The long-running debate in how to make live poker faster has reared its ugly head once again as Daniel Negreanu tweets about the time taken to make decisions in live poker whilst Tom Dwan blames himself for spawning this new problem.
Whilst many players will be quick to point out to Dwan that perhaps he is giving himself too much credit there is a lot of Hollywooding that goes on these days at live tables and this is something that calling a shot clock has not been able to deal with as yet.
Problems with calling the clock on someone:
1) You look like an asshole if you call it
2) Some people have more patience then others and won’t call it for a long time
3) Direct personal antagonism can change the atmosphere at a table
4) The floor generally have to be called over to make the decision – taking more time
5) You look like an asshole if you call it
Historically players have been able to call time on somebody’s decision making which forces the player to make a decision within a set time but making the call brings serious baggage with it notably the fact that everyone thinks you’re an asshole.
This alludes to the basic problem of the speed of live poker and people’s attitudes to it. Many are quite happy that people can take a long time to make a decision whilst those who have come from online can become incredibly frustrated by what they see as play-acting when a decision is relatively simple.
So what methods could work in a) cash games and b) tournaments?
We will take a look at these in the next few days but for now consider the following situation where a time limit is in place of two minutes on every hand:
Player A is in a tournament and makes every decision on the first day in under 10 seconds until the last hand of the day. This player then has a decision for all of his chips. After two minutes the opposing player who has taken between 1 and two minutes on every decision calls the clock on Player A. Is that equitable?