WSOP affirms ban on RTA/GTO usage during series

Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: May 30, 2023 03:36 PDT

The World Series of Poker has affirmed that the use of real-time assistance (RTA) or game-theory optimization (GTO) software will not be permitted at the WSOP, which kicked off its 2023 run today at the Horseshoe and Bally's casinos in Las Vegas.

Paris Tournament Area Joe Giron/

"If caught using RTA/GTO software during a hand, players will be subject to penalty up to and including DQ (disqualification) / trespass," the WSOP reiterated in a live statement offered to PokerNews. "We reserve the right to further penalize a player for using RTA/GTO in any other situation in our sole and absolute discretion."

The ban on RTA/GTO software use does not extend to a ban on smart-device use at the tables, as the WSOP actively promotes players participating online at even while seated at live tables, where in-use laptops, tablets, and smartphones are a common site. Players may continue to use their device to play or use the Caesars Sportsbook app while in/out of a hand," the WSOP added.

The use of such software aids, including what are commonly referred to as "solvers," at live-poker tables has increasingly become a source of controversy. Just a week ago, an argument over such software used by a player at Los Angeles's Bell Gardens casino, Andrew Esposito, led to the floor being called to defuse the situation.

Esposito was not penalized for accessing GTO Solver, an RTA program, while in a hand, and he defended himself by asserting that he was using the program to analyze his actions in an earlier hand. Such use of RTA software in a not-real-time situation is technically legal under most sets of tournament and live-poker software rules. However, the WSOP's clarification is an effort to create some room between such software's use and the live-poker action taking place, since determining exacrly what a player's software is being used for can be difficult for tourney directors to determine.

Rule 64c of the WSOP's 2023 official rulebook offers the closest definition regarding the ban on RTA/GTO software:

Participants are prohibited from using betting apps, gaming charts, or any poker information tool while involved in a hand.

  1. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Participants may utilize the Bravo Poker Live registration app,, or Caesars Mobile Sports App while involved in a hand as use of these applications
    does not give an unfair advantage to the participant.

Feature image source: Jamie Thomson