Players At 2023 WSOP Get Clarification On Rules Regarding RTA/GTO Solvers

Last Updated on June 1, 2023 Author:Adrian Sterne

Poker player using a real-time assistance solverSummary:

  • The WSOP maintains that using RTA tools during a hand is strictly not allowed
  • WSOP officials were compelled to address the issue after the GTOWizard controversy at a WPT event
  • The poker community remains divided on the use of solvers during live tournaments

The use of real-time assistance (RTA) software while in a live tournament has been the subject of debate lately after American poker pro Andrew Esposito was accused of consulting the GTOWizard app during a live hand at the recently-concluded World Poker Tour (WPT) Gardens Poker Championship.

WSOP Prohibits Use of Solvers During a Hand

As the World Series of Poker (WSOP) kicks off, officials want to make sure the festival won’t encounter issues arising from the use of RTA/GTO solvers. They have made it clear that using solvers while in a hand during the 2023 WSOP is strictly prohibited.

In a statement this week, the WSOP warned players against using RTA/GTO poker software as the practice could subject them to disqualification. The WSOP reserves the right to impose further penalties on a player caught using the tool in any other situation, the statement said.

Officials also clarified that players may still access the app or Caesars Mobile Sports App on their device while involved in a hand as using such apps won’t give them an unfair advantage over their opponents.

Mixed Views from Poker Community

When the controversy involving Esposito’s use of the GTOWizard app erupted, many members of the poker community called for an outright ban on solvers during live tournaments to maintain the integrity of the game. But for other poker pros, there isn’t any problem with using such tools while competing in a live event, provided the player doesn’t use them while involved in a hand.

For instance, Phil Galfond is giving Esposito the benefit of the doubt as he already said that he only used the GTOWizard app to reference a previous hand. If that was exactly what happened, then Esposito’s actions were “entirely ethical” considering the current tournament rules, according to Galfond.

A similar controversy broke out in the 2016 WSOP, but at that time, the tool used was a push-fold chart. Jason Mcconnon brought with him a push-fold chart while competing in the 2016 WSOP Main Event.

Mcconnon pulled the chart, which is considered a poker cheat sheet, in the middle of the hand while he was about to make a decision. The floor intervened and tournament director Jack Effel ultimately decided that cheat sheets should not be used in a hand.

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