Posts Tagged ‘Implement’

WPT Tournament of Champions to Implement Shot Clock

 WPT Tournament of Champions to Implement Shot Clock

The World Poker Tour (WPT) Season XIV is coming to an end, but with that end comes the beginning of a tweak to the way major tournaments might be run in the future. Today, famed tournament director Matt Savage announced via Twitter that the season-concluding WPT Tournament of Champions will institute a “shot clock,” limiting the time players will have to make decisions.

The “Action Clock,” as it is called, will be controlled by the table’s dealer and will start as soon as the last card is dealt during the pre-flop round. Each time a player folds, the clock will be reset and start over.

If a player bets or raises pre-flop, the clock will not be started on the next player until the dealer counts the bet and announces its amount. If a player simply calls a bet, an action that would not require additional information from the dealer, the clock will begin immediately for the next player.

In a separate rules sheet specific to the WPT Tournament of Champions, it is stated that the Action Clock will be 30 seconds. Dealers will give players a 10-second warning; if a player does not act before the Action Clock expires, his hand will be folded if facing a bet or simply checked if not facing a bet, similar to how it works in online poker games. In a case where the player’s action is made exactly when the Action Clock expires, the player will be given the benefit of the doubt.

Also reminiscent of online poker, every player will be given a “time bank” of sorts in the form of “extension chips.” Four extension chips will be made available to each player and can be used at any time during the day – even multiple times in the same hand – to provide an extra 30 seconds to act. Extension chips do not carry over to the next day. Those who make the six-handed final table will receive four extension chips, but these do not stack on top of any chips left over from the previous day.

So far, this Action Clock has generally been well-received by the poker community. One of the biggest complaints tournament players have is how long players are allowed to “tank,” or ponder their decisions at the table. It is accepted that players have the right to think long and hard about major decisions such as whether or not to call an all-in on the river, but some players have reputations for tanking on virtually every action, even if it is a simple bet/fold pre-flop. For many, suffering through opponents’ constant tanking makes tournament poker unenjoyable. A shot clock is a welcome addition for many.

The WPT Tournament of Champions begins April 22nd at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, replacing the traditional WPT World Championship. Rather than being an open tournament, it is an invitational, with only past WPT title winners eligible to pay the $ 15,000 buy-in to participate.

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partypoker to Implement Software Changes to Curb Third-Party Software Use

 partypoker to Implement Software Changes to Curb Third Party Software Use

We have seen a trend lately of online poker rooms trying to make themselves more recreational-player friendly, not by necessarily weeding out skilled pros (though this is often what happens), but by attempting to protect weaker or simply newer players from those who want to prey on them by means other than simply playing good poker. The latest poker room to announce changes it partypoker, which wants to “level the playing field” for all players.

In a blog post last week, the poker room listed out the following three changes to its software platform (emphasis added):

•    Players will be able to view the last 12 months of their own hand histories within the Missions icon in the partypoker software, but hand histories will no longer be able to be downloaded and saved to their local devices
•    Players wishing to wait for a cash game will join the room-wide waiting list and be randomly seated when a seat that matches their preference becomes available
•    Players joining a cash game will see the names of their opponents only once their first hand is dealt

The goal of these changes is pretty straightforward. A growing problem in online poker has been what many would consider unscrupulous “sharks” using third-party software to target and hunt down “fish” in a way that runs contrary to the spirit of poker. They use software that collects data on players (either from the user’s own hand histories, purchased hand histories, shared hand histories, or some combination of the three), tags statistically weaker players as fish, and helps them find those players in the lobby and then automatically seats them at their tables. Nobody should have a problem with a good player simply winning money from a lesser player at the poker tables, but when they purposely stalk them and have automated assistance from software in doing so, it does appear to be crossing the line.

In eliminating downloadable hand histories, partypoker takes away the ability for hand tracking software to gather data on players, thus making it that much harder for third-party software users to identify fish. And by removing both the ability to select cash game tables and see their opponents before sitting down, sharks should be prevented from hunting down their prey even if they can somehow still identify them ahead of time.

In an interview with PokerNews, partypoker’s Head of Network Operations and Business Intelligence Jay Kanabar explained some of the thought process behind the upcoming implementation, saying:

If I walked into the Bellagio Poker Room in Las Vegas, I could not ask the Card Room Manager, “Who are your worst players? Can you lock me a seat up to the left of one of them? Where do I get the printout of all the hands everyone here has played over the last 6 months? When my juicy seat comes free can you give me a shout, I’m just nipping into Bobby’s Room to take some notes on the hands being played in there!

Tony Dunst, partypoker’s Ambassador and WPT commentator added in the blog post:

These changes at partypoker are designed to create a more hospitable environment for recreational players. Unfortunately, many of the tools and tactics that professionals use to maximize their edge have made the games too difficult for new players to survive. Without them, grinders will merely pass money back and forth while being raked, and games will inevitably dry up. I think these changes will help level the playing field for casual players, and preserve the quality of games for professionals.

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