On August 17 Friday, the Bicycle Casino made poker history by becoming the first casino venue to use an action clock in a live-streamed cash game.
The Live at the Bike $100/$200 NLHE with a $200 big blind ante game featured players such as Dan Zack, Garrett Adelstein, Gary Raina and Nick Vertucci.
The poker world is excited to know if an action clock, an item that has become popular in poker tournaments which gives players only 30 seconds to act, can successfully be applied in a cash game.
Poker Life Podcast host Joey Ingram said, "This might be a really big game changer for cash games if the action clock goes well."
He's not the only poker personality to give his thoughts on this one.
Poker pro Phil Galfond said, "Shot clocks in tournaments are fantastic, so I love the idea of trying them in cash games. "I wonder if a clock would make an otherwise casual cash game feel too serious, but I think it's well worth exploring.
Johnnie Moreno, who was slated to commentate the game, said, "I'm excited to see it. I think it will be great for the viewers. More hands equate to more potential action. I think the players will be fine. It may add a level of pressure to their decision-making process which could lead to some big mistakes. I'm hoping it becomes a mainstay on all televised productions.
Poker vlogger Andrew Neeme said, "Absolutely love that they're trying it and really interested to see how well it works out in a cash game. I wouldn't mind it being even quicker, like 20 seconds. 30 seconds is much longer than the vast majority of decisions but it's a reasonable starting point. Somebody at one of my tables this week was relaying a story from a player who plays home games in South Korea and said they use a five-second decision clock. That sounds fun to me. I've played in a couple shot clock tournaments and have yet to use a single time bank chip."
The Cash Game Action Clock
The debut of the action clock, ran by Protection Poker, is something that is not being forced on players. As a matter of fact, Live at The Bike producer and co-owner Ryan Feldman said that it was the players themselves who asked for it.
He explained, "The players brought it up and I thought it would be pretty cool. I went to our casino management to see if it was something that could be approved. The players really wanted it so I pushed it and got it done. Once it was approved, I went to Protection Poker and we made a contract and here we are. It will be a work in progress, we'll adapt and update rules as needed to keep the best interest of the players in mind. Right now, it will only be for Friday games. If it goes well, we will consider using it in other stream games. It is a different player base in this game as opposed to the smaller games and we want to make sure it is not something that will scare away players. It's something we are open to in the future. If it does go well, then down the road, it could be something that is used in the regular poker room as well."
Feldman said he believes the friendly ambience on Live at the Bike should help avoid any problems. The goal is simple: to encourage players to play faster. The plan is to give each player five 1-minute chips to use during the first five hours of the stream. Afterwards, they will reload them with five more.
Feldman finally said, "We would love to be the industry pioneers for this in cash games, the trend setters essentially."