Andrew Esposito responds to GTO Wizard controversy at WPT Gardens

Mo Afdhal
Posted on: May 23, 2023 16:50 PDT

See something, say something. It is, for better or worse, a modern American axiom.

Today at the World Poker Tour Gardens Poker Championship, Peter Cross did just that, accusing a fellow player of using real-time assistance in the middle of a hand.

Noted poker pro Josh Arieh shared a video clip of the moment Cross called the floor on Andrew Esposito. You can watch it play out in Arieh's tweet below.

In the clip, Cross claims he saw Esposito using the popular study tool GTO Wizard on his phone while at the table.

For the uninitiated, GTO Wizard offers users instantaneous, pre-solved solutions to a seemingly infinite number of different spots in tournament play. The GTO Wizard webpage advertises its product as "10,000,000+ pre-solved solutions in your pocket" and the ability to "instantly access any spot you can imagine".

Cross says prior to calling the tournament staff over he respectfully asked Esposito to not use the application while involved in a hand or at the table. In the video, Esposito defended his actions by saying that he only used the program for "one hand."

Later, Esposito clarified what Twitter viewers heard.

Esposito speaks on the controversy

PokerOrg spoke with Esposito following his bust-out from the event in an attempt to further understand the situation and his actions.

Esposito said he was not using GTO Wizard mid-hand but was using the app to reference a hand played ten to fifteen minutes prior.

"I did have the app open. It was GTO Wizard. It was to reference a hand that I got into maybe ten, fifteen minutes before. As odd as it sounds, I literally downloaded the app probably last Saturday, or Friday, first time using it, and I couldn't figure out how to use it," he said.

Esposito suggested Cross might have misunderstood what he was seeing.

"It looked like I was on it the whole time, for every hand, but it was just one hand that I was referencing. I see people with it (GTO Wizard) open quite often and I don't think it's clear-cut," Esposito said. "There was no part of me that thought there was anything wrong, because I've seen people have it open before. I think it needs to be a clear-cut rule."

Esposito went on to say that the floor ruled "in his favor" by telling him that he could not have GTO Wizard open for every hand. Furthermore, when asked if he was experienced in using the application, Esposito said, "No. Not at all."

Esposito also expressed his objections to Josh Arieh posting the clip on Twitter.

"For him to kind of like put me out there and not understand the whole situation is just kind of attention-seeking on his part. To be honest, it's very frustrating," Esposito said.

Cross adds his own context

Peter Cross replied to Arieh's post with some clarifying context from his side and offered an explanation on why he felt obligated to alert tournament staff to the issue.

The official ruling

The Gardens Casino Tournament Director Cavin Quintanilla took to Twitter to explain his ruling.

The World Poker Tour issued the following summation of events via e-mail to members of the media present at the tournament.

Arieh follows up

After the blow-up and resulting controversy, Arieh tempered his original tweet.

Cross vs. Esposito Round 2

After the tournament had broken for the night, Eden Rocks hosted a Twitter Space where Cross and Esposito had a chance to plead their cases. Here's a clip from that conversation.