High buy-in events of the WSOP, from now on, will have a big blind ante and a shot clock during the hands. The announcement was made by the Social Media Manager of World Series of Poker, Kevin Mathers, on their twitter handle.


The use of shot clocks and implementation of big blind ante is becoming more and more common in the recent day tournaments. The implementation of big blind ante was first witnessed in the High Roller tournaments at the ARIA after which partypoker LIVE events followed the practice. Recently at the PCA, PokerStars also implemented big blind ante in some of their high roller events.

The practice of using shot clocks in the events is not very recent and was very much prevalent for much longer period of time. 888poker was the pioneer of this practice, using the shot clock in all of their Main Events and High Roller tournaments.

The 2018 WSOP would be the first time that WSOP would use both big blind ante and shot clocks during the hands.

2018 WSOP Events Using a Big Blind Ante and Shot Clock

Date Event
June 1 – 4 Event #5: $100,000 HIGH ROLLER No-Limit Hold’em
July 13 – 14 Event #77: $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller
July 15 – 17 Event #78: The Big One for One Drop – $1,000,000 No-Limit Hold’em


What is Big Blind?

In the later levels of a poker tournament, an ante is an amount paid by the players to create additional incentive to win the pot apart from the big and small blinds that comprise the pot. Typically, every player has to pay the ante. According to the experts, ante slows down the game as it creates a discrepancy and players end up arguing about who has paid the ante and who hasn’t.

In the WSOP tournament, the big blind would be paying the big blind ante for everyone. As the big blind would move every hand, the responsibility to pay would also accompany with it.

What is a shot clock?

The use of shot clock in a poker tournament is similar to the use of a stop watch in a game of chess. the only difference is- in a game of chess it keeps a track of the time you took to make a move and a stop clock binds the time duration within which the player has to act. Typically, poker players get a maximum of 30 seconds to make a move. Also, majority of the poker tournaments implementing stop clock, the players get a particular amount of time bank cards; each card is worth an additional 30-60 seconds.

The stop clock keeps a track of the stipulated 30 seconds time that a poker player gets to make a move. If the player doesn’t make move within the stipulated time, the player’s hand is considered dead. To remain in the game, the player has to use one of his bank cards (if he has any left with him) which bestows him with an additional time to think and make a move.

The number of time bank cards to be given to the player before the tournament is to be decided by the tournament organizer. If any player, after getting busted, is left with time bank cards, those are automatically forfeited. Some tournaments allow the carry forward of time bank cards for the upcoming events whereas some tournaments issue additional time bank cards on reaching the final table.

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