After watching the 2015 Main Event updates, I noticed that several players were abusing their time bank. Often, time banks are used…
1) to take the time to reconstruct the hand.
2) to get a read on your opponent.
However, players like Zvi Stern was abusing his time bank throughout Day 6 and Day 7. Several times, he would tank while facing a bet postflop and force the other players to call the clock. Eventually, they started calling the clock after he tanked for only 30 seconds because his tanking was excessive. Why would he do this…
3) to put opponents on tilt and disrupt the flow of the game
4) to punish the smaller stacks and play less hands per level
I feel like excessive tanking is taking a route that you would expect from a crummy grumpy gambler but not from a professional poker player.
What I propose is a 120 second shot clock for all decisions in tournament poker? (Feedback is appreciated)
I like to see this added as well Adam, 120 seconds sounds very reasonable for early levels, perhaps add a few seconds in later stages and maybe get rid of it entirely on the final table (but still players should be able to call out “time” if someone is taking his sweet time). Also I think there should be some penalty if you keep maxing out those 120 seconds every other hand, maybe reduce personal time bank for those players by another 10 seconds for future hands (like 3 times “tanked” or 100 seconds+ in a row, 10 seconds less next 3 hands, something like this) and you could also reward those faster players by giving them extra seconds they could use in future tough decisions…
I think the reason that most of the stalling or what I like the call “advanced clock management” is due to bubble or money jump implications.
This year during WSOP on day 6,7 there was a lot of this going on because there isn’t any recourse for abusing the system. Everyone tries to gain an edge anywhere they can and especially when there are massive pay jumps. If you play slower and people bust at other tables…you make more money.
There was a 200k money bubble 11 handed and this was a huge mistake. One table is 6 handed and the other 5 handed, they did not play hand-4-hand. This is a huge problem and resulted in a lot of stalling late because there was no shot clock.
I personally have used advanced time management many times in live mega satellite tournaments. This year I was playing a $1080 mega with over 1000 players with 96 players winning a 10k seat to the main event +$200 cash. Late in the tournament there are some tables with multiple players stalling very blatantly because either they win 10k or they lose. There are players who end up winning a seat to the main event with 1bb or sometimes even less do to their ability to stay alive and stall better than the next guy.
The use of a shot-clock would be a great addition to the game of poker in my opinion and would eliminate the use of advanced time management. I don’t know what would be best, but I know there are a lot of smart people out there that can figure out a good system that is fair and won’t allow people to repeatedly stall. We can only hope something will be changed soon.
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