Patrik Antonius Finds Poker Tournaments "Really Painful"November 8, 2017 11:03 am
Patrik Antonius is one of the most successful high stakes cash players in live poker, and has won millions of dollars over the years. The 36-year old Finnish pro also tops the online game’s all-time money list with almost $17 million in winnings, as well as having notched up a further $6,799,180 playing live tournaments.
These days, however, Antonius concentrate exclusively on live cash games, blaming player-assistance software for his decision to quit what he calls an unfair game. Meanwhile, Antonius made a rare appearance at a poker tournament last week, having taken part in the WSOP Europe €111,111 buy-in One Drop High Roller event in the Czech Republic.
It seems Antonius did not find the experience at all pleasing, either, and not just because he would have liked to have done better in the competition. Antonius’ biggest criticism of live tournaments concerns the amount of time players have started taking to make their decision, and as he explained during an interview with PokerNews:
“I’m personally not a fan of the way poker has evolved, how people slow the game down and it’s a bit less gambling and less fun nowadays. People take it a little too serious in my opinion.”
In fact, Antonius went as far as to call tournaments “really painful nowadays”, and that innovations such as shot clock need to be introduced if the game is ever to reclaim some of its fun image. Illustrating his point, Antonius said that Day 1 of the One Drop was good with the players keeping to a nice rhythm, until a couple of new players to the table suddenly started taking between five and seven minutes per hand. This not only slowed the game down, but according to Antonius everybody else started to copy, making for an extremely trying game.
“It’s modern poker but I don’t think it’s good for the poker. It’s not good for the game, for the people. This is an enjoyable game. Everybody starts to play because it’s a fun game. And you’re trying to make money but it has become a little bit too serious in a certain way, I think.”
Antonius is not alone in his belief, though, and over the years many players have called for shot clocks to be used to inject a bit of pace and excitement back into live tournaments. From the sidelines of the 2017 WSOPE, for instance, Steffen Sontheimer tweeted:
“Shotclocks… we need shotclocks in any highroller tournament. This tanking is killing the game. Wtf#Rage #ONEDROP”
Meanwhile, Bill Perkins has vowed to avoid all high roller tournaments which do not have shot clocks, calling it a silent protest. Whether other players will be tempted to join in his protest, however, remains to be seen.