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So I was playing a live event over the weekend and I had a situation occur after moving to a new table I've never heard of or seen before. Ideally I'm looking for someone with floor experience to answer but if anyone has seen something like this I am curious what your TD/Floor staff ruled in the following situation:

Late stages in a live tournament, there are 3 levels left until end of day 1, with 30 minute clock. Hero is moved to a new table. Seat 1 is villain in question.

Hero opens on the cutoff, villain is on the button. Hero does a standard open, nothing exciting, villain tank calls. We go to the flop, now this is where the situation begins before the flop is dealt, a player not in the hand mutters "He's been tanking all day, it's getting ridiculous", which is followed by several players agreeing.

Hero continues about half of pot, villain tanks. After 20 seconds pass table calls clock. Villain uses his entire time and folds. Next hand, villain again tanks preflop, immediately the same player calls clock, again as we reach the floop the same player calls clock again on the villain. After calling clock 3 times in as many streets of action the floor gives a verbal warning to the player who has called clocked 3 times.

Now this is where my main question begins. The next hand the villain tanks, clock is called immediately again, but by a different player. The entire table begins to take turns on calling clock for every action the villain makes. I have never seen a situation like this ever before where 8 out of the 10 players at a table proceeded to target a single player. So my question for any TDs/Floorstaff or perhaps a player who has seen this happen before, is how do you as a TD deal with this situation? Can you give penalties for the entire table and allow the table to continue with only 2 players? I understand this is a very niche situation but I am really not sure how to effectively deal with this situation, and thought it was an interesting situation.

Spoiler TD's action:

TD ended up just processing every clock call as they came in, because it was a new player every time, and they did not take decisive action to stop the clock calling, which in my mind was essentially targeted bullying and wasted a huge amount of time. I really think this was a terrible decision on the floors part.

  • Spoiler. How is honoring a clock a waste of time? A penalty for calling the clock? I know of clock not being honored but a penalty? Where was this and what is the penalty for calling for the clock? – paparazzo Jan 8 '18 at 18:35
  • It was a pretty ridiculous situation, and I would have completely agree with your statement before it, but these players effectively removed one of the floor staffs from helping any one else, and basically were bullying a player. There was no penalty at all, but I'm saying I don't think the floor handled this well, and I'd love to hear if we have any floorstaff/TDs on here and how they would handle this. – Grinch91 Jan 8 '18 at 21:58
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    Someone tanking on every action is ridiculous. That player is the bully. I cannot believe floor staff did not honor other tables. – paparazzo Jan 8 '18 at 22:03
  • I do agree the tanking on every decision is ridiculous too, the entire situation was a joke. But how can the floor staff honour other tables when they're glued to our table counting down from 30 seconds practically every minute? Again as I said I think everyone handled it rather poorly. – Grinch91 Jan 9 '18 at 10:15
  • Seems like this is an emotional issue for you. I hope you get a satisfactory answer. – paparazzo Jan 9 '18 at 16:23
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I have not had a similar experience, but I can provide some input.

Players excessively tanking has become a more and more frequent issue in poker due to the increase in calculations done at the table. Obviously these calculations do not need to be made during every decision on every street, but players have been complaining about excessive tanking recently.

These complaints prompted the WSOP to release new clock rules in 2017 and can be found here: https://www.wsop.com/2017/Rule%20Change%20-%20Calling%20the%20Clock.pdf

All poker rooms have different rules for the clock, and if the place you were playing doesn't explicitly have a rule against it, players can technically abuse the clock, excessively tank, etc.

Since you were playing in a tournament, it is possible that this player was waiting for the bubble to burst, or he may have been waiting for the day to end so that he could add on or get seated at a different table.

I agree that the floor handled it poorly, but if there is no rule to help them handle this kind of situation there is nothing that they can do about it.

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    Not sure why you've been downvoted, but I thank you for the updated rules from the WSOP. I think from that alone can pretty much work out what a TD would do in the above case. – Grinch91 Jan 12 '18 at 11:33
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From personal experience, I had a frequent "clock caller" at a game at Stratosphere/Vegas.

When the floor came over, he'd immediately ask the dealer, "Has an inordinate amount of time past that justifies calling the clock?" And all times the dealer said "Yes." That creates consensus, and dude was forced to act a little quicker after two warnings.

My opinion. There are just assholes at the table who will deliberately take their time to annoy all remaining opponents. Call the clock on them after 3 minutes. Personally, I will not call the clock on someone unless I think they are deliberately stalling for no good purpose. Three minutes tops seems reasonable.

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