, we carefully thought through our decisions and I still really like most of them, but we are very open to changing things and making Run It Once Poker the best version of itself it can possibly be.  I highly doubt we nailed everything on our first try!

The reason that I’m not currently contemplating, for example, changing our games to non-anonymous, fast-fold only with HUDs allowed, is that we simply don’t have the ability to make a change of that size without enormous consequences.  It’s not that I’m saying I like the idea or dislike it – it’s just not an option for us currently because we couldn’t execute it now even if we wanted to. Spending resources and time even debating whether we want to do it or not is a waste of time until MTTs are launched.

So, for something to jump the list, delaying so many valuable additions to our platform, we have to be very excited by it, and it has to be achievable in a reasonable time frame.

We think that this new rewards system meets that criteria, so here we are!

Why Change?

We have actually always intended to have a secondary rewards system.  We launched with just Splash The Pot because we were very excited about it and we felt it was a very strong rewards offering, even on its own. Since we loved STP and we had plenty of other things to work on, we kept the planned rewards changes low in our ever-growing development queue.

Based on your feedback, we’ve made a few big changes to the system we’d been planning on adding:

  1. We decided to allocate much more of our rewards to it than we were previously planning.
  2. We moved it to the top of the priority list.
  3. We made it more volume-based than our previously planned system, to give the players what they’d been asking for and what they’re used to elsewhere

Once I started streaming and chatting with players, it became clear to me that we were underestimating just how many of you love the type of rewards that you get to work towards and that you can “depend on.”

In my pre-launch announcement post for Splash The Pot, I wrote:

In early meetings on this topic, we reasoned that however we reached our net rake numbers, the professional players would figure it out and judge us on our bottom line. We felt that this demographic, so long as we didn’t make anything inconvenient for them, would be somewhat indifferent to how we structured things so long as the end result looked good.

We assumed that casual players wouldn’t be sensitive to the base rake rates we were charging, but would be highly responsive to a well-designed, engaging rewards system.

It turns out we were dead wrong about the bolded statement above. While some pros see STP (and the EV of it) the way I do, others very clearly do not.

I had several direct conversations with regulars who simply refused to acknowledge Splash The Pot as rewards when comparing us to other sites.  They can’t count on it in the same way they can flat rake back or tiered systems, so they view Run It Once Poker as a site giving them zero rakeback – just the occasional extra money in a pot they may or may not win – and they choose to play elsewhere as a result.

…we’ve got big improvements on the way in the coming months.

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. 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.

As I spoke about in that first post, the decisions surrounding rake and rewards (once you’ve settled on target rake numbers) come down in large part to optics and enjoyment for your players.  Which way of charging (or giving back) the same amount makes your users most excited? Which looks the most appealing to a potential new player? Which is the most fun and engaging experience?

I thought Splash The Pot was the answer to those questions, and I can confidently say now that on its own, for the average user, it’s definitely not.  I can’t speak for the whole team, but I think that in hindsight, I projected a little bit too much of my own thought process and preferences when discussing our initial rewards plans.

A significant group of players have made it very clear to us that goal-oriented, progressive rewards are very important to them, so that’s exactly what we’re going to be adding.

First, though…

Changes to Splash The Pot

Splash The Pot will continue, but with a few changes planned.  

First, we’ll reduce the rakeback given out through STP from 51% to 30% to make room for our other rewards program.  30% still gives us room to keep those beautiful gold chips raining down and impacting our games in the ways we intended.

Second, I’m excited to announce that we’re making some long-awaited changes to large splashes.

These changes aren’t ready just yet – we’re currently testing them internally and hope to have them launched in the next several weeks, but I thought it made sense to share them with you now.  Not only are they related to the topic of today’s post, but they’re another thing the players have been asking for.

Once these changes are complete, you’ll be able to compete for splashes of 100bb or more without risking any of your chips! 

All players dealt into the hand will be “all-in for nothing” automatically.  The best hand at showdown will win 70% of the splash, and the remaining players will split the other 30%.  Everyone wins, every single time.

This is something that we’d planned on doing since before launch, but have now been able to squeeze in between other development tasks.

Lastly, and this part will be available right away, we’ll keep track of and display how much you’ve won in STP chips right in your lobby, which I’ll show you a preview of in a bit!  That’s another item that we hadn’t planned on adding and is a direct response to player feedback.

As for the rest of our rewards…

Introducing: Legends

The system we came up with is one that we could implement quickly in a way that is engaging and user-friendly and can be iterated on over time.

As you’ve requested, our Legends program is not that unlike rewards systems you’ve seen elsewhere. It’s a weekly program with a longer-term component, which is primarily volume (rake) based.

You can achieve up to another 45% (for a total of 75% with STP) rakeback through Legends*.

*You can actually get more than 75% with table-starter incentives.

Here are the basics:

  • You achieve 1 point per €0.05 in gross rake paid.
  • You also get point boosts for:
    • Your first login of the week
    • Your first hand of the day
    • Clearing a rewards level
  • Rakeback is paid out weekly
  • For a longer term component, we’ve added rolling 4 Week Streak rakeback boosts for achieving a certain tier or higher 4 weeks in a row.

(To learn exactly how the Legends rewards system works, check out Road to Legend.)

We’ll be displaying your Legends status, alongside your Splash The Pot winnings, right in your lobby for easy access.

We’ll have notifications for achievements and rewards earned in the same place.

Table-Starter Multipliers

For a new site like us, players who start and keep games running are extremely valuable.  With our new system, we’re able to show you guys the appreciation you deserve.

We’re introducing a points multiplier for heads up and 3-handed play.  Those multipliers are:

3-Handed: 1.5x Points
Heads Up: 2x Points

For those doing the math at home – yes, that means some pretty crazy rakeback levels are achievable for grinders who are willing to keep games alive (including >100%).  And that’s before promos, which we run a lot of!

We do have some plans to alter this in the future when we have some more capabilities within the software, but the idea would be to keep a roughly similar system with some improved UX.

Kick-Start Your Rakeback

[MarketingPhil]

The Legends program will be launching on Monday, and you’re not going to want to miss this first week!  You could say that we’re launching with an exciting promotion, but it’s actually two promotions in one!

Part 1: Automatic Streak

Since none of you have streaks built up, we’re going to give you a shortcut, but only if you hop in right now! 

Whatever tier you achieve in this first week, we’ll treat it as if you’ve achieved it 4 weeks in a row.  That means that you’ll automatically get the 4 Week Streak multiplier this week, and you’ll continue to get it as long as you keep the streak alive!

Part 2: Universal Points Multiplier

Remember how you get your points multiplied for short-handed play? (I sincerely hope so – I literally just told you about it)

For not one, but – you guessed it – two weeks, we’ll be multiplying all of the points you earn at the tables by 1.5x!

Then multiplying them again when you’re playing short-handed. 

Then multiplying your rewards at the end of the week when you automatically get a streak of whatever tier you hit, which is now 1.5x as easy to achieve.

That’s too much multiplying for a simple man like me, but it sounds pretty cool!

[/MarketingPhil]

What’s Next?

I hope you’re excited about our Legends program and that you enjoy working your way through the ranks!

You’ll be hearing from me again in the not-so-distant future. Exciting things are happening!

Just this past week, HoldemManager 3 and PokerTracker 4 joined Pokeit in supporting the import of Run It Once Hand Histories, which is something we very much appreciate (and know that our players do too)!

My last post, Heads Up Battle, has gotten an incredible amount of interest – I’m blown away. I’m looking forward to dusting off the mouse, getting back into fighting shape and playing some exciting high-stakes matches.

Our software has gotten better and better, and we’ve got big improvements on the way in the coming months.

I’m extremely proud of the Run It Once team, how much we’ve accomplished, and how far we’ve come since launch.

2020 is going to be a great year!  I’ll see you legends at the tables.