Poker sites have fought back against the rise of HUD’s, or Heads-Up Displays for many years. Providing real-time analysis (RTA) of other players at the table on many points of focus that as a player at a live table you wouldn’t normally be able to do, HUDs are banned by many sites, including the GGPoker Network (GGPN).
This week, GGPoker announced on their site that they have discovered multiple users of RTA on their site and put out a statement, including the following:
“At GGPoker Network (‘GGPN’), we firmly believe Poker to be a battle of wits that is meant to be experienced without the use of any Real-Time Assistance (‘RTA’) whatsoever. To this end, we were among the first to prohibit heads-up displays, and we have been quick to ban players in the past that were using prohibited software.
While there will always be deceitful individuals trying to cheat the game and steal from their fellow players, our Security Team continues to be on the cutting edge with regards to detection and protection and maintains a zero-tolerance policy to Real-Time Assistance.
Recently, a high-profile RTA case was brought to light. We have re-dedicated our efforts to combatting RTA and have swiftly adopted enhanced RTA detection methods and improved our internal processes for handling these cheaters.”
The process of winkling out the cheats is clearly a complex one. GGPN’s security team will obviously have dealt with plenty before, but the raft of measures outlined by the company are indicative of a full and thorough investigation.
With 13 accounts having been banned, a massive $1,175,305 has been confiscated, and will be returned to GGPoker players who have been affected, something that seemed to be missed on social media by many poker fans. With 27 other accounts banned and another 40 given warnings, GGPN have taken this breach of RTA security very seriously indeed.
The clamour for players identities to be revealed is understandable but as yet, GGPN have made no announcement in this regard and we wouldn’t expect them to. It’s not about protecting players who have broken the rules of the site, but moreover protecting data of all players at all times. Again, it looks like GGPN have done the right thing.
GGPN’s assertion that ‘Through this process, we can quickly establish whether GTO Poker play has occurred. Once we have made this determination, we look at a variety of other factors to determine whether said GTO play involved the use of RTA.’ Is a slightly worrying one to some who are at the elite level of the game, who could profess that GTO on its own doesn’t necessarily indicate an RTA program has been used. But it’s vest to be totally sure, and most players would agree with this. As GGPN state, ‘Any cheaters found using RTA to gain an advantage will be faced with our strictest measures – [a] Permanent Ban and Confiscation of Funds.’
With a system to report players, a process to investigate potential cheats and a strict, structured procedure in place to deal with those found guilty of abusing RTA to win at poker on GGPoker, GGPN have taken the right steps in the right way.
Players have been cheating and therefore they aren’t owed their winnings. Poker fans – and this includes recreational poker players – should be pleased with the level of security measures GGPN have employed.
As a poker brand, GGPoker has had a spectacular period of success and growth, taking on massive names such as Daniel Negreanu, Fedor Holz, Felipe Ramos and Elky as ambassadors. They also hosted 54 WSOP events on the site in the summer, but it perhaps in our toughest moments that anyone is judged, just as a company is. In that regard, GGPoker have acted well and in a timely manner. You can’t ask for any more than that.