Blog: Discussing Martin Kabrhel and Shot Clocks

It’s been a long time since I last posted, and that’s because my life has been a hectic conveyor belt of live event after live event. Since the World Series of Poker finished in July, I have been to Bucharest, Rozvadov (twice!), Vilamoura, Sochi (twice!), Dublin, Marrakech and Valkenburg. I just got back from the World Series of Poker Europe where I was privileged enough to work the €111,111 High Roller for One Drop. Congratulations to Dominik Nitsche, a worthy winner of such a prestigious event.

It is the One Drop which prompted me to return to independent blogging. By now I’m sure most of the poker world has heard of Martin Kabrhel. He won a bracelet last month in Event #3: €1,100 Super Turbo Bounty, a victory which is growing more and more ironic as time goes by.

Kabrhel is by far and away the slowest player I have ever reported on in my entire career. Why does he do it? Honestly, you would have to ask him. It doesn’t matter what the action is, the man’s in the tank. Facing a raise? Tank. First to act on a dry flop? Tank.

One situation I observed was blind on blind with Rainer Kempe in the small blind who just called. Action was on Kabrhel who scrutinised his opponent’s stack before checking. The pair checked both flop and turn, and Kempe bet on the river.

Kabrhel again asked to see his opponent’s stack. Kempe, to his credit, obliged. However, floor staff were keen to remind Kabrhel that his opponent’s stack was exactly the same amount as pre-flop, minus Kempe’s river bet.

The pace at which Kabrhel plays is in stark contrast to the growing trend for the implementation of shot clocks in High Roller tournaments. There was no shot clock in action in the High Roller for One Drop, but should Kabrhel be in action next time, one would imagine there will be.

However, that isn’t to say that Kabrhel is the only culprit, although he is the more blatant. In one hand with Fedor Holz taking his time on a decision, Gus Hansen approached me.

“Is that Fedor Holz?” he asked me, to which I replied yes. “Does he always play this fucking slow?” replied Hansen.

I am a big advocate for shot clocks, despite never working an event which had one. That being said, I do look forward to using the phrase “X threw in a time bank chip” more in my work.