Why RIO Poker Won’t Bootstrap and the Problem of LuckyChewyPoker

A few months ago Phil Galfond announced he would be launching a new poker site in the first quarter of 2017. Galfond gives his philosophy on what he thinks an ideal poker site should provide for the players which can be summed up in this point of his:

A poker site needs to believe in the dream of poker as a career.

However, and unfortunately, Galfond is yet to release any further details about anything related to this announcement.

Poker sites function like banks, and this suggests that their security must arise through evolution otherwise they won’t be able to securely store the accruing value. Since this evolution takes time its safe to suggest that either Galfond’s won’t be ready for any significant launch in early 2017 or Galfond’s team doesn’t understand this requirement for security.

Launching a site (or a bank!) involves a trial and error period akin to fixing a very badly/complexly damaged hot air balloon. It won’t fill up until its completely (or at least nearly) patched, but there is no way to tell if its patched enough but by trying to fill it up with air after each patch attempt is made (weak analogy perhaps but I suspect it serves its purpose).

LuckyChewy Poker

More recently Andrew Lichtenberger aka LuckyChewy released a play money site called LuckyChewyPoker. The first noticeable difference between Chewy’s venture and Galfonds, is there is already a working poker software and also a reasonable road map for future evolution:


That is to say there is at least a show of some understanding that a poker site MUST evolve in order to be secure enough to attract players. The players act as a market that audits the security of the site (which functions in this sense like a bank in that the more trusted* the more reserves it accrues etc.).

In this sense Phil Galfond has put the cart before the horse where as LuckyChewy poker has taken the more realistic (therefore plausible!) approach.

The Problem of LuckyChewyPoker

However, being a PLAY-MONEY only site, LuckyChewyPoker still suffers from the problem of not being able to evolve their security in regard to ACTUAL value accruing in their model from players deposits and rake etc. Security in many different vectors can still be evolved, but until the model can accept player deposits (fiat, bitcoin, or other types of value etc.) there can’t really be any evolution of the security in this regard.

This problem however could be completely mitigated if the project worked off the decentralized p2p infrastructure that Patrick Bay is creating aka Cypher Poker.

*trust in this sense is effectively transmuted to valued by the players



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