EPT Copenhagen: Introducing the PokerStars Blog One Time Chip™

A couple of years ago at the World Series Main Event, the tournament organisers introduced something known as the "All In Chip", which rapidly became one of the most controversial, then universally derided, innovations seen in poker in the modern era.

The idea was that instead of sliding all his or her stacks into the middle when moving all in, a player could simply toss this solitary chip forward to make their intentions clear. Nice idea, perhaps, but it was fraught with problems, especially when tournament officials made these actions binding. It wasn't long until stories began circulating of players accidentally knocking their chip into the middle and inadvertently declaring themselves all in, either massively over-betting or getting themselves eliminated on a ludicrous call. One player even claimed to have moved all in as the result of a hefty sneeze.

The idea was soon canned and the "All In Chip" has not been seen again. But my colleague, Stephen Bartley, has an innovation of his own that might replace it, one that will surely be more durable. For several months, we've been discussing the idea of the PokerStars Blog One Time Chip™ at PokerStars blog, permitting poker players to utter the ubiquitous "One time!" only once during a single tournament. This makes sense, surely. You can't keep bellowing "One time!" every time you move your chips into the pot; "One time!" means one time. And it's about time there was some way to regulate it.

The PokerStars Blog One Time Chip™ is the obvious answer. It is included with the original starting stack and once you find yourself involved in a sizeable pot, usually of the coin-flip nature, you can decide whether to play your PokerStars Blog One Time Chip™ and then say: "One time!" If you win -- if this really is your one time -- then any false utterance of "One time!" from then until the end of the tournament results in immediate elimination. If you lose, well, you're probably out anyway.

"He's played his PokerStars Blog One Time Chip™ there, Jesse," the expert analysts would whisper in the television commentary booth. "Will this be his one time?" Etc, etc and so forth. It will, in short, revolutionise the game.

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There was a textbook example of PokerStars Blog One Time Chip™ play during the first level of day two here in Copenhagen. The Danish player Janus Grubbe raised pre-flop from late position and Gabriele Lepore reraised from the small blind. Grubbe asked for a count, Lepore told him that he had about 18,000 left, and Grubbe announced all in, for a similar amount. Lepore called.

They flipped the cards and Grubbe showed Ac-Qc to Lepore's 10-10, a classic race, effectively for either player's continued participation. "One time!" implored Grubbe, flipping his (at the moment imaginary) PokerStars Blog One Time Chip™ into the pot. The flop came 5s Qd 2d and a railbird really did say: "That's your one time!" Grubbe nodded, and nodded again when an ace came on the turn.

Lepore shouted for a 10 on the river, stopping only just short of flipping his own PokerStars Blog One Time Chip™ into the middle in a weird kind of PokerStars Blog One Time Chip™ reraise kind of thing. And perhaps he should have, because the river was a blank, Grubbe's one time was now, and he has close to 40,000.

Of course, he now also has the attentions of the PokerStars Blog One Time Chip™ Police on his case: if he utters it again, he's out. We'll be watching.

Meanwhile, if anyone fancies flexing their PhotoShop muscles and designing the PokerStars Blog One Time Chip™, please email it in to blog@pokerstars.com and we'll see about putting the best ones up on this page.