WPT Implementing Action Clock for New Season

As the new World Poker Tour season gets underway this week there will be a new rule in place to speed up play in the main event.

The WPT will be implementing a 30-second action clock during all main tour events, starting this week at the Season 16 opener – WPT Choctaw.

The action clock has been used in the WPT before, having first been introduced at the WPT Tournament of Champions in 2016. Going forward, the action clock will come into effect one full table off the money bubble in tournaments. It will remain in play from then on until the tournament concludes.

Here’s how it will work. The action clock will be controlled by the dealer at the table. When the action clock becomes active players will have 30 seconds to make each action. Actions could include betting, calling and folding. Players will receive a time reminder when the clock reaches 10 seconds.

Players will also have four time-extension chips that they will be able to use to extend the time in tough decision moments. Each chip is worth an extra 30 seconds added to the clock. When a tournament reaches the final three tables players will be awarded a max six time-extensions chips. At the final table players will receive a max eight time-extension chips.

Goal of the Action Clock is to Speed Up Play

The goal of the action clock is to speed up the pace of play, especially around the money bubble and at noted pay jumps. Stalling to try and have other players eliminated ahead of you to make the money bubble or rise in the payout standings has been a concern for live tournament poker, which the action clock should address.

“Many players, both recreational and professional, have expressed concerns that unnecessary tanking has taken a lot of the fun out of poker,” said WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage. “Poker should always be fun, and it was a no-brainer decision to bring the Action Clock to all WPT Main Tour events”

The new WPT season kicks off this week at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma. The main event is scheduled to run from August 4-8 with a buy-in of $3,700. Last year 1,066 players entered the event with James MacKey finishing first to win $412,234.