WPT Gardens Poker Championship Controversy Over Alleged GTO Wizard App Usage
- Andrew Esposito allegedly used the GTO Wizard App during hands at the $5,250 Main Event
- The floor addressed the issue and ruled that he did not violate any policy
- Poker community believes Esposito should have been penalized for cheating
The ongoing World Poker Tour (WPT) $5,250 Gardens Poker Championship Main Event has sparked controversy after a player was accused of using a game theory optimal (GTO) solver during a hand.
Player Accused of Using Solver While in a Hand
The incident happened on Day 2 of the tournament when Andrew Esposito allegedly looked at the GTO Wizard app on his phone during hands. One of the players sitting next to him, Peter Cross, called Esposito out for his actions, but the latter allegedly continued to use the app while the game was in progress. That led to a commotion at the table between both players which was caught on camera.
Footage of the incident quickly made the rounds on Twitter and members of the poker community seemed to agree that Esposito used the app while in a hand, an action that amounts to cheating and is a clear violation of poker tournament rules. However, the floor determined that Esposito had not violated anything. He was not disqualified from the Main Event or banned from entering other events running as part of the series.
Esposito Addresses Cheating Claims
Esposito, who finished second in the $3,500 Wynn Millions Championship back in March for $480,752, denied using the solver during a hand at the WPT Gardens Poker Championship Main Event, saying he only used the app to reference a previous hand.
He admitted though that he left the app open which made it look like he was looking at it all the time. He doesn’t see anything wrong with having solvers at tournaments, provided players don’t use it during hands, noting that he sees people with solvers open while at the table but are not using them while in a hand. Esposito said there must be clear rules on this matter.
The Texan Poker pro who hails from San Antonio, was eventually eliminated from the Gardens Poker Championship Main Event, found it frustrating that he was quickly judged by people, many of whom were not even there when the incident happened. He took aim at poker pro Josh Arieh in particular, who first shared on Twitter footage of his altercation with Cross. Arieh accused Esposito of using a solver real-time, but he did not play in the tournament.
If you spot someone using a solver real-time, say something, just like this guy did today at @WPT Gardens. What is the penalty for this @wsop @Kevmath.
It’s my understanding that this player received NO penalty pic.twitter.com/fa7iktTbbq
— Joshua Arieh (@JoshuaArieh) May 23, 2023
Other poker figures who chimed in on the conversation and shared the view that Esposito should have been disqualified were Doug Polk, poker coach Faraz Jaka and Kenneth Cleeton, co-founder of Range Trainer Pro.