Sunday, January 19, 2014

Time for Poker to Call the Clock on Everyone

     One of the the common issues over the past few years, and certainly getting worse, is the amount of time some players take to make decisions.  It's a huge problem, and seems to run rampant ever since Tom "Durrrr" Dwan got famous on televised poker.  And yet, that is likely one of the things that hurts televised poker events the most.

"Something to prevent SLOW PLAY! IMO slow play is the #1 issue for the games future as it not only destroys structures but also takes a lot of the enjoyment out of the game for people which is terrible."

     Online players, are capable of playing up to 24 tables at once, making decisions at each in far less than 30 secs.  Even *I* was able to do this, and although I have been in the video game world for years, I am no spring chicken!  Now some would argue that your win rate drops with this many tables and playing fewer will generate a higher level of play and bb/100 (big blind per 100 hands).  And I do agree, as my win rate was dropping down to break even (or rakeback pro) the closer I got to 24 tables, but this is STILL light years faster than live tournaments.  Even those multi-tabling SNG's or MTT's are usually playing 4 to 12 tables at one time.

     Compare this to your live tournaments, where some players are taking up to 6 mins when tanking over tough decisions, and even taking more than a minute for EVERY decision.  At. One. Table! This creates a couple of problems.

     One problem, is the amount of time given per level determines the amount of play in the tournament structure.  The more time a player takes relative to the other tables, the less hands that table gets to play in relation to the rest of the tables.  This reduces the amount of hands you get to play in the tournament, which has a direct effect on using skill to overcome luck.  Most players would prefer to the ability to use this edge, especially those who play the circuits on a regular basis.

     Another problem, and the more obvious one, is the "watchability" of a poker tournament.  The slower the game moves, the worse it is to watch.  If players are not taking forever with each decision, then televised poker becomes more attractive to the viewing public, and therefore the sponsors that come with that viewer consumption.  I am a diehard poker fan, who watched a full week of EPT live streams in the form of the PCA broadcasts, and even someone like me, would LOVE to see a Time Clock implemented to fairly encourage everyone to move the game along.  In fact, I don't think I've heard of anyone who disagrees that a time clock would be a bad idea.  If you disagree, please feel free to comment below, or tweet at me @TheWookieWay

     My suggestion is to call the clock on EVERYONE!  Some standard default of 1 min, before auto clock called, and you have 30 secs (or maybe even 20).  I like the idea of a Time Bank, so the quicker you go, the more time you have when you really need it, but that might be a logistic problem compared to online play for now.  And these are details that can be worked out over time, after the initial time clock idea has time to sink in with all the live players, most of whom already play online.  So I'll bet, it will be a quick adjustment to the majority of players.

     After all, some of aren't getting any younger, you know??

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Links to News, This Week in Poker has been a BUSY Week

     From PokerStars Caribbean Adventure with it's great LIVESTREAM coverage, to the @WhoJedi incident and following media scrutiny, to Poker Sponsors in the form of sports teams in New Jersey, to fake chip cheating in the Borgata Winter Open halting Event #1, lots of poker news made it into the mainstream media.  Unfortunately, not all of it was positive like we would hope for the future of poker in the United States of America.  Enough to make your eyes bug out, much like Captain Kirk...

     It all started with some great coverage by PokerStars.TV with @Stapes and @J_hartigan and a solid WEEK of poker, from 8 to 15 hour days!  Nobody does it better.  Lots of guest commentators, freerolls, twitter banter, and prizes.  You click on the .tv link above to watch complete replays, or go over to the PokerStars YouTube page

PokerStars also has a new FaceBook application that let's you use Play Money to play on their site with the other players, but via the Facebook app. You can just search for PokerStars.Net in the FB search area, or click here:
Along those lines, ZYNGA launched real money poker, but in the UK, so I have not checked it out yet.

     The Poker World was shaken up, especially close to home for the Poker Media subset, as a Jay "WhoJedi" Newnum was arrested for allegedly stealing poker dealer tip money from a tip box with chopsticks.  For a story that many on the 2+2 Poker Forums were complaining didn't get enough attention by poker media "favoritism", it sure did blow up, and go nationwide (probably international by now), with at least a dozen articles and reports.  You can read the full 1250+ post thread here if you are so inclined and have the time!  Several issues are addressed besides the obvious original post, and links to all the articles on this subject have been summarized in the thread ...

     Matt Savage @SavagePoker did an AMA over at PocketFives  Easy read and he always spawns and idea for a blog post.  He's my favorite TD and highly respected, as well as easily accessible via his Twitter, by many in the poker world.

Speaking of which, the Los Angeles Poker Classic (LAPC) is going on now, you can watch the LIVESTREAM here:

Evenings, Pacific Time, you can often catch @LiveAtTheBike live stream here: 

     New Jersey has starting overtaking Nevada in the news with it's online income, and sponsorship deals. via PokerNews NJ generates 8.4million in 6 weeks.

Party Poker to sponsor NBA and NHL teams Via WickedChopsPoker .  This is kind of big news as it paves the way for future sponsorship and acceptance within the US.  How long until PokerStars finally returns??

Borgata Winter Poker Open, link with schedule via PokerNews.

Borgata Chip Scandal, also via PokerNews.  Someone introduced about 1mil in counterfit chips to the tournament?  I'm still catching up on this story.  Not sure how they are going to address the problem now that some people have already cashed and left, before they found the problem.

Ongoing discussion over at 2+2 for same:

There is plenty more going on, including UKIPT, but the above will give you plenty of reading until tomorrow.

~May the Flop Be With You