>No, it is not.
It depends on how you define equivalent. If you see it as having similar or identical effects but potentially different ways of obtaining those effects (a common interpretation) then using a pointer to simulate a reference is equivalent. Now, if Ancient Dragon had said that the two methods were equal, then you would be right and he would be wrong. But as it is, you're just being overly pedantic. I don't imagine that there was any confusion about what he meant.