Real-time assistance cheating controversy unfolding on TwoPlusTwo forums

Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: September 18, 2020 03:45 PDT

Fedor Kruse allegedly used RTA software in high-stakes games at PokerStars, GGPoker, and other sites

A German high-stakes cash-game player stands at the center of a developing cheating scandal that's unraveling on the TwoPlusTwo poker forums.

A thread that first appeared on the forums Sunday is now up to more than 400 posts and accounts the details of Fedor Kruse using real-time assistance software to play high-stakes cash games at various online poker sites. Kruse, known by the screen name 'GlitchSystem' on PokerStars, has climbed to some of poker's highest online stakes in the past year.

The thread, titled "Evidence on RTA case GlitchSystem / Fedor Kruse," centers around a series of emails and screenshots sent to GGPoker and PokerStars by roommates of Kruse. The thread alleges that Kruse used a real-time assistance "dream machine" while playing, giving him access to solver-based solutions for poker hands in real-time.

That kind of real-time assistance (RTA) software is banned on poker sites around the world, and the rise of such assistance programs presents perhaps the greatest threat to the long-term future of online poker.

Kruse's roommates send cheating evidence to PokerStars and GGPoker

The TwoPlusTwo thread gets right into the allegations against Kruse, with author 'QuiaOmnisIustitia' providing text that allegedly went to PokerStars security regarding Kruse. The text comes from one of Kruse's roommates, and the version presented in the thread translates the original German language into English.

In the text, Kruse's roommate Manuel details suspicious behavior by Kruse. The text starts off stating that Manuel, another roommate named Niklas, and Kruse lived together in Vienna for a year, and Kruse was regularly playing 200NL cash games and breaking even over that time period.

Kruse suddenly moved up in cash game stakes, however, and displayed other behavior that aroused suspicion with his roommates.

"All of a sudden he started playing more and more cash game and went straight to the highest stakes," says the translated text. "He started on Natural 8 (NL1000 - NL40000) and now also on ACR & PokerStars (NL1000 - NL10000). At the same time, he started to spend more and more time in his room and even locked his room when playing poker."

"This combination with the radical cash game success made us suspicious and we decided to confront him. After a lot of back and forth he confessed to having built and now using a dream machine (further details below)."

Kruse uses "dream machine" to solve hands in real-time

The text goes on to give the specifics of Kruse's dream machine, which allows Kruse to use solver solutions while circumventing mouse movement detection software used by online poker sites.

Kruse's system apparently involved two separate computers and two mice. One setup was dedicated to multi-tabling high-stakes poker cash games, and the other setup allowed Kruse to concurrently run the "dream machine".

The dream machine consisted of a massive database of solved poker hands. While playing poker on one setup, Kruse would utilize the second setup to use his real-time assistance database and avoid security measures used by online poker sites to detect assistance programs.

That first block of text ends with Manuel stating that Kruse had been kicked out of the house and that the two roommates wanted to come forward to expose Kruse's RTA-fueled play.

More evidence comes from damning screenshots

The thread goes on to show screenshots of chats between Kruse and his roommates, which were allegedly sent to both PokerStars and GGPoker. The screenshots show the chats in German, but 'QuiaOmnisIustitia' provides English translations in explanations under each screenshot.

The first of these chat screenshots shows a chat that allegedly took place between Kruse and Niklas. 'QuiaOmnisIustitia' explains under the German-language chat that the exchange translates into Kruse boasting about a hand. The chat takes place under a screenshot of a hand history showing 'GlitchSystem' calling off three barrels with J♠7♠ on a 7❤️3❤️J❤️K❤️2♠ board.

"Fedor bragging about a hand where he called down two pair on a 4 card flush board stating he was shocked you gotta call that combo 100% of the time on the River - Niklas reacting mad already just saying "you played with solver anyways" and Fedor replying "YES but Sandro & me were shocked"," reads the caption explaining the screenshot. 'QuiaOmnisIustitia' then adds that "Sandro" is a German player who developed the RTA system with Kruse.

Another screenshot apparently shows Kruse telling Manuel "without dream machine you will be destroyed by the regs."

Other photos show a two-mouse setup

The thread-starting post by 'QuiaOmnisIustitia' goes on to show more screenshots that the original poster purports as showing Kruse's multi-computer setup. The first of two photos shows three empty Natural8 tables and a live table on Americas Cardroom, with a clear view of two mice on the desk and three monitors within a comfortable view.

The second of those two photos shows those same poker tables on one screen, but with the Simple Postflop Solutions solver displayed on a screen to the left. The terms and conditions at most online poker sites don't allow for any kind of real-time assistance from solver programs.

High-stakes poker strategy is heavily based on solver solutions, however, but abiding by online poker terms and conditions requires that all solver work be conducted away from the table. The combination of the two-mouse setup and allegations by Kruse's roommates could point to a system Kruse is using to employ solver solutions in real-time while dodging mouse-movement safeguards employed by online poker rooms.

Patrick Leonard chimes in

High-stakes tournament pro Patrick Leonard posted on Twitter that he had spoken to Kruse multiple times about the alleged solver-assisted play. Leonard's original tweet, seen above, was followed up by another comment from Leonard.

"I'm not on any side fwiw," Leonard tweeted. "I've been helping mediate and doing (phone) calls with Fedor. He's been very willing to cooperate and speak with me and not hostile at all."

"That said the evidence is quite strong and amongst the Vienna community his house mates have a strong rep."

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Featured image source: Twitter