Lee Davy asks the former European Poker Tour (EPT) Champion David Vamplew what his opinion is on the impending introduction of a shot clock at World Poker Tour (WPT) events.
After the WPT polled their LAPC field on the introduction of a shot clock, 80% of players said they were in favor of the move.
But what do the players in Europe think about the proposals?
I caught up with David Vamplew and this is what he had to say on the notion.
“I do think that a lot of people play slow and it’s annoying. It’s not fun for people if things take a long time, it’s boring and you need to move things along to make the game less boring, not just for pros, but also for people who have come along to play for fun.
“So I do wish players would play faster, but I am not sure that a shot clock is the answer. The main reason the game is slow is because people waste time all of the time. They are taking 20 seconds to fold, they aren’t looking at their cards until it gets to them, then they sweat each one, shuffle their cards and then fold – these moves all take time and you can’t put a clock on these things, and implementing a shot clock won’t speed these things up.
“There isn’t a problem with someone who normally plays fast and every now and then has to have a 2-3 minute tank. That’s right within their rights, especially if they are playing fast with their simple decisions on early streets, which keeps the game moving.
“When I started playing I was definitely a lot slower. There is going to be a lot of people who are new to playing live poker and it will be nerve wracking for them. They will want to take longer and not make a mistake, so I understand it, but I do wish they could play quicker. I am one of the quickest players to make the standard decisions. All the decisions pre flop are very simple so I have often made my decisions in the first few seconds.”
Why has the game gotten slower?
“I don’t know if it has gotten slower. It has always been like this. It’s just a habit thing for most people.
“Most of the poker that people see before they come to a live tournament is on TV, and so they see the TV table and people will be taking a little more time because of the cameras, lights and pressure. That’s natural in this situation. People see this on television and then come to a tournament and do the same thing in level one.
“To be able to play well, and fast, you have to be relaxed. If you are nervous you need to calm yourself down and this is going to be a factor as well.
“If there was a shot clock, people would be aware of it, and even though people could still take their time, the introduction of the shot clock will speed things up. It’s the same with Turbos. Because they have the word ‘Turbo’ in the title people just play faster without thinking.”
Daniel Negreanu says pros have a responsibility to police the game better. What’s your view on this?
“You don’t want to piss people off, especially if they are amateurs. I have done it before, especially when someone is playing slow on a regular basis, and I will just call the clock. People get annoyed and say it’s only 10 seconds but it’s not just that 10 seconds, it’s every 10-seconds every hand. I try to tell people if you play faster normally then you will get more time when you have a difficult decision to take. I don’t want to come to the table and have an argument all of the time.”
I noticed Roberto Romanello was playing on your table and he likes to take his time.
“Roberto is a feel player and he plays almost exclusively live as far as I know. So he is not making standard plays in every situation. He studies the player and then decides what he is going to do. Also Roberto is one of these players who is a little paranoid that if he folds fast to a three bet the guy will take this is a sign to be able to three bet him again, so he takes a little longer to make each move.”