While on our travels to Florida, Somuchpoker got a front row seat to the introduction of ‘action clocks’ at the WPT Tournament of Champions, and felt it important to write about the subject. After all, the speed of the game has been a big problem in recent years and it felt like a very workable resolution to the problem was being put into place at that WPT event.
Fast forward a few months, and it seems that 888Poker like the idea too…
Action clock announcement made
Tuesday saw 888Poker take a step forward in speeding live games up, as they announced the impending use of action clocks at upcoming events on the 888Live Festival Tour. The changes will come into play from early October, and are part of a wider initiative to create a fast-paced exciting environment for players and to “take back the game”. The Main Event and High Roller tournaments at the London festival in Aspers Casinos will be the first to have action clocks added to the tables, with the dealers being responsible for activating the clock when the action is on a player. Players will be given additional 30 second timebank tokens in-order to extend their time when faced with big decisions.
“I’ve always been a fan of the Shot Clock, so when 888poker suggested adding it to the Main and the High Roller Events at the Festival I was fully on board“, added John Scanlon, Head of Poker at Aspers Casino. “We are already in the process of converting three of our cash game tables to Quick Tables with a Shot Clock so it fits perfectly with the poker room strategy. I’d like to assure everyone coming to play the event that adding the Shot Clock is not about putting players under unnecessary pressure, it’s about keeping the game running smoothly and ultimately providing all players involved with a better structure and overall experience.”
Clocks set to change the face of live poker
The WPT may not have been the first to host tournaments which include action clocks, but as a major global player in organising live poker tournaments, they can certainly be considered among the important pioneers for this change in our game.
Importantly, the WSOP are also now bringing in less drastic, but still significant and overdue changes, as we reported a month ago.
Several modifications of the rules related to calling the clock during WSOP events have now been introduced, and are being used during the present series.
Among these changes, the old ruling on calling a clock stated that after 2 minutes, any player is allowed to call a clock, after which, the player in question has 50 seconds to act. The new rule change states that players can call a clock at any time they feel a player is slowing the game by tanking.
888Poker, along with other organisers have decided to implement the more concrete action clock system, which is less open to the feelings of individual players at a table, and it is difficult to argue against that being a good thing for poker. When asked about the changes to 888Poker Live Festivals, Itai Pazner, who is SVP Head of B2C at 888Holdings said “as a huge influencer in a fast-evolving market, it’s important that we listen to our players in order to enrich their experience in the most innovative ways possible”.
Article by Craig Bradshaw