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  • Debate for Poker Shot Clock Fully Underway

    Monday, March 31st, 2014 by Ryan

We’ve seen poker players and poker fans alike both talk about the idea of
having a “shot clock” in poker for a long while now. Some people love the
idea, while others hate it. Obviously it’s pretty safe to say that the
players who aren’t big believers in the idea of having a shot clock are the
ones who want to have unlimited time to make decisions (or until time is
called on them in tournaments), but this debate has literally just gone
back and forth. Now, there has been one tour that has taken the steps
towards trying this out and getting the players’ opinions, and there was
basically an approval for the shot clock idea across the board.

The new poker shot clock idea was approved in a big way by the players in
the World Poker Tour’s recent L.A. Poker Classic. The idea would simply be
a preset time limit for players to make decisions. The idea got such
strong reaction that the tour is going to be bringing it on board. One
specific player though, Marvin Rettenmaier, who is the only player to ever
win back to back World Poker tour events, hopped on his blog to talk about
why this decision is not a good one. His blog is on partypoker and he gave
a few different reasons as to why this would be bad for the game of poker.

Rettenmaier made sure to start by saying that the reason his reasons for
being opposed aren’t because he takes his time, he said that he’s
“objective” and also that if he thought it would “improve the game of
poker” that he would be in favor of it, or at least wouldn’t “speak against
it.” He then stated that the proposed time of just 30 seconds is “not
enough time” and pointed out an interesting fact that “often counting out
chips can take longer than that.” He followed up his statements by
pointing out that instead of helping to bring in new players to the game of
poker that this would actually do the opposite of that. He stated that the
shot clock itself would be “detrimental to the goal” of bringing new or
amateur players into the game of poker.

Rettenmaier has obviously been big on the poker tournament circuit
throughout his career, as he’s brought in more than $4.7 million in
tournament winnings in the past five years. He also talks about how some
of the High Roller tournament players are going to be turned off by the
idea, and that they could avoid playing in events. He specifically stated
one businessman in Paul Newey who plays in High Roller events. Newey
actually tweeted out about this, saying that “This only suits experienced
pros who need less time to think. Unlikely to play future $250k if the
rule is used.”

He didn’t just throw the entire idea away though, but he gave some ideas as
to how he thinks that it can be improved. The bulk of the idea was to
avoid something as drastic and pressure-filled as a 30 second clock would
be. Rettenmaier said that other players have told him that they should
“have something like a one minute on the flop, two minutes on the turn, and
three minutes on the river.” The other issue was that he feels that it
should become more “acceptable” to call the clock on your opponents at an
earlier time in the hand.

It’s going to be a debate back and forth more than likely, but the fact is
that the bulk of players voted to have the shot clock. He did say that he
feels that many players didn’t think this through all the way, and instead
are thinking that playing faster is just a better option than the slow
play. A fellow Team partypoker Pro in Mike Sexton pointed out earlier in
the month the results of a survey that the World Poker Tour put out which
said that the vote was actually 80/20 for the shot clock. Sexton believes
that the shot clock should be used sooner than later, so we are simply
seeing a difference in opinion here.

As harsh as the reality seems to be, it’s more than likely that this is
going to be happening, but we’re going to have to wait and see when exactly
it will happen. The players have voted yes and it’s obvious that the
series wants to get the shot clock going, so I’ll be interested to see how
long we have to wait before it gets tried out on an event.

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