In October of 2022, 72 players entered into the $7,777 Lucky 7s High Roller event on WSOP.com. The field was whittled down to the final two; Jared “jstrizza” Strauss and Jeremy “Chipchecka” Ausmus would battle for the gold bracelet and the $171,769 first-place prize. Ausmus already had five gold bracelets to his name, while this would be Strauss’ first.
On his birthday, Strauss would go on to win that battle, but little did he know that was not the end of the war.
Ausmus congratulated Strizza on Twitter after losing the heads-up battle. However, that praise contained some thinly-veiled suspicion of his opponent’s play.
Reaction to that passive-aggression was met with mixed feelings. Some top professionals scolded Ausmus for his accusations. Others backed him up in his concerns over the possibility of cheating in online poker. Shortly after the discourse, Ausmus clarified his position with another post.
Ghosting refers to receiving help from another player in any form during play, or even another player playing on the account. “RTA’ing” refers to using “real-time assistance,” any form of banned software that offers advice in the moment on how to play. Even if Ausmus didn’t go so far as to directly accuse Strizza, the implication was hard to ignore.
Strauss woke up the next day to discover the drama in the Twitter streets. He held off publicly replying for a couple of weeks while things played out but eventually made a statement via Twitter himself.
In the full 19-post thread, Strauss defended his integrity. He cited the hard work he had put in on his game, his recent string of participation and success in similar fields, and reasons for his lack of in-person notoriety. Amidst his thread of defense, though, he also shared a frustrating development.
A couple of days after his victory, he woke up to see his WSOP online account had been locked and suspended. In his words, they “didn’t tell [him] anything or give [him] a reason why it was banned.” Over a week later, they decided to permanently ban his account. He again said no reason was given, “other than the pressure of the high roller community not knowing who I am influencing [the] WSOP business decision in this matter.”
Months later now, in January, Ausmus is sharing his feelings about the ban.
Ausmus’ Thoughts on the Ban
A few days into 2023, Ausmus spoke up about the ban and the contact he received from the WSOP concerning the situation.
Ausmus expressed validation concerning the developments. However, he and the community weren’t exactly left with a clear answer about the situation. As Ausmus himself said, “WSOP stated their policy is to not disclose any of the findings of their investigations so I’m not sure what they found.”
Ausmus views the ban as an indictment of his opponent’s play on that October day. Strauss views the ban as unfair pressure from the high roller community because of his lack of notoriety. Either way, Strauss holds two prizes from the WSOP that week: A gold bracelet and a permanent ban.
We’ve reached out to the WSOP for comment. At the time of publishing, they have not replied.
Edit 01/06/2023: The WSOP provided us with the following response. “Per regulations, WSOP.com does not disclose information or specific actions taken against gaming patrons. We strive to have industry-leading security measures and remain committed to fostering a safe environment for online poker.” – WSOP.com