RTA Debate Rages On as Poker Training Tool Removes 20-Second Delay

RTA Debate Rages On as Poker Training Tool Removes 20-Second Delay

As the threat of real-time assistance (RTA) to online poker continues to permeate, who is responsible for detecting and preventing cheating in the online poker space? Poker sites? Government regulators? Poker training software developers? This is a question that several prominent poker players and training site owners debated this week in the latest controversy over the future of online poker in the age of artificial intelligence.

The discussion surrounded the decision by poker training software Odin Poker to remove its 20-second delay, something that critics warned encourages cheating by allowing users to see outputs in real-time to make optimal decisions.

Odin and Prometheus Poker founder Rory Young pushed back on this criticism by pointing out that other prominent poker training tools have always operated without a delay (albeit with other RTA-prevention methods in place) and claiming that these sites were unwilling to agree “on having the same delay on our respective products.”

Among those to weigh in on the RTA controversy were Run It Once founder Phil Galfond, RangeTrainerPro founder Kenneth “K.L.” Cleeton and DTO Poker Trainer owner Dominik Nitsche.

Click here to learn more about RTA in poker

Hammer Dropped on Odin

Odin is a poker training software similar to tools like GTOTrainer, GTO Wizard and DTO Poker. Using unique simulations, the software helps players analyze hundreds of spots and looks at different flop bet sizes and preflop actions using PioSolver Analysis Tools, according to the Odin website.

The poker training software launched in July 2021 at a time when solver outputs were largely only accessible to high-stakes pros who “needed expert knowledge to be able to configure these solvers,” Young told PokerNews in a March 9 interview.

“The idea was to bring this technology at scale to as many people as possible, obviously for profit, but (also) so people could have access to the same information that the best players in the world had,” said Young.

Odin had a large marketing presence at the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) and even picked up a high-profile ambassador in poker wunderkind Fedor Holz. As of earlier this year, Holz is no longer affiliated with the company.

In its first nearly two years on the market, Odin operated with a 20-second delay to prevent RTA, a timeframe Young noted was “more than enough time to make sure that it can’t be abused.”

According to Young, he reached out to other major poker training software providers “to negotiate a gentleman’s agreement where the one thing we never compete on is the delay, for the sake of the future of online poker.”

“No one got back to me,” he said. “People responded, but they basically said, ‘No, not interested.’ And then despite this, I still chose to keep on the delay for nearly two years, obviously to the detriment of revenue and customer (user experience) and everything.”

On Feb. 28, Odin removed the 20-second delay and advertised on its website that it now offered “instant solutions” with “no delay.” A few days later, Odin sent an email to users promoting the delay and announcing a sale.

“Solving poker has never been faster,” reads a banner on the Odin website.

Young told PokerNews he opted to remove the delay “because it was causing such (user experience) problems for our users; there were lots of complaints, lots of competitors who had no delays.”

A banner on the Odin website advertising the delay removal

Removing the delay didn’t bode well with several poker players and fellow training site operators, including LearnProPoker co-founder Ryan Laplante.

“Unfortunate to see you want to profit from not having a delay, and don’t want to help the industry as a whole,” tweeted Laplante.

Young defended his decision to remove the delay in a Twitter thread, where he noted he contacted other training companies about agreeing to a delay and “NONE of them were willing.”

Laplante, who helped build and owns a part of RangeTrainerPro that launched in 2019, disagreed with this reasoning.

This response also didn’t satisfy poker streamer Vanessa Kade, who wrote that “I think you’re all equally the problem” and “that doesn’t absolve you though just because others are doing it.”

“It’s important to act ethically regardless of what everyone else is doing,” tweeted Kade. “That’s why people have so much respect for people and companies who consistently make an effort to do the right thing – when it’s not just lip service it often has a real personal cost and the reason it’s hard is *because* it puts the welfare of the community above your own self-interest.”

Poker Training Operators Put on Defensive

The decision by Young to drop its 20-second delay put Odin and other poker training sites on the defensive as the community debated how best to counter RTA in the face of rapidly changing technology.

Young, a WSOP bracelet winner from Australia, acknowledged that it was a “big mistake doing a big sale and sending out a promotion saying we removed it (the 20-second delay) where we didn’t clearly communicate.”

“That’s on me,” he said. “I suck at marketing, to be honest. I didn’t really think it through. It should have been like, ‘Hey, due to our competitors not having delays and so many people kind of leaving us for them, we decided we had to remove the delay. We didn’t want to.’ I think that kind of messaging would have been smarter.”

Rory Young
Rory Young

He also acknowledged that removing the delay could be problematic. Might doing so enable Odin customers to use it as an RTA tool?

“The short answer is yes; the longer answer is yes, but you will be caught,” said Young. “Either directly through Odin or through the poker sites catching you.”

Without disclosing specifics, Young noted that “we have two or three measures internally that we take to prevent RTA,” adding that “the delay is the only very obvious, measurable, user-facing measure that you can take to prevent people from using it.”

Other poker training software operators weighed in on social media. Galfond defended RIO’s Vision GTO Trainer in a Twitter thread, while DTO Poker Trainer founder Nitsche pointed to other poker training tools like GTO Wizard that operate “with 0 delay,” noting that “tools capable of displaying solver solutions in real time have been around for a long time now.”

“Odin did not cross any lines that had previously not been crossed by other big players in the space,” said Nitsche. “Don’t hate on Odin for following the trend.”

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Who’s Responsible for Policing RTA?

Like many of poker’s most controversial issues, the subject was taken up on the Solve For Why Only Friends podcast, where Matt Berkey called removing the delay “optically poor from a marketing standpoint” while also noting he was “very much of the mindset that this is not the software development team’s duty to police any longer.”

“The issue is that even if you could get every single operator on board right now … it doesn’t prevent somebody tomorrow from launching a new product that says ‘f*** you. We’ll do it better and we’ll do it more efficiently. And you being ethical is what’s going to cost you bottom line and allows us to win market share,'” said Berkey.

His position deviated from that of Kleeton, who argued that software developers and poker training sites have an obligation to create ethical products that don’t enable RTA.

“It takes zero effort on our parts in order to be good actors,” the RangeTrainerPro founder said. “The only effort that it takes is a willingness to look beyond the bottom line and realize that in the long term all we’re doing is … making a quick dollar in the short term but killing online poker in the long term.”

Both agreed that regulatory bodies need to play an active role in detecting RTA and preventing cheating.

“Maybe if we could go beyond the operators altogether because that’s what’s lacking is oversight be a greater governing body,” said Berkey.

“That’s exactly the point,” said Kleeton. “We don’t have an oversight governing body.”

KL Cleeton
KL Cleeton

In his interview with PokerNews, Young pushed back on notions that he was a bad-faith actor in the poker community and noted that he has been at the forefront of RTA prevention.

“If I was this bad-faith actor, my team of developers are ex-Google, ex-Facebook developers. We can augment the Odin system in maybe like a couple of weeks to be a fully-fledged RTA selling directly to the public where it can read your screen and tell you exactly what to do in real time. Never have we ever had any kind of productization that would point in that direction. Quite the opposite.”

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PN Podcast: Global Poker Award Winners & Guest Preston McEwen Talks WSOPC Success


On the latest PokerNews Podcast episode of 2023, Chad Holloway, Jesse Fullen, and Connor Richards breakdown all the Global Poker Award winners, reveal that the PokerNews Cup will be returning to the Golden Nugget’s 2023 Grand Poker Series, and offer some highlights from the 2023 Wynn Millions.

They also welcome guest Preston McEwen to the show. He’s been a force to be reckoned with on the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit having won five gold rings in the past two years. He’s also fresh off making four final tables in four days at the WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee stop. Find out what’s led to all his success here.

Finally, they recap two RunGood Poker Series (RGPS) stops and get into the recently-revealed PokerStars USA SCOOP schedule for players in New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Listen to those stories and more on the latest episode of the PokerNews Podcast!

PokerNews is hiring for the 2023 WSOP! Click here for details.

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Tell us who you want to hear from. Let us know what you think of the show — tweet about the podcast using #PNPod, and be sure to follow Chad Holloway, Jesse Fullen, and Connor Richards on Twitter.

Subscribe to the PokerNews Podcast on Apple Podcasts here!

Check Out Past Episodes of the PN Podcast Here!

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Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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PN Podcast: Three Clocks, One Hand + Hear from Rising Content Star Caitlin Comeskey
PN Podcast: Three Clocks, One Hand + Hear from Rising Content Star Caitlin Comeskey

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Proposed Bill to Redefine Poker Laws Could Save Texas Card Rooms

Proposed Bill to Redefine Poker Laws Could Save Texas Card Rooms

A proposed bill to redefine a controversial gambling law could serve as some much needed protection for Texas poker clubs if it passes.

The Lone Star State has some of the strictest gambling laws in the country. As such, the dozens of poker rooms across America’s second most populous state have faced scrutiny from local politicians, and sometimes even legal action.

Card rooms in Texas operate differently than most places due to gambling being illegal in the state. Instead of collecting rake, they charge membership and seat fees for access to the club. But some lawmakers still believe that business model is against the law.

Four prominent poker rooms in the state — The Lodge Card Club near Austin, Texas Card House (five locations), Champions Club in Houston, and San Antonio Card House — are backing a bill that would change how the Texas gambling law is worded, eliminating any doubt as to the legality of poker clubs.

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How Proposed Poker Bill Could Benefit Texas

The main objection certain politicians who oppose the poker club model is they are often stuck on two parts of Texas Penal Code 47.04. One area of debate is the law clearly states that the gambling must occur in a “private place.” The other refers to the “economic benefit” received from the games, which can only be from “personal winnings.”

At present, there’s debate as to if “private place” includes a membership-based club and if facilitating the games constitutes receiving “economic benefit” from the games even if rake isn’t taken out of the pots.

The debate may soon come to an end if the group Texans For Hold’em, organized by the four aforementioned card rooms, has its way. House Bill 2345, a partisan bill sponsored by Rep. Ryan Guillen (D), was filed Feb. 15 and referred to the Licensing & Administrative Procedures committee on March 9.

HB 2345’s Texas Senate companion bill, SB 1681, was filed March 6 by Rep. Jose Menendez (D). In that pro-poker piece of legislation that could serve as a game-changer for poker rooms across the state, the definition of “private place” and “economic benefit” would be amended to clear up any confusion as to the legality of poker.

In Chapter 47 of Texas Penal Code, SB 1681 would add subdivision 2-a, which if passed would read: “‘Economic benefit’ means direct winnings from a game of skill or luck. The term does not include a benefit received before a game commences or after payment of the direct winnings from the game.”

As for the “private place’ term, that would be redefined in subdivision 8 and the proposed measure amends that to read: “‘Private place” means a place to which the public does not have access without a valid membership, special invitation, or prior grant of permission[,] and excludes, among other places, streets, highways, restaurants, taverns, nightclubs, schools, hospitals, and the common areas of apartment houses, hotels, motels, office buildings, transportation facilities, and shops.”

Should this bill pass, there would no longer be any debate as to whether the social poker club model used by card rooms across the state are operating legally. That would then help prevent against local authorities cracking down on the poker rooms so long as they are operating within the law.

The bill does not, however, legalize gambling in Texas. Putting up table games and slots and collecting rake from poker pots would remain a criminal act, but it would still be beneficial to the poker community in the state.

Does Poker Bill Have a Chance of Passing?

texas card house poker

Texas Card House CEO Ryan Crow has been working on putting together a rewording of the state’s gambling laws. Crow’s card room in Dallas has faced legal action the past year despite the city originally approving his business license.

He’s spent countless hours fighting lawsuits and a potential closure following a Certificate of Occupancy revocation in 2022. Although TCH, which operates in five locations statewide, has remained in operation throughout the legal battle, the fight has caused a nuisance for the business.

In December, TCH teamed up with three other prominent poker rooms, including The Lodge in Round Rock, co-owned by poker pros Doug Polk, Brad Owen, and Andrew Neeme to create the Texans For Hold’em group to promote legal poker in Texas.

Crow told PokerNews he feels confident in the proposed bill to pass and said the Texans For Hold’em organization has “a strong team of about 10 lobbyists working on it.”

A hearing date for HB 2345 hasn’t yet been set. Should the measure pass, it would take effect Sept. 1, 2023.

READ: Texas Card House Dallas Wins Appeal

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Why Is One of the World’s Best Poker Players Selling His Las Vegas House?

Why Is One of the World's Best Poker Players Selling His Las Vegas House?

Once upon a time, Phil Hellmuth was the fresh prince of Bel Air. Well, at least of Bel Air Drive in Las Vegas. That is where his one-time poker abode is located and is currently up for sale. The 1,672-square-foot home is currently listed for $525,000.

“I bought this house in Las Vegas Country Club gated community (great location),” the 16-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner shared on social media. “I never lived there, but was going to stay there during WSOP and other long Vegas trips.”

While Hellmuth has stayed there in the past, it’s been many years since he’s stayed at the property. Nowadays, he lives in California with his family, and whenever he visits Las Vegas he takes up residence at ARIA.

Phil Hellmuth house
A look out back of Hellmuth’s Vegas house.

The home is listed as a “vintage three-bedroom home build in 1974” located at 2902 Bel Air Drive, which is in the guard-gated Las Vegas Country Club. It features a view overlooking the second green, has a bedroom balcony and swimming pool, as well as a two-car garage and extended driveway.

“The golf course and Strip views from the backyard are simply gorgeous,” said Bob Hamrick, chairman and CEO of Coldwell Banker Premier Realty. “This home is representative of Old Vegas style and with a little renovating it can be returned to its original glory.”

Phil Hellmuth house
There’s a great view of the golf course out back.

Not only is the house up for sale, but it is being exclusively sold by well-known poker player Karina Jett, who is also a realtor at Coldwell Banker Premier Realty.

“This has been a second residence for Phil since he purchased it in 2002,” said Jett. “Its close proximity to the Las Vegas Strip is his favorite feature.”

For those interested, they can contact Jett at 702.218.0162 to schedule a private showing.

Click here to see more photos of Hellmuth’s Vegas house that is up for sale.

Karina Jett

Poker World Has Some Fun

Of course, once word got out that Casa De Hellmuth was on the market, some folks in the poker world couldn’t help but have a little fun.

“Why don’t you stay there this summer and win your next bracelet… then you can sell it for $625k as the house you won your record-breaking bracelet in,” tweeted Faraz Jaka.

Andy Bloch asked, “Can someone play you heads up for your house? (Asking for a friend.)”

“Does it come with a bracelet?” as Owais Ahmed.

Matt Salsberg even set a line on the property: “Over/under 5 murders have happened in this house.”

Finally, many others such as Toby Lewis and 2004 WSOP Main Event champ Greg Raymer pointed out this was the very house once featured in an ESPN segment featuring a shirtless Hellmuth getting prepared for the WSOP.

Phil Hellmuth
A shirtless Phil Hellmuth on ESPN.

If Hellmuth is able to sell the house, it’ll no doubt help ease the sting he recently felt losing hundreds of thousands playing on live streams such as Hustler Casino Live and Live at the Bike.

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Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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Popular WPT Prime Tour Heads to Amsterdam From March 24

Popular WPT Prime Tour Heads to Amsterdam From March 24

The Holland Casino in Amsterdam, the home of the world-famous Masters Classics of Poker, is gearing up to welcome thousands of poker tournament players from across Europe and further afield when the WPT Prime tour stops off in the Netherlands from March 24.

The World Poker Tour first visited Amsterdam in 2015, and has returned to the Dutch capital seven times since. Morocco’s Farid Yachou took down the WPT Amsterdam Main Event in May 2015, with Florens Feenstra winning in 2018, the only Dutch players to take down a WPT title on home soil. Those two tournaments were part of the WPT Main Tour, now the Holland Casino is preparing to welcome the WPT Prime players.

2023 WPT Prime Amsterdam Schedule

Date Time Event
Fri 24 Mar 12:30 p.m. €565 NLHE Opener Day 1
  7:00 p.m. €275 NLHE Hyper Turbo
Sat 25 Mar 12:30 p.m. NLHE Opener Day 2
  12:30 p.m. €345 NLHE Re-Entry Day 1
  7:00 p.m. €275 NLHE Hyper Turbo
Sun 26 Mar 12:30 p.m. NLHE Re-Entry Day 2
  12:30 p.m. €345 PLO with Antes Day 1
  7:00 p.m. €165 NLHE Satellite to Main Event
Mon 27 Mar 12:30 p.m. PLO with Antes Day 2
  12:30 p.m. €840 NLHE Bounty (€250 bounties)
  7:00 p.m. €165 NLHE Satellite to Main Event
Tue 28 Mar 12:30 p.m. €1,100 NLHE Main Event Day 1A
  7:00 p.m. €165 NLHE Satellite to Main Event
Wed 29 Mar 12:30 p.m. €1,100 NLHE Main Event Day 1B
  7:00 p.m. €1,100 NLHE Main Event Day 1C Turbo
Thu 30 Mar 12:30 p.m. Main Event Day 2
  4:00 p.m. €1,100 PLO with Antes Day 1
  7:00 p.m. €330 NLHE Satellite to High Roller
Fri 31 Mar 12:30 p.m. PLO with Antes Day 2
  12:30 p.m. €2,200 NLHE High Roller
  6:00 p.m. NLHE Main Event Final Day
  7:00 p.m. €275 NLHE Hyper Turbo
Sat 1 Apr 12:30 p.m. NLHE High Roller Day 2
  12:30 p.m. €345 NLHE Re-Entry

WPT Prime Amsterdam takes place from March 24, and crowns its final champion on April 1. Between those dates, more than a dozen tournaments and satellites with buy-ins from €165 to €2,200 run, including the eagerly-anticipated €1,100 WPT Prime Amsterdam Main Event.

The €1,100 WPT Prime Amsterdam Main Event features a trio of starting flights, with Day 1A shuffling up and dealing at 12:30 p.m. CET on March 28. Day 1B starts at the same time on March 29, with a turbo-structured Day 1C scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CET also on March 29.

Both Day 1A and 1B are played to a 40-minute clock, while Day 1C uses 20-minute levels. All three flights conclude when approximately 12.5% of the field remains (one in eight entrants), with those players progressing to Day 2 in the money places. Day 2 plays to a 60-minute clock, and ends when the eight-handed final table is set, while the final day uses 60-minute blinds until heads-up; they then shorten to 30 minutes.

Although the Main Event is the tournament everyone wants to win, there are plenty of other tournaments that ae sure to attract hundreds, if not thousands, of players to the Holland Casino in Amsterdam.

The €565 NLHE Opener is the perfect way to get the festival’s show on the road, while the €840 NLHE Bounty event, which awards €250 for every opponent you bust, will undoubtedly prove popular. Then there are the PLO with Antes tournaments, and a €2,200 buy-in High Roller. Everything points to WPT Prime Amsterdam being an incredible week of live poker action.

Fabrice Bigot Tops Bumper WPT Prime Paris Main Event Field (€177,240)

2023 WPT Prime Main Events So Far

Two WPT Prime Main Events have crowned their worthy champions in 2023, although that number will increase to three once WPT Prime Cambodia concludes in the run-up to the Amsterdam festivities.

Frenchman Fabrice Bigot Castagnet triumphed in the €1,100 WPT Prime Paris Main Event. He outlasted 1,070 opponents and walked away with €177,240 for his victory.

Australia’s Sheng Ye became a WPT Prime champion after coming out on top of a 1,224-strong crowd in the A$2,000 WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Event. Ye padded his bankroll with A$374,953 ($253,264).

As you can see, the WPT Prime Main Events are proving popular as they give players the chance to experience the thrill of a WPT Main Tour tournament without having to fork out several thousand dollars or euros. PokerNews fully expects WPT Prime Amsterdam to be a roaring success.

Sheng Ye Goes Big Down Under; Wins WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Event (AUD $374,953)

Win a WPT Prime Passport on WPT Global

If you can’t make it to Amsterdam, don’t be too disheartened as there are several ways to book your place at WPT Prime future stops.

Online poker room WPT Global is giving players worldwide the chance to secure their seats for upcoming events with their $1,500 WPT Prime Passport, which allows them to play at a live event of their choice.

The Passport Qualifiers come with a $110 buy-in and run every Saturday at 2 p.m. ET and Sunday and 6 p.m. ET.

The next WPT Prime stops include:

  • Bratislava, Slovakia – May 11-15
  • Hanoi, Vietnam – May 25-29
  • San Remo, Italy – June 1-11
  • And watch for many more WPT live events

Join WPT Global Today

The launch of WPT Global means that poker players around the world now have the chance to win their way to WPT events, win prizes and enjoy exciting games such as Poker Flips. As one of the world’s largest cash game poker networks, WPT Global is available in over 50 countries and territories worldwide.

WPT Global offers a large deposit match bonus: 100% on deposits up to $1,200 (using any payment method). New players depositing a minimum of $20 automatically receive this match bonus, unlocked in $5 increments (credited straight to the cashier) for every $20 rake contribution.

Both tournaments and cash games count towards bonus unlocking; new players have 90 days from the date of first deposit to unlock and claim their full bonus amount.

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Wang, Wilson & Lee Score PokerGO High Roller Titles at Wynn Millions

Wang, Wilson & Lee Score PokerGO High Roller Titles at Wynn Millions

The prestigious Wynn Millions festival is currently underway in Las Vegas as the $3,500 buy-in Main Event reaches Day 4 with just a few dozen players remaining. There have also been several side event winners side events underway, including Taylor Wilson, Michael Wang and Eugene Lee, who took down the three PokerGO High Rollers on the Wynn Millions schedule.

Wilson started things out by taking down High Roller Event #1: $10,500 No-Limit Hold’em for $304,704, while Wang won the second No-Limit Hold’em event for $308,016 and Lee closed out with a victory in the $10,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event for $280,819.

Read about Day 3 of the Wynn Millions Main Event!

Wilson Defeats Oganyan in High Roller Event #1: $10,500 No-Limit Hold’em for Career-Best $304,70

Taylor Wilson
Taylor Wilson

The three High Roller Wynn events kicked off with High Roller Event #1: $10,500 No-Limit Hold’em on March 7, an event that drew 92 runners for a prize pool of $920,000. Those runners included plenty of heavy hitters, including Vikenty Shegal (9th – $27,600), PokerGO founder Cary Katz (7th – $37,444), Daniel Negreanu (5th – $57,500) and Andrew Lichtenberger (4th – $77,096).

Joseph Cheong bowed out in third place for $111,872 before a heads-up battle between Aram Oganyan and Taylor Wilson that saw Wilson taking down the event for $304,70 and Oganyan earning $176,824 for his runner-up finish.

The victory brings Wilson up to $1.3 million in Hendon Mob earnings and gives him his largest career cash.

High Roller Event #1: $10,500 No-Limit Hold’em Final Table Results

  1 Taylor Wilson United States $304,704
  2 Aram Oganyan United States $176,824
  3 Joseph Cheong United States $111,872
  4 Andrew Lichtenberger United States $77,096
  5 Daniel Negreanu Canada $57,500
  6 Chris Hunichen United States $45,632
  7 Cary Katz United States $37,444
  8 Ryan Brown United States $31,444
  9 Vikenty Shegal United States $27,600


Wang Bests Zobian in High Roller Event #2: $10,500 No-Limit Hold’em for $308,016

Michael Wang
Michael Wang

The next PokerGO High Roller event on the schedule, High Roller Event #2: $10,500 No-Limit Hold’em, had a prize pool of $930,000 and drew a field of 93 players including Darren Elias (11th – $25,110) and David Stamm, who was eliminated on the bubble by fifth-place finisher Jeremy Ausmus, according to PokerGO updates.

Katz found another deep run after finishing seventh in High Roller Event #1: $10,500 No-Limit Hold’em, finishing in third for $178,746 and jumping to the top of the PokerGO Tour (PGT) leaderboards. Michael Wang then defeated Aram Zobian after entering heads-up play with a big chip lead. Wang earned $308,016, his third-biggest career cash.

In addition to taking home $178,746, Zobian made his way to second on the PGT leaderboard after napping a victory and fourth-place finish at the PokerGO Cup in January.

High Roller Event #2: $10,500 No-Limit Hold’em Final Table Results

  1 Michael Wang United States $308,016
  2 Aram Zobian United States $178,746
  3 Cary Katz United States $113,088
  4 Marius Gierse Germany $77,934
  5 Michael Brinkenhoff United States $58,125
  6 Jeremy Ausmus United States $46,128
  7 Arthur Morris United States $37,852
  8 Yifu He United States $31,992
  9 Martin Zamani United States $27,900

Lee Gets Career-Best $280,819 in High Roller Event #3: $10,500 Pot-Limit Omaha

Eugene Lee
Eugene Lee

Closing out the PokerGO High Rollers at Wynn Millions was High Roller Event #3: $10,500 Pot-Limit Omaha, which attracted 77 entrants for a prize pool of $770,000. Among the players who made the money in the PLO event were Norway’s Kent Staahle (8th – $28,567) and PokerGO regulars Jeremy Ausmus (5th – $53,130) and Sam Soverel (4th – $69,685).

Brazil’s Joao Simao was eliminated in third place for $100,100 before Eugene Lee defeated 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event final tablist Michael Duek to win a career-best $280,819 after entering the event with less than $25,000 in live earnings.

Duek earned $161,700, his third-best cash behind a third-place finish in Event #69: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship at the 2022 WSOP for $548,015 and his third-place finish in the $10,000 Main Event for $4 million.

High Roller Event #3: $10,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Final Table Results

  1 Eugene Lee United States $280,819
  2 Michael Duek Argentina $161,700
  3 Joao Simao Brazil $100,100
  4 Sam Soverel United States $69,685
  5 Jeremy Ausmus United States $53,130
  6 Brent Roberts United States $41,888
  7 Jordan Spurlin United States $34,111
  8 Kent Staahle Norway $28,567

PokerGO Wynn Millions High Roller Winners

  March 7 High Roller Event #1: $10,500 No-Limit Hold’em 92 $920,000 Taylor Wilson United States $304,704
  March 8 High Roller Event #2: $10,500 No-Limit Hold’em 93 $930,000 Michael Wang United States $308,016
  March 9 High Roller Event #3: $10,500 Pot-Limit Omaha 77 $770,000 Eugene Lee United States $280,819

Photos courtesy of PokerGO

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Barbero, Arends Win Triton Vietnam Titles As $100,000 Main Event Gets Underway

Barbero, Arends Win Triton Vietnam Titles As $100,000 Main Event Gets Underway

Many of the best high-stakes poker players in the world are in southeast Asia right now for the 2023 Triton Super High Roller Series Vietnam, a series consisting of more than a dozen events with buy-ins ranging from $15,000 to $100,000.

The series got underway on March 1 and has awarded a few seven-figure prizes. Vietnam native Dao Phu took down Event #6: $50,000 NLH 8-Handed for $1.7 million while Turkey’s Orpen Kisacikoglu went on to win Event #7: $75,000 NLH 8-Handed for $1.8 million.

The two are the largest winners of the series so far, but other notable high rollers to home trophies include Argentina’s Nacho Barbero (Event #2: $15,000 NLH 7-Handed – $600,000), Jans Arends of The Netherlands (Event #5: $30,000 NLH 7-Handed – $921,178) and Triton newcomer Andrew Leathem (Event #8: $25,000 Turbo NLH – $670,000)

Currently underway is the $100,000 buy-in Main Event, which kicked off on March 8 and will play for three days as players start off with 250 big blinds. Check out the live stream on the Triton Poker YouTube channel to follow along.

Early Series Highlights

Barbero’s victory came early on in the series when he defeated Arends heads-up after getting through a field of 172 runners that included third-place finisher Brian Kim ($271,000) and fourth-place finisher Lee Wai Kiat ($222,000).

In January, Barbero finished fourth in the 2023 PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship for a career-best $1.5 million. But it wasn’t the result he was hoping for as he entered the final day of play as the chip leader before a colossal misclick that gave up the chip lead to Aliaksandr Shylko, who went on to win the tournament for $3.1 million.

There were no misclicks this time as Barbero locked up the $600,000 victory.

Event #2: $15,000 NLH 7-Handed Final Table Results

  1 Jose Ignacio Barbero Argentina $600,000
  2 Jans Arends Netherlands $406,000
  3 Brian Kim United States $271,000
  4 Kiat Lee Malaysia $222,000
  5 Aleksejs Ponakovs Latvia $178,000
  6 Alex Kulev Bulgaria $138,000
  7 Seth Davies United States $102,100

After finishing runner-up to Barbero for a career-best $406,000, Arends, an accomplished high-stakes online player and poker coach, quickly secured a new best when he took down the $30,000 7-handed event for $921,178 after a three-handed ICM chop with Lee and Jonathan Jaffe, who respectively earned $851,932 and ($766,890).

The event had a prize pool of $5.1 million and a field of 171 runners that included Americans Kim (4th – $441,000) and Seth Davies (5th – $353,700). Kayhan Mokri, a recent guest on the PokerNews Podcast, finished in ninth place for $119,000 and also finished in 21st in the $20,000 Mystery Bounty event for $19,700 as he finds success at his first Triton stop.

Listen to Kayhan Mokri on the PokerNews Podcast!

Event #5: $30,000 NLH 7-Handed Final Table Results

  1 Jans Arends Netherlands $921,178
  2 Kiat Lee Malaysia $851,932
  3 Jonathan Jaffe United States $766,890
  4 Brian Kim United States $441,000
  5 Seth Davies United States $353,700
  6 Biao Ding China $275,000
  7 Oscar Brodkin England $203,000

The biggest winner of Triton Vietnam so far is Kisacikoglu, who got through a field of 85 runners to win $1.8 million, nearly matching his biggest career cash that was earned from a runner-up finish in the 2022 €100,000 Triton Madrid Main Event for $2.1 million.

Orpen Kisacikoglu
Orpen Kisacikoglu

Recently named 2023 Players Choice for Toughest Opponent Stephen Chidwick finished second for $1.2 million just a few weeks after winning two European Poker Tour (EPT) Paris €25,000 events.

Steve O’Dwyer finished in third for $816,000 while familiar Triton faces Jason Koon (6th – $389,000) and Punnat Punsri (7th – $306,000) also made the final table.

Event #7: $75,000 NLH 8-Handed Final Table Results

  1 Orpen Kisacikoglu Turkey $1,753,000
  2 Stephen Chidwick England $1,245,000
  3 Steve O’Dwyer Ireland $816,000
  4 Santhosh Suvarna India $628,000
  5 Henrik Hecklen Denmark $497,500
  6 Jason Koon United States $389,000
  7 Punnat Punsri Thailand $306,000
  8 Rob Yong England $239,000

There’s still plenty of action to come at Triton Vietnam, including the currently underway $100,000 Main Event. Short Deck events make up the majority of the remaining schedule and the series will wrap up with Event #15: $20,000 Short Deck Ante-Only on March 13.

2023 Triton Super High Roller Series Vietnam Remaining Schedule

  March 8 Event #9: $100,000 NLH Main Event
  March 9 Event #10: $50,000 NLH Turbo
  March 10 Event #11: $25,000 Short Deck Ante-Only
  March 11 Event #12: $50,000 Short Deck Ante-Only
  March 12 Event #13: $100,000 Short Deck Main Event Ante-Only
  March 13 Event #15: $20,000 Short Deck Ante-Only

A full list of winners so far at the 2023 Triton Super High Roller Series Vietnam is available in the table below.

2023 Triton Super High Roller Series Vietnam Winners So Far

  March 1 Event #1: $25,000 NLH GG Super Millions 166 $4,150,000 Chin Lim Malaysia $965,000
  March 2 Event #2: $15,000 NLH 7-Handed 172 $2,580,000 Nacho Barbero Argentina $600,000
  March 3 Event #3: $20,000 NLH 8-Handed Mystery Bounty 89 $1,790,000 Mark Rubbathan England $396,000
  March 4 Event #5: $30,000 NLH 7-Handed 171 $5,130,000 Jans Arends Netherlands $921,178
  March 5 Event #6: $50,000 NLH 8-Handed 139 $6,950,000 Dao Phu Vietnam $1,670,000
  March 6 Event #7: $75,000 NLH 8-Handed 85 $6,375,000 Orpen Kisacikoglu Turkey $1,753,000
  March 7 Event #8: $25,000 Turbo NLH 104 $2,600,000 Andrew Leathem England $670,000

Photos courtesy of Triton

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888poker Steps Up War Against AI in Poker; Refunds Almost $300K in 2022

888poker Steps Up War Against AI in Poker; Refunds Almost $300K in 2022

888poker takes game integrity seriously, so much so that the online poker giant invests heavily in technology and staff employed to detect fraudulent activity, including collusion and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) such as Real Time Assistance (RTA) software. The vast investment and hard work certainly paid off in 2022, with 888poker refunding close to $290,000 to more than 6,800 of its customers deemed to have been cheated at the tables last year.

RTA tools range from simple charts to complex solving software that shows users the most game-theory optimal (GTO) play to make in any given scenario. Such tools have been around for several years but are becoming increasingly complex and accurate. In September 2020, Fedor Kruse, a then-popular streamer and professional poker player, was outed by his former roommates for using RTA while grinding cash games. Kruse went from playing $0.50/$1 cash games to taking shots in $200/$400 games in the space of 12 months. That is how powerful RTA can be.

UK Players Benefit The Most From the 888poker Refunds

888poker is stepping up to the plate and taking on RTA users head-on. Last year, 888poker refunded $287,292 to 6,801 players. The money recovered and redistributed represented a 32% year-on-year increase, showing that whatever 888poker is doing in the war against AI is working.

Players from the United Kingdom were the most affected. Some 18% of those 6,801 refunds went to players hailing from the United Kingdom; they received a combined $50,379. Germany came in second with refunds worth $38,997, with Canada third with $38,614 given back to its players.

What Is Real-Time Assistance (RTA)? Is it Legal?

Player Vigilance Aids 888poker Detection Methods

While 888poker uses advanced techniques to detect and confirm the use of AI and RTA in its games, the online poker site’s customers play an important role, too. 888poker acts on every report made to its customer support team, so if you play at 888poker and see something untoward, report it and they will act on it.

“Our continued progress in tackling bots is crucial in ensuring that 888poker continues to provide an enjoyable, safe, and level playing field for all our players,” Matan Krakow, Head of Poker Offering at 888poker said, “This has been driven not only by our increased investment in our detection capabilities but also through the continued support and cooperation of our players, who have an important role to play in helping provide us with vital information about players they think are using AI and RTA.”

“We will continue to do all in our power to ensure we keep poker fun and fair as part of our Made to Play strategy, and listening to our players will be a key factor to progress on this front.”

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888poker: Vivian Saliba’s Top 5 Tips for Building an Online Bankroll

888poker: Vivian Saliba's Top 5 Tips for Building an Online Bankroll

Vivian Saliba is a professional poker player, streamer and 888poker ambassador and know’s a thing or two about building an online poker bankroll.

Saliba understands that there will be some people out there that would like to hop onto the virtual felt but are a bit hesitant to risk lots of money. So, the tournament and Pot-Limit Omaha specialist has relayed some top tips to help fledgeling poker players build their first online bankroll without doing too much damage to their pockets.

Play Freerolls

Playing freerolls is the easiest way to build an online bankroll without risking any of your money. You can practice, learn, put in volume and win without spending a single penny on freeroll tournaments.

There are several freerolls in the 888poker lobby every single day. And during the site’s marquee festivals, you can even win tickets to major events, which could allow you to boost your bankroll even more.

888poker players can also get access to special freerolls by visiting the 888poker Stream Team member’s Twitch channels, so be sure to keep an eye out on those broadcasts to get the passwords to these events.

And what’s even better for PokerNews readers is that we’ve partnered with 888poker to offer some great added value freerolls in March. The freerolls are password protected, and the passwords can be found in our exclusive PokerNews Discord Channel.

888poker Ambassador Kara Scott Breaks Down Tips For Your First Live Poker Tournament

Participate in Contests

888poker regularly shares contests and promotions across their social media channels, where tickets, buy-ins and more are up for grabs.

If you win one of the tickets up for grabs, you’ll likely have the chance to play in a higher buy-in tournament than you usually would, and even just getting the min-cash in one of those events could propel you on your poker journey.

888poker Ambassador Vivian Saliba Falls Short of Mystery Bounty Festival Title

Complete Challenges

If you explore the 888poker lobby, you’ll often find incentives and challenges that will help you add to your bankroll.

By participating in leaderboard contests and challenges, you could win tickets, buy-ins and other prizes. Again, this is another avenue to play bigger events with more eye-popping prize pools.

Another way to find extra value is to use special deposit codes, which can help stretch your bankroll further with extra bonuses. For example, if you download 888poker via PokerNews and create your free account. 888poker will give you a free $88 worth of cash game and tournament tickets – this is a free £20 for residents of the United Kingdom – just for reaching this stage.

Your first deposit is matched 100% up to $400 as a releasable bonus. You have 90 days to release as much bonus as you can. Contact 888poker support for more details.

Start Slow

Building a bankroll to be proud of doesn’t happen overnight, so take your time.

Play smaller buy-ins until you’re ready to move up in stakes. It’s also one of the optimal ways to find out if you have the skills for higher-stakes poker games.

Exclusive PokerNews 888poker Freeroll Passwords for March

Risk Management

Risk management is a key factor in building your bankroll. The more funds in your poker purse compared to the buy-ins you are playing will reduce the chances of your balance being $0.

Of course, you could take some shots, and if that doesn’t pay off, you could start again at the bottom. However, the idea is to evolve and increase your bankroll constantly.

It’s much better to play 100 $1 tournaments than one $100 tournament, volume is key, and it lets you get the most out of your bankroll. And remember, you should play safe and within your limits.

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WSOP Champ Joe McKeehen Wins Philadelphia Poker Championship for $94,323

WSOP Champ Joe McKeehen Wins Philadelphia Poker Championship for $94,323

The inaugural Philadelphia Poker Championship Series got underway at Rivers Casino Philadelphia last month and has already seen a poker superstar walk away with a victory.

World Series of Poker Main Event champion Joe McKeehen, a Pennsylvania native, took down the $2,200 buy-in PPCS Main Event for $94,323 after defeating “Joe “The Worm” Palma in what the Rivers Philadelphia Poker Room called “an instant classic of Philadelphia Poker.”

The Main Event champ and Palma, a fellow Pennsylvanian who added to his more than $1 million in Hendon Mob earnings, were joined at the final table by New Jersey’s Christopher Hill (3rd – $42,072) and Thomas Revello (5th – $23,084) as well as Massachusetts’ Kevin Gabryel (4th – $30,898).

The two final finishers were the only players at the final table with seven figures in live earnings and now have high five-figure scores to add to those impressive results.

Main Event Final Table Results

  1 Joe McKeehen $94,323
  2 Joe Palma $58,266
  3 Christopher Hill $42,072
  4 Kevin Grabel $30,898
  5 Tom Revello $23,084
  6 Byron Vereschagin $17,540
  7 Adam Calabrese $13,550
  8 Brandon Lulov $10,640
  9 Nir Cohen $8,489

Read about the best online poker sites in Pennsylvania!

McKeehen Killing It

McKeehen hasn’t slowed down since he won the 2015 WSOP Main Event for $7.7 million while sporting a Philadelphia Sixers jersey. He has racked up several million in earnings in the years since then and is on a bit of a recent heater to start off the new year.

In January, McKeehen finished third in the $5,300 Borgata Return for $440,327 before finishing seventh in a Lucky Hearts Poker Open $25,000 High Roller for $67,600 the same month. Later that stop, McKeehen made a deep run in the $3,500 Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship and wound up in 25th place for $24,570.

Joe McKeehen
Joe McKeehen at the 2023 Borgata Return

Playing poker in Pennsylvania? Check out the upcoming PokerStars US SCOOP with $2 million up for grabs!

The Philadelphia Poker Championship Series consists of a handful of events at got underway on Feb. 19 with $180 Little Rush with a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool followed by the $250,000 guaranteed Main Event.

Still on the schedule is the $200,000 guaranteed $560 Mystery Rush, which will get underway today with one of four starting flights ahead of Day 2 on March 12.

For more information about the Philadelphia Poker Championship Series, visit www. riverscasino.com/philadelphia/promotions/philadelphia-poker-championship.

Want to learn more about Rivers Casino? Read about a record-breaking $1.2 million bad beat jackpot that was hit at the Pittsburgh property in August 2022!

Lead photo courtesy of Rivers Casino Philadelphia & Harry Corvese

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