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[caption width="640"] The Protection Poker Action Clock in use at the World Poker Tournament of Champions in 2016. (WPT photo)[/caption] It seems like it is only a matter of time before every major tournament around the world is using some form of shot clock for their marquee events. 888poker is trying to get ahead of that curve. Beginning with the 888Live London Festival this October, all 888Live Festivals will use the shot clock for bigger buy-in events. The move is part of 888poker’s 'Taking Back the Game' initiatives, launched in May. “Taking back the game is about going one step further for our players to create a fairer, more fun and progressive gaming environment. 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,” said Itai Pazner, Head of B2C at 888Holdings. “We believe that implementing shot clocks in our 888Live Festivals is one more step towards us improving our games through cutting waiting times and creating a more even-handed poker experience.” The clock will be in use in London during the Main Event and High Roller at the Aspers Casino. “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. 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,” said John Scanlon, Head of poker at Aspers Casino. “We always put the player at the centre of everything we do at the 888poker Room at Aspers Casino and we believe that players will really enjoy this addition to our ever evolving customer offer.” The shot clock, which will be operated by the dealer, allows players a certain amount of time to make each decision. Each player will have a limited number of time extensions to use each day which allow the player an additional 30 seconds. If the clock reaches zero at any point, the player’s hand is dead. Various versions of a shot clock have been implemented in limited events around the world. The World Poker Tour introduced the Action Clock at the 2016 WPT Tournament of Champions, the Super High Roller Bowl has always used one and a number of PokerStars Live High Roller events have used the shot clock in recent years.
[caption width="640"] Jordan Cristos has a reputation for taking his time with every decision but he doesn't hate the shot clock conept any more (WPT photo)[/caption] That was WPT Champions Club member Jordan Cristos on the day that the World Poker Tour announced all of their events would feature the Action Clock after reaching the money. The clock gives players 30 seconds to act when it's their turn. The clock debuted at Choctaw in early August and it appears Cristos, easily the most vocal opponent of clock, has pulled a 180 and completely changed his tune after having played with it. “I actually liked it. Surprisingly, I liked it a lot. It was really nice to be at peace for the full 30 seconds, nobody complaining,” said Cristos, who has a reputation for taking his time on every decision. “Normally I take 5-10 seconds, most people who get mad at me, get mad in that time frame. So it was nice to just to have everyone calmly allow me to do my thing for however long it took.” Cristos eventually busted the Choctaw event in 20th place and now says he believes there is some value in having the clock in play - even if it may have cost him some equity. “I thought it was cool. There was definitely some drawbacks to it for me. I didn’t play as many hands to the best of my ability as I could have, but it kept me out of trouble in other spots. So maybe it was good,” said Cristo. “I think it’s a blessing in disguise, for me personally, and for poker.” The hand that eliminated Cristos from the Choctaw event saw him and his opponent use a combined six time extensions. Cristos had [poker card="ac"][poker card="ah"] and Josh Kay had [poker card="kh"][poker card="jc"] and the board showed [poker card="js"][poker card="8d"][poker card="3s"][poker card="7h"]. Cristos used one 30-second extension before moving all in for 1,125,000. Kay then threw all five of his 30-second extensions forward to give himself as much time as possible with his decision. He eventually called and was rewarded with the [poker card="kd"] on the river. Had the clock not been in play, Cristos thinks Kay could have found a fold. “We have a lot of history so there’s still a chance that he does call. I feel like Josh has seen enough from me in the past to know. Most other people would fold. I’m so polarized there to either a hand that does have him and a ton of combo draws,” said Cristos. “I support his call, I don’t mind it at all. I just had the blade. I had one of the hands he doesn’t see coming. I think if he had 12 minutes he could fold there, but I still think he’s going to put it in there a decent amount.” With a reputation for being slow, and having been a vocal opponent of the concept of any kind of clock, Cristos knows he’s turned himself into the villain in the argument and he’s okay with that. “I can’t blame them because I completely understand their frustrations. I just think I’m part of the minority, I’m outnumbered. I can never win the fight,” said Cristos. ”I respect their opinion and understand it and I understand I’ve gotten on a lot of people’s nerves over the years. It is what it is. I’m happy that (the clock) is here, it’s cool; I think it’s great.”