WSOP Takes Aim at Stalling With New Clock Rules
Over the past couple of years, a number of poker tournament series have taken steps to speed up the pace of play and prevent stalling. The World Poker Tour implemented the Action Clock, a tablet-like timer set into the poker table in front of the dealer, in its WPT Tournament of Champions.
Poker superstar Daniel Negreanu, a leading voice in the industry and a participant in all of the above tournament series, has been among the most vocal players pushing for changes that reduce tanking in poker. He wrote in his blog that he believed it was only a matter of time before a clock was added to at least some WSOP events.
The WSOP is taking a different approach than fixed timers, but looking to address the issue nonetheless. They've put forth a rule change for 2017 that will allow players to call the clock on other competitors much more quickly, and a tournament supervisor can put a clock on any player he or she feels is deliberately stalling, without prompting from a player at the table.
Professional poker player Greg Himmelbrand pointed out that this can be a slow, cumbersome process. He said the many steps described make it so that by the time a clock has been put on a player, it's already been too long.
Now, if a player feels another player is consistently taking too long to make decisions or deliberately stalling to ladder up the money or into the money, he or she can call a clock at any time. Additionally, the new clock is to be shortened to between 10 and 40 seconds, at the supervisor's discretion.
Poker rules and regulations guru Allen Kessler told PokerNews that stalling is a definite problem he has observed at the WSOP on bubbles and at pay jumps. Himmelbrand agreed, saying he noticed blatant stalling on the bubble of the WSOP Main Event.
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