Allen Kessler Proposes a Solution for Tanking6 years ago
Following Daniel Negreanu's recent blog post, Alen 'chainsaw' Kessler came up with his own idea of a solution for players who take too much time to make a decision at the poker tables. Primarily posted on his Twitter, this post became somewhat viral, with 93 retweets and 188 favorites.
Have a great idea to stop endless tanking in tournament poker. If you tank, get clock called and eventually fold, you must show your cards.
— Allen Kessler (AllenKessler) March 13, 2015
It seems that many players initially liked the idea, including Daniel Negreanu and Doyle Brunson, but in a discussion thread that appeared later on 2 + 2 there were different opinions expressed as players approached the issue from different sides.
While many players, both pros and recreational, like the idea of punishing excessive hollywooding and endless tanking, others are concerned that if this kind of rule was implemented, it would open doors to angle shooting.
Also, the proposed idea of ‘about two minutes’ before calling a clock doesn’t really seem enforceable, because without a real timing, who would be the judge of how much time has elapsed? If, for example, dealers were to do it, they would most certainly be accused by the players of being partial and unfair, favoring some players over others.
Even as it is, players often take it as a personal insult if they get a clock called on them. If this would also force them to show their cards, it could create some very unpleasant situations. Add to that the fact that this could easily be used to angle shoot for information, all of a sudden the whole idea doesn’t sound as good any more.
Anyone who plays live certainly knows how annoying and boring excessive tanking can be, but it is something you either learn to live with or stop playing live. Finding a real solution is hard and the only past proposal that could actually untangle the problem would be the introduction of a shot clock. This solution, however, comes with the risk of scaring away recreational players who could easily be intimidated by a limited amount of time to make decisions.
Poker is a difficult animal to tame in so many of its aspects. Looking at this discussion, at first it seems perfectly reasonable to do something to make things move along faster. But as one poster explained, tanking is not always done on purpose.
I remember when I was a new player playing live for the first time, I took what many would consider to be an unreasonable amount of time to make my decisions. I was nervous, uncomfortable, and not automated to the game like I am now. Most of the people I played with, however, did not make a big deal about this. And that was important to me."
While there are, no doubt, those who tank just for the heck of it or to annoy other players, there are probably more of those with genuinely hard decisions or at least decisions that are hard for them. Maybe for a professional player jamming 15 big blinds over a cut off raise with AJs is a standard play, but for an amateur it can actually be a big and difficult decision, depending on the stage of a tournament.
According to some other posters in the thread, however, in their experiences most of the tanking is not coming from recreational players but rather from pros of different shapes and sizes.
Be that as it may, it seems that this rule would create more problems than it would solve, so don’t expect to see it introduced any time soon (if ever). Some sort of solution would certainly be welcome, but it needs to stay both fair and at the same time not intimidating to recreational players.
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