The World Poker Tour has asked its players if they would like a shot clock to be implemented during tournaments, and about 80 percent of those at the L.A. Poker Classic Main Event, which was played from March 1-6, answered in the affirmative.
According to the survey, the shot clock would be utilized in one of three scenarios: once the players made the money, the tournament was down to three tables or the final table has started. Players would be allotted 30 seconds to act before his or her hand is declared dead. However, time buttons would add 60 seconds to the time available to act.
This idea has been tried in the past. The Aussie Millions utilized it in February during its $100,000 Challenge. The player who would end up winning the event, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, joked on Twitter, “Register AM 100K. Find out it has a shot clock. While I’m in the tank on whether to unregister or not tourney starts and it’s too late.”
A variation of a shot clock has been used in online poker for some time as players there are given a time bank to use when it is time to make a difficult decision.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The main advantage of utilizing a shot clock is simply speeding up play. Another plus is that each of the tables at a tournament would be roughly in sync. This is especially important when the bubble is about to burst as the extensive delays that take place during this period can be maddening at times.
However, one of the negatives of adding this to play is that it may turn off new players who may already feel nervous at the table. Many of these players may decide not to enter a tournament for this reason. Not having a shot clock can also make poker pretty boring at times for those watching a live broadcast.