Poker Tournaments Could Soon Have Shot Clocks

Monday March 10th, 2014

Chicago Public Schools Hold City Chess Championships (Getty Images)

In the 1950s, after a string of low scoring games -- including a 19-18 win by the Fort Wayne Pistons over the Minneapolis Lakers -- the NBA implemented a shot clock that basically turned contests from unwatchable slogs to the free-flowing games of today.

Poker could now be going in that direction too, if the World Poker Tour has their way.

At the WPT LA Poker Classic Main Event in Commerce Casino last week, WPT officials were going around polling players for their thoughts on a poker shot clock.

The clock, reportedly, would give each poker player 30 seconds to act on a hand.

For decades, poker players have had free reign over how much time they take to make a move (opposing players can call a clock on a player after a lengthy period of non-action, but that’s usually a no-no in poker etiquette). The occasional long pauses either add drama, like with the infamous trap Johnny Chan set for Erik Seidel in the 1988 World Series of Poker Main Event, or just annoy the hell out of everyone else at the table.

According to WPT’s Mike Sexton, nearly 80 percent of players liked the shot clock idea.

With both WPT and WSOP trying to reinvigorate sagging poker television ratings, a shot clock seems like a certainty for the future. [Poker News]

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