The argument about how long poker players should be allowed to consider their options for before they act has been done to death, but it could rear its ugly little head once again following the news that Europe’s premier cardroom, Dusk Till Dawn (DTD), is introducing a basketball-style shot clock to its weeknight tournaments.
Some poker players, think David “Doc” Sands, Yevgeniy Timoshenko and Byron Kaverman, often take several minutes to deduce how they are going to proceed in a hand, while others approach the game with the speed of Ronnie O’Sullivan does when he’s playing snooker. Anyone wanting to play in DTD’s nightly tournaments during the week will need to act like the latter otherwise risk having their hand declared dead.
According to a post on the Dusk Till Dawn Regulars Facebook page, players are now given 20 seconds to make their decision. If they fail to act within this 20 second timeframe, their hand is declared dead. Player are also given a one-minute “timebank” card that they can use for any difficult decisions they may face.
The thinking behind the move is to speed up the game and provide more room to manoeuvre in the latter stages of the tournaments. Some of the tournaments to trial the shot clock format include the nightly XXL15 (a £15+£5 buy-in tournament with a £1,500 guarantee and 20-minute blinds) and the Super 50 (a £50+£5 buy-on tournament with a £3,000 guarantee and 20-minute blinds).
The upcoming £30,000 guaranteed Big Game is not affected by the changes.
Initial reactions to the announcement seem, on the whole, positive, with many forum members talking about their displeasure of having to play against “tankers.” What are your thoughts on the controversial move?