Planet Mark's Blog. Thoughts, News And Strategy For Poker Tournaments Of All Size

3 Poker Time-Wastes That Really Get My Goat

Light hearted post today. I found the time for a session of tournaments on Friday, and, well, it seemed like every player and their dog were conspiring to slow things down… Setting aside the fact that I might have played just a little too much PLO Zoom recently – it is time for a little personal therapy!

#1 – Fake Thinking Time aka ‘Asshole Time’ Must have seen 6 of these on Friday… here is a scenario which many of you will recognize.

Someone raises in earlyish position, there is a re-raise, someone else 4-bets all-in and there is a snap-call of that all-in by yet another player… Alright, this one is a little extreme… a normal 4 bet all-in would usually be enough. What happens is that the initial raiser has to spend 30 seconds having a think about things…

I guess not wanting to lose ‘face’ after putting in the initial raise. But hang on… what part of their range genuinely needs the time-bank here? Such a tiny percentage as to be trivial right? Premiums are happy to get the chips in… most other hands are easy folds – with maybe Jacks / Queens having to have a think (and then fold in this extreme scenario!). The thinking time happens far too often in spots like this for even 10% of them to be real decisions (at least at the lower buy-ins), it is simply bad posturing… the players concerned are often just being assholes, keeping the players who have a legitimate claim to be in the hand waiting! Next time you are tempted not to just muck and get on with it - remember that you are enjoying a little bit of asshole time! Ah, glad that one is off of my chest!!

#2 – The 8 Minute Break Synchronized breaks are now an essential part of any tournament player’s routine. It seems amazing that they did not exist until a couple of years ago… we had to try and find the least-bad timing to step out for the bathroom or to grab a drink. There are still a couple of sites which do not have them, and I know from speaking with many players that people avoid playing tournaments on iPoker (for example) because of this (wake up iPoker, this is costing you real money!). Now, after a 5 minute break you can almost guarantee one player using up their time-bank… what exactly is it about 5 minutes that people can not measure?! Sometimes it is 2 or even 3 people timing their way down to a fold. What I’d like to understand here is, if you know this happens to you – why not click the sit-out button, at least you would save that time bank to use later in a situation like #1 above!

#3 – Multi-Tablers Collective Lag Players who love nothing more than grinding out 12 tables at once… you know, making a small profit from each and often mistaking their slavery to ‘volume’ as ‘freedom’… Anyway, best of luck to anyone grinding… as long as they can keep up! How many times have those same grinders slowed down game after game. Not by much, very rarely to time out (or even time-bank) – this is more a death by 1000 cuts time-wasting… 5 seconds per hand, or sometimes 8. I sometimes wonder whether the poker sites collect stats on the collective cost of slow multi-tablers in terms of hands lost* ?? If you get a few of them on your table (for example in the 180s) this can be very noticable indeed. *Before any grinders pipe-up, of course I know they add significant volume of games… just thinking differently today ;) Anyway, feeling better for my Monday morning therapy. I’m off to really have a hard think about whether to call a 7-bet all-in with my Ace-Jack off…

GL at the tables, Mark

If you enjoyed this blogpost I would genuinely appreciate you taking
the time to share it using the ‘Recommend’ button – thanks