This post primarily relates to what el3n1 and JDGHOST were discussing
in the "Cheat Programmes" thread. It
seems I'm often accused of drifting off subject and writing too long posts so
fair warning I'm certainly going to do the latter and off subject is possible.
Hence a new thread, easily avoided, with a new title.
The game that routinely has rules on RTA is poker there's a
good description of what it is and how they deal with it in this article.
Real-Time Assistance (RTA) is a topic that
is becoming increasingly more discussed within the poker community,
and PokerNews is here to give you a brief explainer on what the term
means, how it works, and how players are supposedly using it at the highest
levels of poker to cheat their way to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of
What Is Real-Time
In short, anything that assists a poker
player in their decision making while a cash game or tournament is in progress
is considered to be providing Real-Time Assistance. In general, there are two
types of RTA:
a program will scrape the cards, chip counts and bet sizings from the
poker client and run the simulation automatically.
input: players will have to input the above information themselves into
Poker operators are becoming
increasingly more adept at detecting RTA clients running on the same computer
or laptop as the poker client. For that reason, cheaters may use a computer
separate from the one they are playing on to use the RTA program or software.
Whether automatic or manually inputted,
using RTA in this way is cheating.
How does Real-Time
Assistance (RTA) Work?
At the highest end, complex RTA systems
help the user play a Game
Theory Optimal (GTO) strategy that is mathematically
perfect. Solvers, for example, let the user know exactly how much they should
bet in a specific scenario, or if they should bet at all. Playing with this
helps a player gain an edge over their opponents. Even a very small edge in the
higher stakes games can be worth tens of thousands of dollars over the course
of a year.
"Playing GTO" is not a new
concept in the poker community or indeed the poker industry. Many of the top
players use this concept at the tables, but they've learned how to do this over
hundreds of hours of studying away from the table.
It isn't only complex GTO solvers that
provide RTA to players. Even having a push/fold chart to hand
or a starting hand chart based on stack sizes prior action of players is
considered RTA and, therefore, against the terms and conditions, at least on
the GG Network.
Can You Get Banned
for Real-Time Assistance?
Also in 2020, GGPoker issued
bans to 40 accounts for RTA usage. Thirteen of those
accounts had $1,175,305 confiscated. An additional 40 account were issued final
The decision to ban and confiscate
funds came after the online poker operator claimed to have "upgraded detection
methods" relating to RTA usage. Although no names of banned players were
released, there were suggestions at the time in various social media posts that
some of the game's elite players, many of whom adopt a GTO strategy, are among
The usual cry of "It would be unenforceable" seems to me a
pathetic reason for not making rules. If
a rule is worth making it's worth making and if someone then breaks it that person
has cheated, if they don't get caught then they've got away with cheating, that
It is widely suggested that using a spreadsheet is the same as
counting in your head, of course that's nonsense. Doing fairly complicated arithmetic in your
head will occasionally (or frequently for some of us) lead to mistakes, that's
not likely with a computer doing the calculating. Calculating a 212yd approach that's 19ft uphill in a 10.30 wind at 26-28mph. Do people really think doing that mentally and using a spreadsheet are comparable, will the number of mistakes made be the same with each method?
Spreadsheets added to copious notes gathered and pooled make
a round little more than research with a little bit of a hit (or
deliberately just miss) the ding contest.
Then we throw in unlimited attempts so those with time will certainly at
some point get optimum wind conditions to apply the numbers and of course lack
of a decent shot clock (or any shot clock) to give time to consult notes,
spreadsheets and even others online watching.
Real time assistance in abundance.
I think that having a tournament or two where we play this
as a game, not a reverse engineering project, would be good. If I was playing a tournament that was meant
to be without RTA and I finished behind some that cheated then fine, that's up to
One last fallacy peddled by those who's interest it's in to
do so, most play with spreadsheets and there would be a catastrophic collapse
in numbers playing, and income for wgt, if spreadsheets weren't allowed. I think that's only true in the small group of
players that engage in the forums and the more prominent country clubs, when
I've asked during coin games the vast majority said they didn't use spreadsheets.
Anyway the request is for just one or two tournaments to be
formed with rules on RTA, at least for now. It would also be good to bring in 30sec clocks to all important tournaments to cut down a little bit on the coaching.