German high stakes legend Benjamin “bencb789” Rolle has suggested that a very controversial all-in overcall by Justin Bonomo may have been triggered by the use of Real-Time Assistance (RTA) solver help.
— 🃏 David Lappin 🃏 (@dklappin) September 21, 2020
The $25k SHRbustout hand
The remarkable hand took place on day 1 of the $25k buy-in WPT High Roller Championship. Rolle had shoved from the big blind over a cut-off raise from Daniel Colpoys and a call from Bonomo in the small blind.
With pocket sixes, bencb789 was hoping to be in decent shape against Colpoys similar 30BB all-in call. However, the action then turns to Bonomo.
Rolle describes it as it happens on his live stream: “He overcalls king-jack! What the fuck? Dude, you have two all-ins!” raising his arms in amazement.
GTO review and suspicions
Rolle then reviewed the huge spot that saw him outflopped and busted from the tournament by Bonomo and discovered that the ‘GTO machines’ showed only one calling hand – Bonomo’s KJ suited.
The German pro revealed the next day: “By the way, the bustout hand, the king-jack suited, that Bonomo called me with…if you look into GTO, there’s one hand he’s supposed to overcall the all-in there…”
Rolle added: “… he was tanking for a very long time. I find this a bit suspicious…and then he made the call there with the king-jack suited…I was wondering what he was doing for 45 seconds there…I really would like to know.”
The Kruse RTA cheating allegations
Real-Time Assistance is already at the centre of one huge scandal, with Fedor Kruse accused of accessing and using pre-solved strategies to cheat opponents.
Bonomo is a step up in poker class of course and has proven his poker abilities time and again in highstakes live tournaments, where GTO play is almost impossible to replicate.
So, it’s not outwith the bounds of possibilities that he was using the time to recall similar solver spots he had worked on.
Others had questions too when Rolle’s suspicions were shared on Twitter.
I had to click through vod trying to get more details, fwiw bencb does follow this up saying "I am not saying its true, but whenever we see something suspicious we should talk about it". Would help to see the sim/solution that shows KJs is the only call here imo
— Rob (@ROBMCMURREN) September 21, 2020
Cheating previous revealed
Playing online, of course, allows for different forms of cheating – the RTA approach very much in the news, as Kruse’s Dream Machine setup revelations were followed by his previous for cheating while a Call of Duty gamer.
Bonomo also comes from a gaming background, Magic: The Gathering to be exact, and he also has a history of breaking the rules on poker sites.
In 2006 he was found to have used six separate accounts to take down a win on partypoker, banned from the site, and then also from PokerStars for multi-accounting there as well.
He had a lot of accounts to play in that tournament give the guy a break
— Templeton Peck (@rennburr) September 21, 2020
For Bencb789, it wasn’t all bad news this week, the Raise Your Edge founder landing a victory and a final table to ease the $25k bustout pain.
What an insane day. Not the big stacks in the mains, but we can spin it up tomorrow!
Shipped 10k wpt for 150k and day2 Party 5k sitting 3/9.
LETS GO! https://t.co/AqVkDvAvtZ
— bencb (@bencb789) September 21, 2020
The RTA problems, however, seem set to cast a long and uncomfortable shadow on the game of poker.
Meanwhile, Bonomo already responded to the accusations on Twitter:
The literal answer to the question is I spent most of that time doing the pot-odds math to figure out what % I needed to be good there to call
It would have looked he same if the hand were live. I have a rep for making loose calls in "pot odds spots"
— Bonologic (@JustinBonomo) September 21, 2020
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