GGPoker bans 40 players for using RTAs

Jon Pill
Posted on: October 01, 2020 11:34 PDT

GGPoker is getting into trouble again with players. First, it was alleged that Fedor Kruse had been using a real-time solver on the site to beat the high-stakes cash games on their platform and on PokerStars.

And now they have tried to get on top of the situation by banning 40 players, confiscating $1.2 million dollars from 13 of them, and issuing warnings to a further 40. One can see how this might have seemed like a good move. But in practice it has only ended up further concerning many in the poker world. Some players worry now that their money might not be safe from confiscation by the execs of the GGPoker Network.

Unfortunately for GGPoker, the waters around their recent action are somewhat muddy. It's hard to unpack the evidence GGPoker is using, though it seems probable that it's based on a metric comparing how close a player is to Game Theory Optimal.

GGPoker’s blog post on the subject says: “We have re-dedicated our efforts to combatting RTA and have swiftly adopted enhanced RTA detection methods and improved our internal processes for handling these cheaters.”

But their statement doesn't mention what those methods are beyond gesturing at “data analysis” and stating that their team “deeply analyzes Poker hands based on [GGPoker’s] proprietary algorithms with the assistance of some of the brightest Poker minds. Their insights and contributions continually improve our algorithms. Through this process, we can quickly establish whether GTO Poker play has occurred.”

Community concerns

The reality is, this might be a solid way of determining such matters. But as the discussions on the 2+2 Forums demonstrate, not everyone is convinced yet.

Username “JohnCleese” put it this way: “Ye it's a stunt, with victims, unless GG themselves have mapped every single GTO solution and they've detected that banned players use GTO plays 100% of the time. It's possible I suppose.”

While others have taken the other side. “ZZinusZZove” went with “Good job,” adding that GG “should share their names with other poker operators as well. Cheating ****s.”

GGPoker can’t catch a break. The last three months of headlines have been an almost relentless litany of screw-ups.

They failed to have enough servers on hand for the WSOP. Then what servers they were able to put on were beset by disconnect issues that made their own ambassador, Daniel Negreanu, threaten to punch his laptop. Then came the issue of GGPoker banning players for playing too well, their U-turn on that, then their U-U-turn.

Now folks are accusing a player on their site of cheating. And to many they’ve managed to come off as either are rife with similar cheaters who have gone undetected so far, or as playing whack-a-mole without much regard for which players are actual moles.