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World Series Of Poker To Implement New Rule To Speed Up Play, Prevent Stalling

Clock Can Be Called Earlier, Less Time Given To Make Decisions


The leading poker tournament festival on the planet has announced that it will make a serious effort this summer to speed up play.

According to a press release, the World Series of Poker will reduce the amount of time alloted to a player to make a decision after “the clock” has been called. It will also reduce the minimum time needed before the clock can be called on a player.

Calling the clock is when a player says out loud that he or she thinks someone else is taking an unreasonable amount of time to make a decision. The dealer then calls over tournament staff and they assess the situation and put a timer on the player making the decision. If the player doesn’t act before the timer ends the hand is declared dead, which means that the dealer mucks it.

As always, you don’t have to be in the hand to call the clock on a player. Everyone pays the entry fee and has a right to a reasonable pace of play.

Under the old rule, the clock basically couldn’t be called until about two minutes of deliberation. The new rule removes that two-minute requirement.

“Participants may now call the clock at any point if they feel a participant at the table is taking longer than is reasonable for the game situation,” the WSOP said.

So, if a player is tanking preflop in a pretty straightforward situation, you could call the clock more or less instantly on him or her, rather than having to wait a couple of minutes before doing so.

Obviously this could be abused, so WSOP staff have the right to not initiate the clock, based on the game situation. However, the floor person may later initiate a clock once he or she deems an appropriate amount of time has passed.

Penalties could result from both habitual stalling and excessive clock calling. “Participants are encouraged to be respectful of opponents who are involved in a hand,” the WSOP said.

In other words, calling the clock shouldn’t be overused.

After the clock is called and staff deem that a timer should be used for the situation, a player will have up to 40 seconds to act.

That’s a reduction from the 60 seconds given under the old rule.

To reiterate: The clock can now be called earlier in a hand and once it is implemented a player will have less time to act before their hand is mucked.

“Rio, in its sole and absolute discretion, reserves the right, at any time, to invoke a clock or speed up the amount of time allotted for a clock,” the WSOP said.

The 48th annual WSOP will run from May 30 to July 17, 2017 at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino in Las vegas. This year the series will play host to 74 gold-bracelet events, with buy-ins ranging from as little as $333 all the way up to to $111,111 for the returning One Drop High Roller.