Today we will try to answer the question from above and find out what the best solution for a poker tournament may be.
This time Paul Seaton from PokerNews.com decided to look into an issue that stirs a discussion in the poker community for some time. Namely, what kind of ante there should be – normal one (as it has been before), big blind ante, or perhaps button ante?
Niall Farrell says that solutions applied in tournaments should make the experience as close to a perfect one for players as possible. He also adds that “there are many players who are afraid of changes”, especially when it comes to ante.
Dara O’Kearney says: “There are some problems with button ante and big blind ante, but what you get instead, the pace of the game and the fact dealers do not have to ask for ante makes it worth it. I suspect the traditional ante will disappear within a year and in two years big blind ante or button ante will take over”.
Igor Kurganov suggests that “in live poker normal ante is a bad idea. It wastes too much time”.
Farrell notices that at WSOP there are many inexperienced dealers. There are also tons of recreational players who play and use phones at the same time, forgetting to pay the ante. All that slows down the game. If the ante in a given hand is paid only by one player then we can play more hands. “The reason why people play poker is they want to sit down and see some flops”.
Adrian Mateos, EPT champion and three time WSOP winner says he played his last normal ante tournament in London 3 years ago. “It was weird and I don't know why we have been playing this way for so long” – he says.
Big blind ante or button ante?
Dara O’Kearney says the first one is better. Farrell thinks the same. “You never have a “dead” big blind, but you can have a “dead” button. This reason for me is enough to chose big blind ante. It's much faster and more fluent for everybody. This is a huge profit for the game” – he adds. The more pleasant the game the more people will want to play it. Hosts must make sure their experience is good. otherwise they will go elsewhere.
Mateos gives another reason why big blind ante is better than button ante: “It's better because only two persons have to post blind. We want to make the game faster and it's easier to have two people paying instead of three. The button ante creates one big problem, when a player is eliminated. Sometimes the button is “dead” and it complicates things because you've got a hand with no ante, and this changes dynamics. This is a big mistake. Big blind ante is much better”.
Even big blind ante is not perfect – says Dominik Nitsche, four time WSOP champion: “I still fear that people will use big blind ante to do so called angle shooting, to waste time. Why would you act faster in the small blind if you can make the blinds go up on your button?
If a few players do so, then big blind ante will be slower than normal ante. It could be used at the final table to gain advantage as blinds go up fast there and it could be an unfair way to eliminate short stacks”.