Top Stories of 2023, No. 6: The industry is increasing its efforts to stop fraudsters

Poker cheating

In 2022, poker cheating scandals – online and live – spiraled out of control. Accusations against high-profile players such as: Kenney Hill, Jake SchindlerAnd Ali Imsirovic rocked the poker world. And we must not forget the J4 incident Hustler Casino Live.

For this reason, poker operators and professionals who want to play fairly have taken a strong stand against cheating over the past year. Online sites such as PokerStars And GGPoker helped bring the charges against them Real-time support (RTA) Use and agreement.

How PokerStars detects and deters cheaters

PokerStars online poker

In the ever-evolving world of online poker, one issue continues to plague the industry: the use of RTAs. RTA means that players receive external advice during the game, which undermines the integrity of the game. PokerStars, one of the leading names in online poker, is proactively addressing this issue.

The online poker giants’ detection tools are developed in-house and are specifically designed to efficiently catch cheaters. They use different methods to identify different types of cheaters, including those who play perfect GTO or only seek advice at critical moments. Thanks to behavioral indicators in the data, these tools work even when players occasionally use RTA.

The platform has had a dedicated team for around 20 years, whose employees now have decades of experience. These experts have played countless hands of online poker, gaining a deep understanding of the nuances of the game. PokerStars has assembled a Game Integrity team of experienced developers to continually update cheating detection tools and ensure the site adheres to the highest standards of fair play.

Hold online fraudsters accountable

Ali Imsirovic poker cheater
Ali Imsirovic

One way to stop cheating in poker is to call out those who do wrong on social media and publicly shame them. At the very least, it might deter others from cheating for fear of public humiliation.

In the case of Imsirovic, it certainly worked, which was followed by prominent professionals such as: B. public allegations of collusion and RTA use were made Chance Kornuth And Alex Foxen. Imsirovic, the 2022 GPI Player of the Year, actually admitted to some of the allegations in a YouTube video last summer. So it works…usually.

However, there is an exception to the rule, and that is when the community holds accountable an accused cheater who wasn’t actually cheating. And this is where things can get a little tricky.

An example occurred in October, when Chris Battenfield had his Account temporarily suspended due to allegations of RTA usage Mike “BrockLesnar” Holtz, who reported the poker player his account was subsequently restored. However, efforts to hold poker cheaters accountable have been beneficial overall over the past year.

Accused online poker cheater exonerated

WSOP takes action against Solver

GTO assistant

The use of solvers and software such as GTO assistant at a live poker table isn’t necessarily wrong, depending on how and when it’s used. Checking a solver between hands to see if the game theory optimal play (GTO) has been made is a good use of time for any serious professional while waiting for the next hand to be dealt.

However, it would be a problem if used during a hand, especially in a major poker tournament. Last summer, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) introduced a rule to prevent GTO solvers from being used during a hand.

“If you get caught with RTA/GTO [Real-Time Assistance/Game-Theory Optimal] Software during a hand, the player will be subject to a penalty up to and including DQ (disqualification) / trespassing,” the WSOP wrote in a statement PokerNews.

PokerStars’ Game Integrity department has also taken strong measures to prevent the use of solvers and RTA tools during a hand. When it comes to money, certain people will do whatever it takes, legal or not, to gain an advantage. But the efforts of PokerStars, the WSOP, many other companies and high-profile professionals over the past year have put the industry on the right track in this area.


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