Sunday, May 26, 2024

Run It Once Will Be Named BetRivers Poker When It Launches

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Run It Once Will Be Named BetRivers Poker When It Launches

BetRivers online poker roomRush Street Interactive (RSI) appears to have settled on a new name for the real money online poker platform it has in development: BetRivers Poker.

BetRivers is RSI’s flagship brand for igaming. BetRivers Casino is operational in five states, while BetRivers Sportsbook accepts wagers in 15 states. Chicago-based RSI also runs online casinos and sportsbooks under the BetRivers brand in three markets outside the US — Colombia, Mexico, and the Canadian province of Ontario.

It’s not clear at this stage when, or in what markets, BetRivers Poker will launch. But here is what we know so far.

Name Apparently Changed from Run It Once

RSI acquired Run It Once Poker, a project of venerated online poker guru Phil Galfond, for $5.8 million back in March 2022. Players and industry watchers have been eagerly awaiting a rollout ever since. Early predictions of a launch in late 2023 or Q1 2024 did not come to pass — the most recent estimate is that a launch will occur sometime in 2024.

A social media post by Galfond in March 2023 suggested RSI was going to call the new platform “Run It Once Poker, Powered by BetRivers.”

But the products page on the RSI site shows “BetRivers Poker” as currently in development.

And BetRivers is the brand that is displayed prominently on episodes of Poker Night in America, the show that RSI bought for $4.9 million in May 2022. Poker Night airs on the CBS Sports Network and features cash games and Sit-and-Go action.

Had the platform still been called Run It Once, it may have caused confusion with a poker training site of the same name that is run by Galfond.

Michigan and New Jersey Should Get It First

When the BetRivers Poker app launches, it will be the new kid on the block. It will go head-to-head against three rivals that have had online poker rooms open in multiple states for several years — BetMGM Poker, PokerStars, and WSOP.

RSI will want to give BetRivers Poker its best start possible. That will likely involve launching the platform in multiple states from the start, and the two states where it would make the most sense to launch first would be Michigan and New Jersey.

Both states have large populations — Michigan ranks 10th with 10 million people, followed by New Jersey in 11th place with 9.3 million residents. RSI would introduce a lot of people to BetRivers Poker if it launched the platform this way, but the more important detail is that both Michigan and New Jersey are signatories of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), a multi-state gaming compact that supports online poker.

MSIGA allows operators in the member states to combine their player pools. The shared liquidity created as a result of the combination leads to bigger tournaments and bigger prizes for players.

There are five MSIGA states in total — the others are Delaware, Nevada, and West Virginia.

RSI could also decide to launch BetRivers Poker in Pennsylvania, a state that isn’t a member of MSIGA but has a large enough population that it could support online poker as a segregated market.

Delaware is another likely market for BetRivers Poker — especially since RSI was selected as the Delaware Lottery’s exclusive igaming provider last year, replacing 888 Holdings. A launch of BetRivers Poker in Delaware would also end an ongoing online poker blackout in the state. The blackout just entered its fifth month.

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