Author Topic: Appropriate times to pause the tournament clock/pause action?  (Read 12611 times)

Brian Vickers

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Appropriate times to pause the tournament clock/pause action?
« on: January 23, 2013, 03:23:06 PM »
I'd like to give you guys a few examples below, and then hear your opinion on if you would pause the clock or pause the action at these times:

1.  Tournament is down to 3 tables.  You are about to break the 3rd one and be down to 2.  Do you pause the action at the other two tables, and do you pause the clock during this time?
2.  Final table - Do you pause the clock when heading to the final table?
3.  Tables are uneven:  Two tables left; Table 1 is 8 handed and table 2 is 6 handed.  You are bringing a player from the 8 to the 6 handed table, but the player designated to move (the next BB) is involved in the hand.  Do you allow the shorter table to play a hand unbalanced or do you hold the action until the player is out of the hand?  Would it matter if the tables were 8 handed and 5 handed?  Would you ever pause the clock add time back on if you held the table up?
4.  Hand for hand:  Pause the clock, add time, or just let it run?  Do levels go up during this time as well?

Thank you,
I know it's a lot but I usually wait until my questions overflow and then make one big post :)

Stuart Murray

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Re: Appropriate times to pause the tournament clock/pause action?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 09:42:34 AM »
I'd like to give you guys a few examples below, and then hear your opinion on if you would pause the clock or pause the action at these times:

1.  Tournament is down to 3 tables.  You are about to break the 3rd one and be down to 2.  Do you pause the action at the other two tables, and do you pause the clock during this time?
No, Breaking tables is included as time spent in my tournaments

2.  Final table - Do you pause the clock when heading to the final table?
Yes, because no-one is playing during this time.

3.  Tables are uneven:  Two tables left; Table 1 is 8 handed and table 2 is 6 handed.  You are bringing a player from the 8 to the 6 handed table, but the player designated to move (the next BB) is involved in the hand.  Do you allow the shorter table to play a hand unbalanced or do you hold the action until the player is out of the hand?  Would it matter if the tables were 8 handed and 5 handed?  Would you ever pause the clock add time back on if you held the table up?
No, as question 1.

4.  Hand for hand:  Pause the clock, add time, or just let it run?  Do levels go up during this time as well?
No, I keep the clock running, I do sometimes add some extra time if hand for hand has taken longer than anticipated, A lot of my events I now structure the payouts to avoid the need for hand-for-hand altogether, usually I won't be paying any more than 2 tables, so I can even skip hand for hand during the bubble.

Tristan

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Re: Appropriate times to pause the tournament clock/pause action?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 09:59:36 AM »
I'd like to give you guys a few examples below, and then hear your opinion on if you would pause the clock or pause the action at these times:

1.  Tournament is down to 3 tables.  You are about to break the 3rd one and be down to 2.  Do you pause the action at the other two tables, and do you pause the clock during this time?
No, Breaking tables is included as time spent in my tournaments

2.  Final table - Do you pause the clock when heading to the final table?
Yes, because no-one is playing during this time.

3.  Tables are uneven:  Two tables left; Table 1 is 8 handed and table 2 is 6 handed.  You are bringing a player from the 8 to the 6 handed table, but the player designated to move (the next BB) is involved in the hand.  Do you allow the shorter table to play a hand unbalanced or do you hold the action until the player is out of the hand?  Would it matter if the tables were 8 handed and 5 handed?  Would you ever pause the clock add time back on if you held the table up?
No, as question 1.

4.  Hand for hand:  Pause the clock, add time, or just let it run?  Do levels go up during this time as well?
No, I keep the clock running, I do sometimes add some extra time if hand for hand has taken longer than anticipated, A lot of my events I now structure the payouts to avoid the need for hand-for-hand altogether, usually I won't be paying any more than 2 tables, so I can even skip hand for hand during the bubble.

I agree with every one of Stuart's statements.  I am curious how you structure payouts to avoid hand-for-hand.  The only way that works is to pay less than 10.  At two tables paid, you would still need hand-for-hand unless I'm missing something.  20 paid, hand for hand at three tables of 7.
Tristan
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K-Lo

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Re: Appropriate times to pause the tournament clock/pause action?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 06:41:29 PM »
1.  Tournament is down to 3 tables.  You are about to break the 3rd one and be down to 2.  Do you pause the action at the other two tables, and do you pause the clock during this time?
2.  Final table - Do you pause the clock when heading to the final table?
3.  Tables are uneven:  Two tables left; Table 1 is 8 handed and table 2 is 6 handed.  You are bringing a player from the 8 to the 6 handed table, but the player designated to move (the next BB) is involved in the hand.  Do you allow the shorter table to play a hand unbalanced or do you hold the action until the player is out of the hand?  Would it matter if the tables were 8 handed and 5 handed?  Would you ever pause the clock add time back on if you held the table up?
4.  Hand for hand:  Pause the clock, add time, or just let it run?  Do levels go up during this time as well?

1.  I also do not stop the clock here.  If the tables are in close proximity to one another and people are moving off the broken table, I may ask the dealer of a remaining table who is in the middle of a shuffle to hold up for players coming in.

2.  I may stop the clock when we get to numbers for a final table, to give time for everyone to move to a different location for the final table or to do a redraw.  Although in casual games, occasionally I might let the clock run out to complete a level and start the final table at the next level, to keep things moving.

3.  I do not pause the clock in these situations.  I am OK with having play continue even though a table is 2 short - 3 short I would pause play at that table, and I think that is consistent with the TDA rule.  I would not add any additional time.

4.  I do not pause the clock at hand-for-hand.  I also do not add time, and levels go up as normal.  I will assess penalties and warnings for what appear to be game delays.

In general, I will not pause the clock or add time to it except in extraordinary circumstances where all players have had to stop playing or have encountered a delay.  As an example, I may occasionally pause the clock at the end of a scheduled break, if for some reason I cannot get all tables to start up again together and on time.  Often, we choose a structure that allows us to reasonably estimate when we think a tournament is going to end, and stopping the clock too often, unnecessarily extends the length of the tournament IMO.  Actions like balancing and breaking tables, and playing hand-for-hand for example, are standard actions in a tournament that should be considered part of the overall time "budget", and players simply need to accept that and adjust IMO.

WSOPMcGee

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Re: Appropriate times to pause the tournament clock/pause action?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 12:35:35 PM »
Surprised by some of the responses, I must say. Your questions Mr. V typically do not have blanket black and white, yes / no answers and the responses fail to include details for doing one method vs doing another. To be fair though, the questions are not asking for these details also.
Quote
1.  Tournament is down to 3 tables.  You are about to break the 3rd one and be down to 2.  Do you pause the action at the other two tables, and do you pause the clock during this time?
To give you the right answer here, we / I need more information, such as; How many players are being paid? Do your table breaking procedures call for a redraw at 18 players (or two tables)? Are you hand-for-hand? Are any tables left in play short handed? You can see from the variables that I'm introducing that the correct answer is getting more cloudy.

Assuming that there is no redraw, you are not hand-for-hand, and that no table is 3 players shorter than another table, then NO you do not pause the clock and NO you do not pause the action.


Quote
2.  Final table - Do you pause the clock when heading to the final table?
Absolutely 100% YES. Why? Because as Stuart pointed out, no table is playing. But also because "Normally", but not always, the Final Table is a redraw.

Quote
3.  Tables are uneven:  Two tables left; Table 1 is 8 handed and table 2 is 6 handed.  You are bringing a player from the 8 to the 6 handed table, but the player designated to move (the next BB) is involved in the hand.  Do you allow the shorter table to play a hand unbalanced or do you hold the action until the player is out of the hand?  Would it matter if the tables were 8 handed and 5 handed?  Would you ever pause the clock add time back on if you held the table up?
Part I of the question basically is 'Do you allow the 6 handed to table to continue play'? YES** - Why the **?? - If you're down to two tables you are either A) In the money or B) Very close to the money. You don't want to allow the 6 handed table to play a disproportionate number of hands while waiting for the action to complete on the 8 handed table. Watch the action. If you see that the action on the 8 handed table is going to take a while, HOLD the action on the 6 handed table.

Part II of the question is 'Does 8 vs 5 handed matter'? YES. Hold the action on the 5 handed table. That table is now 3 players short vs the other table in play.

Part III of the question is 'Do you pause or add time if you held a table up'? Absolutely NOT. Why not. As a TD you only want to pause the clock or add time because of something that YOU did or are going to do that will cause the players to lose playing time.

Quote
4.  Hand for hand:  Pause the clock, add time, or just let it run?  Do levels go up during this time as well?
The is a contentious question amongst the TD community. I personally prefer to let it run and increase the levels as normal. Letting the clock run puts pressure on the players to actually play and allows for the tournament to complete on time. There seems to be many interpretations of the best policy at this point in the tournament for some reason. I think different TD's use it as a niche to be different from other tournaments. The following is a list of procedures that some houses / Tours implement:

Hand-for-Hand Play
  • WSOP - The clock FREEZES until players are in the money
  • WPT - House specific, but usually lets the clock run and increase the levels as normal during hand-for-hand play
  • WSOPC - Circuit events - House specific, generally ranges from above WSOP rule, up to and including an adopted procedure at Caesar's LV where they let the clock run, BUT they add 2 minutes back for every hand played during hand-for-hand.
  • HPT - They let the clock run for 30 minutes. If hand-for-hand play is not concluded by that point, then they freeze the clock.
  • EPT - They let the clock run and increase the levels
  • Others - Have also seen where the clock only runs out for the remainder of the level in which hand-for-hand occurs
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Tristan

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Re: Appropriate times to pause the tournament clock/pause action?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 01:07:55 PM »
Good points, I took the lazy route and chimed in to agree with Stuart's answers...but you are right, there are sometimes other factors to consider.

I'm also curious to hear back from Brian if these are the same things he does or if he feels differently about some of them.
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Stuart Murray

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Re: Appropriate times to pause the tournament clock/pause action?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 06:13:16 AM »
I agree with every one of Stuart's statements.  I am curious how you structure payouts to avoid hand-for-hand.  The only way that works is to pay less than 10.  At two tables paid, you would still need hand-for-hand unless I'm missing something.  20 paid, hand for hand at three tables of 7.

Most of my events are smaller volume amounts, even Regional Finals for example 2,000 prizepool (USD $3160) if I am paying, for example 16 players I would continue without hand for hand as I would have a floor at both tables or between them and at dealer at each, so I use time of elimination, rather as hand for hand, so stalling is not a major concern for me as action shall continue due to these factors (the floor and dealers can impose a clock etc) there is of course an argument that if I was paying for example 16 players that I should be running hand for hand to ensure correct placement but in my experience in these types of events it is generally a time waster in itself.

Once we get to larger field payouts (for example a National Final) there is usually one or more periods of hand for hand play.

Stu

Brian Vickers

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Re: Appropriate times to pause the tournament clock/pause action?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 12:24:32 PM »
Thank you guys.  I like what was said about adding time if the delay was caused by the staff (such as having a floor call at the front of the room and not being able to attend to the tournament or something to that effect).  I also agree with not pausing the clock from 3 to 2 tables but yes to pausing it when going to the final table.  We were pausing from 3 to 2, but I have made the change now.

Hand for hand I would like to see a rule implemented at this year's summit (if we have it) regarding clock management.  I know we came close but couldn't reach agreement at the 2011 summit.