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Gossip Column: RTA Debate Explodes as Rory Young’s Odin Poker Removes 20-Second Delay

Rory Young
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis March 13, 2023
  • 4 Minutes Read

The debate on real-time assistance (RTA) has become increasingly prominent in recent months, raising the question of who should be held accountable for detecting and preventing cheating in online poker. Is it the responsibility of poker sites themselves, government regulators, or poker training software developers?

RTA has been a topic of heated discussion among several prominent poker players and training site owners in the last few days as they grappled with the challenges of ensuring a fair and honest game in the age of artificial intelligence and other advanced tools. The vast majority agree that the future of online poker may depend on finding practical solutions to this pressing issue.

Sparking the recent debate was the decision of poker training software Odin Poker to remove its 20-second delay, which some critics argue could facilitate cheating by allowing users to access real-time information and make optimal decisions.

In response to this criticism, Rory Young, the founder of Odin and Prometheus Poker, defended the company’s decision by pointing out that other prominent poker training tools have always operated without such a delay, albeit with other real-time assistance prevention methods in place. He clarified how other competitors unwilling to implement the same delay was hurting his business, forcing him to make the change.


Why Was the 20-Second Delay Removed?

Odin Poker is a poker training software that operates similarly to popular tools such as GTOTrainer, GTO Wizard, and DTO Poker. The software allows players to analyze hundreds of scenarios using advanced simulations, considering factors such as preflop actions and various flop bet sizes. These simulations are powered by the PioSolver Analysis Tools, which can provide detailed insights into the most optimal poker strategies.

Odin Poker was launched in July 2021, at a time when solver outputs were primarily accessible only to high-stakes professionals who possessed expert knowledge to configure the solvers effectively.

According to Young, the primary goal of the product was to democratize access to this powerful technology and provide the same level of information to as many players as possible. While profitability was also a consideration, the software’s ultimate aim was to help players improve their game and achieve greater success at the tables.

Rory Young
Rory Young


During the 2021 World Series of Poker, Odin Poker had a significant marketing presence and even enlisted the support of prominent poker player Fedor Holz as an ambassador. However, as of earlier this year, Holz is no longer associated with the company.

Fedor Holz
Fedor Holz


Odin Poker operated with a 20-second delay for nearly two years to prevent RTA. Young noted that this timeframe was more than sufficient to prevent cheating. Young claims to have made several attempts to negotiate with other major poker training software providers to agree on a gentleman’s agreement to never compete on the delay for the sake of the future of online poker. However, he received no response to this proposal.

Despite this, Odin continued to enforce a delay for nearly two years, resulting in a potential detriment to revenue and user experience. However, on February 28, Odin made the decision to remove the delay and advertised “instant solutions” with “no delay” on its website. Odin later sent an email to users promoting the change and announcing a sale, with a banner on its website boasting that “solving poker has never been faster.”

According to Young, the decision to remove the delay was primarily due to user complaints and competition from other training software providers that did not have a delay.


Poker Community Reacts

Odin Poker`s decision to remove the delay faced criticism from several prominent poker players and training site operators, including Ryan Laplante, co-founder of LearnProPoker.

Ryan Laplante


In a tweet, Laplante expressed his disappointment with the move and accused Young of prioritizing profits over the well-being of the industry.


Vanessa Kade was another prominent poker player dissatisfied with Young’s response. In a tweet, Kade criticized Young and other training companies, stating they all contributed to the problem.


Several other operators of poker training software expressed their views on social media. Through a Twitter thread, Phil Galfond, founder of Run It Once (RIO), defended the delay feature in RIO’s Vision GTO Trainer. Meanwhile, Dominik Nitsche, the founder of DTO Poker Trainer, referred to other training tools, such as GTO Wizard, that already operate without any delay. Holz pointed out that solver-based solutions capable of being displayed in real-time have been in existence for a long time.


Young Accepts He Made a Mistake

Young’s decision to eliminate the 20-second delay on his poker training site put his competitors, including Odin, in a defensive position. The community was left debating the best approach to countering the unethical use of real-time assistance in light of rapidly evolving technology.

Although Young admitted that it was a “big mistake” not to clearly communicate the reasoning behind removing the delay in his marketing efforts, he defended the decision by calling it a necessary step to remain competitive in the market. He acknowledged the potential risk of enabling Odin customers to use the tool for RTA purposes but emphasized that such behavior would ultimately be caught either through Odin’s own measures or by the poker sites themselves.

Young also revealed that his company has implemented internal measures to prevent RTA but noted that the delay feature was the most obvious and user-facing measure.

Despite the controversy, it is clear that the poker training industry is grappling with the complex challenge of balancing innovation and market competitiveness with maintaining a level playing field for players.

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