The World Poker Tour (WPT) recent announced that the Action Clock will be mandatory in all WPT Main Tour events during the current season. The first event to include the clock will be the WPT Choctaw which is scheduled to take place from Aug 4 to 8.
The Action Clock was initially introduced during the WPT Tournament of Champions in 2016 as a trial and now the WPT has decided to implement the action clock in all major events. According to the WPT, the clock will kick in one table ahead of the money bubble and last until end of play.
Players will receive 30 seconds for each hand and can avail of limited time extension chips for difficult spots. Rules allow four such chips to be available initially. Once the event reaches the final three tables, the chips levels are reset to six each and at the final table it gets reset to eight per player.
The WPT has teamed up with Protection Poker, a subsidiary of Gaming Advancement Marketing Entertainment. The introduction of the clock is an attempt to speed up play at poker tournaments. Organizers are seeking to inject fun and excitement as stalling has become a favored tactic of poker players. By adding time pressure, organizers are hoping to revive interest in poker.
World Poker Tour
In a statement Matt Savage, WPT Executive Tour Director said
The World Poker Tour is proud to be the first to implement the Action Clock across all of its Main Tour events. Many players, both recreational and professional, have expressed concerns that unnecessary tanking has taken a lot of the fun out of poker. With the Action Clock, more action equals more fun, and who doesn’t want more fun in poker?
Savage said that it was a no-brainer decision to bring in the Action Clock to all WPT events after its success at the WPT Tournament of Champions and WPT500 Los Angeles. The move comes in wake of 888poker’s announcement last month that all 888Live Main Events and High Rollers would now include a shot clock.
Cavin Quintanilla, CEO of Gaming Advancement said that the partnership with WPT was welcome and it would allow players to experience the Action Clock on a global scale. The WPT has also announced that it is planning to work with hosting casinos to shift to eight-handed tables for the final 10-tables of the WPT events as a step towards improving speed of play.