In this week’s Calling the Clock we bring you news of a live tournament shake-up, why poker is a much better place because of the women in the game, and much more.
After watching Ready Player One, you realise how ridiculous it has been for the Football Associations (FAs) around the world to take so long to introduce goal line and video assistant referee (VAR) technology. And yet, despite now knowing with 100% assuredness if the player dived; if the ball crossed the line; or if he was offside, people still hate change.
Earlier this week, fans sent a package full of bullets to the leaders of the Italian referees association (AIA) warning them not to support the widespread rollout of the VAR technology through the top-tier Italian Leagues.
Are the poker chiefs concerned about bullets?
Slowly, poker is getting with the times by introducing rule changes that will speed up the game and make it more exciting and fun for everyone who participates.
The Shot Clock is a concept that has been around for years. Poker organisations have chosen to limit the use to High Roller tournaments believing that the rest of us are too thick to make quick decisions. The Big Blind Ante is a more recent phenomenon, and another idea that saves time, and should be implemented with immediate effect.
What the organisers have forgotten is that at some point every player walks into a live poker tournament for the first time. Humans aren’t chameleons. We don’t switch from gas fitters, store clerks and bus drivers and suddenly become poker players.
The players at the table and the dealer quickly realise you are new, and they help you understand the rules and the gentleman club rules of the game. You don’t get a rulebook. You sit down and get stuck in with the help of those around you.
Why is the introduction of the Shot Clock or Big Blind Ante any different when it clearly improves our game and both components have been met with almost universal approval.
I don’t have answers, but at least the industry made some sloth-like headway this week.
partypoker announced plans to introduce the Shot Clock throughout the duration of the €25k & €50k Super High Rollers at the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Grand Final in Barcelona. The €10k High Roller and the €10k Main Event will introduce the Shot Clock one level off the money.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has already committed to introducing the Shot Clock in their big money buy-in events. This week, they also agreed to introduce the Big Blind Ante into eight events, two Daily Deepstacks and a variety of Mega Satellites.
Very slow progres.
And sticking with the WSOP for a moment and both Joseph Cheong and Benjamin Zamani were victorious at the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOP) in Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas this week. Cheong won the $2,200 High Roller beating 109-entrants to capture the $65,399 first prize and his second gold ring (he has mislaid his first). Zamani beat 610-entrants to win the $192,152 first prize in the Main Event for his first gold ring.
Women in Poker
It’s been an outstanding week for the profile of women in poker. The Women in Poker Hall of Fame (WiPHOF) announced the shortlist for the Class of 2018, and three of the eleven women who made the shortlist come from the World Poker Tour (WPT).
WPT President, Adam Pliska, took to his personal Facebook page to laud praise on the three women he believes are integral to the WPT machine, and a vital facet of the WPT family.
Hermance Blum, Mandy Glogow and Angelica Hael will compete with the likes of Maria Ho, Kara Scott and Jennifer Tilly with two spots likely up for grabs.
You can read Pliska’s tribute right here:
You can read my musings about women in poker and why I feel their lack of presence in the top flight is because of a lack of female tribes in my op-ed Why High Stakes Poker Needs Female Tribes; WPT Feature Prominently in WiPHOF Short List.
And to end the debate over whether men are better than women in poker, Ness and Tim Reilly (the Posh and Becks of poker) competed in the $1,675 buy-in WSOPC Main Event in Planet Hollywood, and Tim knocked Ness out calling her AT all-in with pocket treys.
The WPT was also in the news this week after successfully partnering with 888Poker and Aspers Casino with the WPT500 London event. 1,810 entrants across live and digital platforms allowed Gary Miller to walk away with a £114,000 first prize. I wrote about 888Poker’s ability to partner with the best brands in poker in Gambling Marketing Musings: 888Poker, WPT, Aspers and The White Traingular Bin.
Bits and Bobs
Stateside, and New Yorkers will not be playing online poker anytime soon after online gambling did not make the budget cut. The Poker Player’s Alliance is in a pickle after their one million plus members donated $6k towards a $25k goal designed to save the non-profit for extinction. The Gardens Casino in California launched a new live stream event with Tiffany Michelle in charge. And Ari Engel defeated 6,087 entrants to win the $160 buy-in Mega Millions event at the Bike for $315,142.
Just to rub salt into the PPA’s wounds, five online poker players (not a million) have launched a Spring Matching Challenging via Raising for Effective Giving (REG). The quintent will stump up $300,000 in matching donations. The last time REG sponsored a challenge like this Dan Smith and the Crowley Brothers (not a million) raised more than $4m.
Moving to Asia and the wonderful run of Lester Edoc continues after taking down the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Philippines Championships for $51,003 and a $30,000 Platinum Pass. And the Asian Poker Tour (APT) announced plans to host a new event stop at the Cocobay Beach Resort in Vietnam.
Muskan Sethi became the face of the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), and the Haryana Hawks won the Match Indian Poker League (MIPL) Season 2, but all does not seem to be well under the hood. My Secret Agents based in India have told me that the event did not use the MIPL app, and instead used traditional decks of cards. A full investigation is underway.
Time ladies & gentlemen, please.
Someone has just called the clock.