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Last week, PocketFives published an article about players on the World Poker Tour voting 80-20 in favor of a shot clockfor decisions. The overwhelmingly slanted vote resulted in WPT ambassador Mike Sexton remarking, "I'm guessing/hoping you'll see some type of 'shot clock' incorporated by the WPT for Season XIII." The momentum for a shot clock has now spilled over to the World Series of Poker, whose Circuit may experiment with it this year. WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart told PocketFives in an exclusive statement when asked about the prospects of a clock coming to the series, "We are watching it closely. We agree with trying to encourage 'fast play' and may experiment with a clock on the Circuit this year where there are smaller fields. I have observed mixed results to date on both the operation of it and the field sizes for such events." The WSOP Circuit's final event of the season is in May at Harrah's New Orleans. Then, it'll likely pause until August while the Summer Series runs in Las Vegas. While having a shot clock could help speed up play and make recreational players less vulnerable to the pro "stare-down," Stewart admitted that implementing additional rules isn't always in the best interests of the game. To that end, the WSOP Executive Director explained, "Generally, we want the WSOP to be a fun, welcoming environment. We have very high percentages of recreational players, speaking dozens of languages, who have never played under a shot clock. We're under the mentality that more penalties and more dead hands are bad. We are not going to rush to change anything until we see how people react to it." Thus, it appears that WSOP officials will closely monitor what happens when and if the WPT implements a shot clock before making a decision. Remember, the WSOP in Las Vegas utilizes hundreds of poker tables spread out across multiple rooms at the Rio. Thus, logistically a shot clock could be fairly difficult to implement and enforce. One other source close to a major poker tour told PocketFives that implementing a shot clock could mean that each player will take the maximum allotted time to act on every decision, thus potentially slowing down play overall, even while eliminating the drawn-out five- and ten-minute tanks. What do you think? Should the WSOP and/or WSOP Circuit introduce a shot clock? Let us know by commenting here or posting in this forum thread. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
The concept of a shot clock in poker, in which a person would have only a limited amount of time to act, has taken off recently. The World Poker Tour, for example, surveyed its clientele, who voted 80-20 in favorof implementing a maximum amount of time to act. That spurred World Series of Poker officials to comment that we might see a shot clock on the Circuit this year. PartyPokerpro Marvin Rettenmaier (pictured) critiqued the concept in a blog post, saying that 30 seconds, the rumored length for a single decision, was simply not enough time to act. "For instance, at the Aussie Millions, I played a hand against Tom Dwan where I raised, he three-bet, and the dealer then took 20 seconds to count out the chips after he three-bet," the PartyPoker pro said. "It would then give away the strength of my hand if I have to decide within a few seconds what I want to do." Members of our industry like Court Harringtonhave repeatedly said that creating an environment that's warm and welcoming to amateurs will help build poker going forward. According to Rettenmaier, "newcomers are already scared when they have to play in a live setting for the first time" and, with additional restrictions on time, amateurs could be even more intimidated. Rettenmaier offered two alternatives to a shot clock, saying, "Perhaps the real shift needs to be that it becomes more acceptable to call the clock earlier on opponents… An alternative would be an individual time bank as they have it in chess or online poker, but it still makes playing a poker tournament less attractive to an amateur." The latter could also prove to be difficult to implement. If four-fifths of the WPT's clientele are in favor of a shot clock, then would the tour be unwise to implement it? "A huge majority voted in favor of the shot clock," Rettenmaier argued, "but I don't think players have really thought this through and are just thinking, 'Yes, playing faster is awesome, let's play more hands,' but forget the greater spectrum and that it's basically impossible to implement." What do you think? We've had PocketFivers come in on both sides of the fence of the shot clock debate. In a recent interview with our site, Michael Mizrachi said a shot clock would be advantageous to pros more so than amateurs. Where do you stand? Let us know by commenting below. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.