Always massaging and tweaking the schedule, the World Series of Poker has decided to make eight events this summer Big Blind Ante tournaments. This type of event has been tested on the WSOP Circuit, so event officials clearly have confidence in the new format.
As you are likely well aware, most poker tournaments introduce antes after a few levels. These antes are forced bets – typically smaller than the blinds – required by every player at the table. They are used to juice the pot to encourage action and to make it more difficult for players to play overly tight.
Antes come with problems, though. Players frequently forget to post their antes, sometimes resulting in confusion (Google the incident between Jeff Lisandro and Prahlad Friedman at the 2006 WSOP). It is also more work for the dealer to keep track of all of the antes.
That’s where the Big Blind Ante comes in. Rather than requiring all players to pony up an ante, only the player in the Big Blind pays the ante, though it is larger than normal: the equivalent of the Big Blind. Thus, the Big Blind essentially posts a double Big Blind. The Big Blind Ante is dead money, though, meaning that it has no bearing on the betting.
In a press release, the WSOP explained the Big Blind Ante further:
The BB-ante is a fundamental rethinking of what the ante is. The ante in this format is no longer a specified amount that each player pays each hand. It’s now a specified amount that each player pays each round. The beauty of the Big Blind Ante format is that players no longer have to remember to ante each hand or to determine whether they did or didn’t ante. There can be no dispute over which player didn’t ante. Plus, dealers, no longer have to go around to all participants at the table to collect the antes, thus speeding up the pace of play and allowing players more hands at each level.
If a player is so short stacked that he does not have enough money to pay the Big Blind and the Big Blind Ante, the Big Blind will be paid first. Also, the winner of the hand always wins the Big Blind Ante. It does not matter if there was a side pot, if the player was ultra-short stacked, whatever. If a player has one chip and wins an all-in against everyone else at the table, that player will win the Big Blind Ante in addition to whatever he has coming to him from the pot.
Here are the eight events that will use the Big Blind Ante. Of note here is that they cover the spectrum of buy-ins, all the way up to the $1 million Big One for One Drop.
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