World Poker Tour Introduces Action Clock
World Poker Tour (WPT) events are about to get faster. The WPT announced Thursday that it has partnered with Protection Poker to introduce the Action Clock in all of its Main Tour events. The Action Clock is a “shot clock” that will dictate how much time every player has to act late in tournaments.
The Action Clock is a large, flat digital clock that will be situated in front of the dealer. It will not be used the entire tournament; it will come into play when the tournament is one table away from the money bubble and then stay in effect for the rest of the proceedings.
Once the last card of a betting round has been dealt, the dealer will start the clock and a 30-second countdown will begin for the player whose turn it is to act. The clock will quickly be reset and restarted for every player as the action moves around the table. If there is a bet or a raise, the dealer will count out the chips first and then start the clock. Dealers will give a ten second warning to the player who is thinking about a decision.
“The World Poker Tour is proud to be the first to implement the Action Clock across all of its Main Tour events,” said WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage in a press release. “Many players, both recreational and professional, have expressed concerns that unnecessary tanking has taken a lot of the fun out of poker. Poker should always be fun, and it was a no-brainer decision to bring the Action Clock to all WPT Main Tour events following its success in the WPT Tournament of Champions and WPT500™ Los Angeles. With the Action Clock, more action equals more fun, and who doesn’t want more fun in poker?”
Naturally, there will be times when players need to ponder their move a bit longer, so along with the Action Clock comes time-extension chips. At the beginning of the Action Clock period, every player will receive four of these chips. If a player decides he wants more time, he gives a time-extension chip to the dealer and the dealer adds another 30 seconds to the clock.
If a player runs out of time and has time-extension chips available, 30 seconds will automatically be added and the chip will be cashed in at the end of the player’s action. If the clock runs out and the player has no time-extension chips, his hand will be checked or folded, depending on the situation.
When the tournament reaches the final three tables of the tournament, every player will have his time-extension chips topped off to a total of six. When the final table is reached, every player will be reset to eight time-extension chips.
Thus, doing the math, during the Action Clock period, but before the final three tables, everyone will have two minutes of “time bank” available, so the maximum amount of time anyone could use on a single hand would be two and a half minutes (using the full shot clock plus all four extensions).
During the final three tables but before the final table, everyone will have three total minutes of time bank available and at the final table, everyone will have four total minutes of extended time available.
The WPT has also announced that tables will be eight-handed from the time there are ten tables remaining through the end of the tournament. Historically, World Poker Tour final tables have been six-handed. All changes will go into effect at WPT Choctaw in the first week of August.
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