Yesterday, Matt Savage, the World Poker Tour Tournament Director, announced via Twitter that the WPT Tournament of Champions will be the first to institute a shot clock to limit the time that players have to make decisions during game play. The Season XIV may be ending but this change could be quite significant for how the next season may operate.
Being called the Action Clock, the dealer at the table will be controlling the time frame in which a player has to make a decision. As soon as the last card is dealt, in the pre-flop round, the clock will begin. As a player folds, the clock will be reset and timing begin again.
When a player decides to raise pre-flop or bet, the clock will not start on the next player until the bet has been counted and the dealer announces the amount posted. If a call is made, then the clock will begin for the next player without delay.
The WPT Tournament of Champions will be the first to use the Action Clock and a rules sheet was created for this event specifically. The clock will be set for 30 seconds. Dealers will be able to give players a 10 second warning. If the Action Clock expires before a player can act, then the hand is folded if a bet is in play. If a bet has not been made, the player will simply check if the time frame is past. If the move is made as the clock is expiring the player will be given the benefit, being able to make their move.
Players will also be given four extension chips and can be used any time during the tournament to give the player 30 additional seconds to make a decision. So far, this new time clock has been received well by poker players, since most become aggravated when a player takes too long to make their decision. We shall see how smoothly game play goes with the new clock after the Action Clock is added later on this week during the Tournament of Champions.
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