WSOP Changes Rules in Effort to Speed up Play

With the start of the 2017 World Series of Poker only a few weeks away the WSOP organizers have announced a change to the rules in an effort to speed up play.

In a release issued earlier this week the WSOP announced changes to the “calling the clock” rules. According to the release the rule change is being made to “improve pace of play and prevent habitual stalling.”

Under the old rule players were allowed to call the clock on another player after a reasonable amount of time had passed. Two minutes was defined as the minimum reasonable amount of time. The new rule removes the two-minute minimum time limit. Players may now call the clock on another player at any point they feel the player is taking longer than is reasonable.

If a player does call the clock on another player it still must be allowed by floor staff. The floor staff also has the right to not initiate a clock if they feel it is not warranted due to the current game situation. This piece of the rule was added to prevent abuse of calling the clock.

The new rule has also changed the amount of time given to a player who has had the clock called on them. Under the old rule a player on the clock was given 50 seconds to make a decision. Once the 50 seconds had lapsed a 10-second countdown followed. After the 10 seconds elapsed an alarm would go off signaling the hand is dead if the player has not made a decision.

The new rule reduces the amount of time given to a player on the clock. A player on the clock will now be given 30 seconds to make a decision. At the end of the 30 seconds a 10-second countdown is still initiated followed by an alarm when the clock reaches zero. When the alarm sounds the hand is declared dead if the player has not made a decision.

The WSOP release states that the rule is “intended to discourage stalling or taking an unreasonable amount of time for straightforward decisions.” However, they also note that “participants who appear to be deliberately stalling the progress of the game or who frequently call for a clock unnecessarily will be subject to penalty.”