Why the WSOP should end the Hard-Stop Rule NOW

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jun 24, 2011 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

There is a perfect way to sum up the 10-Level Rule/Hard-Stop Rule at the 2011 World Series of Poker: Good in theory but terrible in practice. The rule has come into play far too often at the 2011 WSOP, and in most cases the rule has reared its head at the most inopportune times in tournaments.

Of the tournaments affected by the Hard-Stop Rule, two have been during heads-up play where one player has a sizable chip advantage over the other, and the others have all ended final tables during short-handed play –mostly four-handed.

These stoppages have not only been an issue with the players involved, but have also caused many a rail to criticize tournament officials, and basically left a bad taste in the mouths of both players and fans. As Allen Bari explained to PokerNews.com, “I think it’s stupid. Momentum is huge in tournaments and if you take a day off to go to sleep it completely changes the momentum. Then everyone has time to adjust to what’s been going on and they even have time to talk to someone, whereas you would only have 15-20 minutes to talk on break. We should’ve just stopped at nine. It should be based upon what point of the tournament you’re at. We were playing for a million dollars; it was 2:30 a.m. We had to stop. The night before they were all folding to me, the next day they were all jamming on me. It could’ve cost me money — luckily it didn’t.”

Because of this I feel the WSOP officials need to get together and change the rule ASAP. I would eliminate the Hard-Stop Rule from the final day of a tournament unless the field hasn’t reached the official final table –usually 9-handed for NLHE and Omaha tournaments, and 6-handed for most other formats.

The 10-Level Rule has its place, and its place is on Day and Day 2 of events, not when hundreds of thousands of dollars and a WSOP bracelet are on the line.

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