Tourney When to introduce BB ante? (1 Viewer)

AnteAndy

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It's an imperfect system with inherent and avoidable flaws. There are better options which accomplish the same thing.
I'm curious about the flaws of BBA's and alternatives. I've heard it stated by some a few times but haven't seen comments as to why; there should be comments somewhere on this site but haven't found any yet. I'm not a big tourney player so I never went went more into the nuances of it.

Also curious on other options. I know some people who throw tourneys who use both regular and BBA's and always like to help make games more effecient and better for players overall.
 

Legend5555

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I'm curious about the flaws of BBA's and alternatives. I've heard it stated by some a few times but haven't seen comments as to why; there should be comments somewhere on this site but haven't found any yet. I'm not a big tourney player so I never went went more into the nuances of it.

Also curious on other options. I know some people who throw tourneys who use both regular and BBA's and always like to help make games more effecient and better for players overall.
It creates some unequal payment upon new tables starting after combining breaking tables, who is first to pay when blinds increase, and the "what happens first, ante or blind?"

One of the most unfair issues is if a tournament starts with the ante. The person that pays the ante on the first hand actually has a smaller stack than everyone and can bust whole anyone else at the table getting it in against them can't.

My argument is that these are indeed problems, but they happen infrequently enough that I'm willing to deal with it for the increased simplicity and speed increase BBA offers. If everyone signs on to play despite the issues of BBA then everyone is affected by these issues long term and it in theory balances out.

I've seen enough problems with per player antes both on my home games and in casinos that I'm willing to take BBA as a decent though not perfect solution.
 

stuamurr

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I do BB-size with 6-10 players, SB-size with 3-5 players, and none heads-up..... posted by the SB player, after the SB is posted.

I do half if three or more short of a full table on the rare occasion I utilise the BBA, mostly stick with individual ante if there’s enough decent players and dealers about
 

BGinGA

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It creates some unequal payment upon new tables starting after combining breaking tables, who is first to pay when blinds increase, and the "what happens first, ante or blind?"

One of the most unfair issues is if a tournament starts with the ante. The person that pays the ante on the first hand actually has a smaller stack than everyone and can bust whole anyone else at the table getting it in against them can't.
And those issues ~could~ be addressed in the rules to minimize the inadeqacies, but are not.

Add to that above list the inequity of needlessly creating a situation where a winning poker hand can not only just break-even (i.e., winning /= +ev), but can also result in the player with a winning hand actually being eliminated.

It's just lazy rule-making without adequately and fully exploring alternate and better options.... and the sheep just follow along. Just incredible, considering the amount of critical thinking required to play poker.

The amount of the table ante not being relevant to the number of players is another departure from the standard individually-posted ante norm. This can be partially compensated for rather easily, but again, lazy rule-making seems to take precedent.
 

Legend5555

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And those issues ~could~ be addressed in the rules to minimize the inadeqacies, but are not.

Add to that above list the inequity of needlessly creating a situation where a winning poker hand can not only just break-even (i.e., winning /= +ev), but can also result in the player with a winning hand actually being eliminated.

It's just lazy rule-making without adequately and fully exploring alternate and better options.... and the sheep just follow along. Just incredible, considering the amount of critical thinking required to play poker.

The amount of the table ante not being relevant to the number of players is another departure from the standard individually-posted ante norm. This can be partially compensated for rather easily, but again, lazy rule-making seems to take precedent.
I can sympathize with the opposition in that creating all the necessary fixes to fix the issues complicates the point of making a faster and simpler ante in the first place. If there need to be a bunch of exceptions for certain uncommon situations, it creates complexity that all but the most seasoned and in the know players aren't going to understand. Making exceptions for very uncommon situations just complicates things more.

As far as the size not adjusting to number of players, that's not a problem per say. It's just different. No one said it had to mimic per player antes perfectly.

I know you don't think per player antes are a big deal on terms of time and forgetting to ante and such. But I've seen plenty of instances to the contrary and over million and millions of hands BBA does speed up play.

I'm good with your crusade against how BBA is handled. But a lot of us are fine with the imperfect system for the benefits it provides. Don't minimize that.
 

BGinGA

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Sorry, but that argument just doesn't fly with me. It's like saying it's acceptable to a lot of folks to occasionally convict innocent people of crimes via a flawed legal system just because it's faster, instead of addressing and correcting the problems of the legal system itself.

The necessary fixes needed to convert tournament table antes into a reasonable replacement for individual antes are simple, easily implemented, and easily understood. What's holding them back from being studied and utilized is unwarranted pride-of-authorship egos, laziness, and a lack of concern by certain outspoken tournament organizers for the player inequities they created. The players deserve better.

The current table ante rules fix the old 'problem' of ante posting accuracy and speed, but also simultaneously introduce six new problems not present before -- several of which directly impact player equity -- while a slightly different implementation resolves nearly all of those issues and also improves consistency, without creating additional problems in their wake.
 

AnteAndy

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And those issues ~could~ be addressed in the rules to minimize the inadeqacies, but are not.

Add to that above list the inequity of needlessly creating a situation where a winning poker hand can not only just break-even (i.e., winning /= +ev), but can also result in the player with a winning hand actually being eliminated.

It's just lazy rule-making without adequately and fully exploring alternate and better options.... and the sheep just follow along. Just incredible, considering the amount of critical thinking required to play poker.

The amount of the table ante not being relevant to the number of players is another departure from the standard individually-posted ante norm. This can be partially compensated for rather easily, but again, lazy rule-making seems to take precedent.

I believe I see what you're saying, that with a BBA if they only had enough for the ante they are basically breaking even and we have a very hard time working their way back up, where if a player only had one regular player ante left, they can win the other antes and chip up some.

Also how would the player be eliminated if they only had a BBA for their remaining stack and would win a pot when they would still have it back? And maybe due to my having very little experience and seeing a situation of a player only having a BBA stack amount at the beginning of a hand.

Not sure if it would be sheepish, or just directors simply go by the responsive players go with what's popular to gain more players, regardless of their own interests or standards. I remember seeing directors stating they spoke to players about how they felt regarding the BBA and it generally being a positive experience for the reasons @Legend5555 stated of what they, alpng with myself, have heard from the tournaments I attended. Situations like that happen fairly uncommonly for experienced tournament players, and even for inexperienced poker players who tend to jam with relative stack sizes at middle and late stages of tournaments, so unsure if something this rate of occurrence would be of any true significance of play when generally you don't want to be in that kind position in the first place. However I do understand those who are mainly tournament players that are very intricate about certain standards and structures implemented to make things more fair for the field. I've seen plenty of casino and card room tournaments with odd blind structures that directors set up.

I'm currently unsure of any alternates for the regular and big blind antes but love to hear ideas that were explored that other seem to tried implementing and hear their response. Honestly, I much prefer having no antes for tournaments, but have no true strong feelings between either ante structure. However, understanding its faults, I lean slightly more to the BBA just in terms of speed of play, less confusion between players remembering putting an ante in, and personally feel the difference between the two structures depends on spots that rarely occur where people wish to not end in the first place.

All that said, there's one factor for the BBA I would change which is its quantity when a table is short handed in the middle of a tournament. Always felt it could be halved then and not done only at a short handed final table when you take in the factor of individual antes would be much smaller than a short-handed BBA table which per orbit would take out more significant chips than the Reg antes. But doing that would be tedious on a per-table basis that I doubt directors would want to manage.
 

Legend5555

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Sorry, but that argument just doesn't fly with me. It's like saying it's acceptable to a lot of folks to occasionally convict innocent people of crimes via a flawed legal system just because it's faster, instead of addressing and correcting the problems of the legal system itself.

The necessary fixes needed to convert tournament table antes into a reasonable replacement for individual antes are simple, easily implemented, and easily understood. What's holding them back from being studied and utilized is unwarranted pride-of-authorship egos, laziness, and a lack of concern by certain outspoken tournament organizers for the player inequities they created. The players deserve better.

The current table ante rules fix the old 'problem' of ante posting accuracy and speed, but also simultaneously introduce six new problems not present before -- several of which directly impact player equity -- while a slightly different implementation resolves nearly all of those issues and also improves consistency, without creating additional problems in their wake.
You keep saying there is a fix, but I don't know if I recall ever hearing what it is. Did we ever go over that the previous times we've talked about this?
 

Legend5555

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@BGinGA this also isn't comparable to a situation where someone's life hangs in the balance. So I don't think the legal system comparison is a very good one.
 

Poker Zombie

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Also how would the player be eliminated if they only had a BBA for their remaining stack and would win a pot when they would still have it back? And maybe due to my having very little experience and seeing a situation of a player only having a BBA stack amount at the beginning of a hand.
Dealer: T10,000 in chips
Player A: T19,900 in chips
Player B: T100 in chips

Blinds 100/200, with 200BBA

B posts the ante - his single T100 chip, which is 1/2 the ante, so lucky him, he gets to play this orbit for a discount.

Dealer (first to act in our 3-handed example) folds. Player A "calls" for zero chips.

Cards run out. A and B chop. The pot - a single chip is awarded to the player left of the dealer - Player A. This is quite clear in the rules. Therefore player B is eliminated, even though he "won" the hand.
 

Poker Zombie

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I can sympathize with the opposition in that creating all the necessary fixes to fix the issues complicates the point of making a faster and simpler ante in the first place. If there need to be a bunch of exceptions for certain uncommon situations, it creates complexity that all but the most seasoned and in the know players aren't going to understand. Making exceptions for very uncommon situations just complicates things more.

As far as the size not adjusting to number of players, that's not a problem per say. It's just different. No one said it had to mimic per player antes perfectly.

I know you don't think per player antes are a big deal on terms of time and forgetting to ante and such. But I've seen plenty of instances to the contrary and over million and millions of hands BBA does speed up play.

I'm good with your crusade against how BBA is handled. But a lot of us are fine with the imperfect system for the benefits it provides. Don't minimize that.

Sorry, but that argument just doesn't fly with me. It's like saying it's acceptable to a lot of folks to occasionally convict innocent people of crimes via a flawed legal system just because it's faster, instead of addressing and correcting the problems of the legal system itself.

The necessary fixes needed to convert tournament table antes into a reasonable replacement for individual antes are simple, easily implemented, and easily understood. What's holding them back from being studied and utilized is unwarranted pride-of-authorship egos, laziness, and a lack of concern by certain outspoken tournament organizers for the player inequities they created. The players deserve better.

The current table ante rules fix the old 'problem' of ante posting accuracy and speed, but also simultaneously introduce six new problems not present before -- several of which directly impact player equity -- while a slightly different implementation resolves nearly all of those issues and also improves consistency, without creating additional problems in their wake.
Of course the best solution is don't use antes. A tournament can be timed to end at a very specific time with a good blind structure. Yes, the ante can favor aggressive play by stealing blinds, but that does not make it better - it just makes it different than a no ante game.

If you want to promote aggressive play, a top-heavy payout does the same thing.

Note: I host both BBA tournaments and no-ante tournaments for recreational-level players (with a few expert-level players in the mix). I have games with top-heavy payouts (55% to first in a 22 player field, top 4 paid) and flat structures (34% to first in a 22 player field, top 6 paid). I have yet to find any advantage an ante game has over no-ante. I can find plenty of issues with both traditional antes and the BBA.

The only reason I also host BBA games is, because as previously mentioned, the BBA is the industry standard.
 

BGinGA

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Dealer: T10,000 in chips
Player A: T19,900 in chips
Player B: T100 in chips

Blinds 100/200, with 200BBA

B posts the ante - his single T100 chip, which is 1/2 the ante, so lucky him, he gets to play this orbit for a discount.

Dealer (first to act in our 3-handed example) folds. Player A "calls" for zero chips.

Cards run out. A and B chop. The pot - a single chip is awarded to the player left of the dealer - Player A. This is quite clear in the rules. Therefore player B is eliminated, even though he "won" the hand.
In addition to the BB player being eliminated (as referenced in the above example), there are also many situations where the BB player has multiple chips and can win/chop the hand but lose money (i.e., equity) when doing so.

So simply introducing a BBA chop anti-elimination rule (similar to the color-up anti-elimination rule) doesn't address the non-elimination equity loss situations caused by the BBA implementation.
 

BGinGA

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You keep saying there is a fix, but I don't know if I recall ever hearing what it is. Did we ever go over that the previous times we've talked about this?
See post #28 above, starting the table ante at L2 or later.
 

CSW

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I do BB-size with 6-10 players, SB-size with 3-5 players, and none heads-up..... posted by the SB player, after the SB is posted.
Just curious: why do you have the SB post instead of the button? I had read an old post from 2018 where some folks (including you, I believe) had endorsed the button ante. I assume there is a reason that the button ante structure has mostly disappeared since 2018, but haven’t seen an explanation of why. I really respect the opinions of you and experienced TDs on here. Trying to optimize my own home game full of mostly very recreational players.

Thanks!
 

Poker Zombie

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Just curious: why do you have the SB post instead of the button? I had read an old post from 2018 where some folks (including you, I believe) had endorsed the button ante. I assume there is a reason that the button ante structure has mostly disappeared since 2018, but haven’t seen an explanation of why. I really respect the opinions of you and experienced TDs on here. Trying to optimize my own home game full of mostly very recreational players.

Thanks!
I think the push against the button paying the table ante was twofold.
  1. It took away some of the benefit of being the button. Even though the button was always paying an ante in the traditional ante structure, players wanted the button to be "free".
  2. There can be a dead button (nobody pays an ante) but there will never be a dead big blind.
No matter how you do it, the table ante is broken, and appears to be unfixable. It's a small flaw... but it's a flaw.

Then again, stud was popular for years with a random "bring in" bet, and everybody accepted that. So maybe poker is not flawless.
 

ArielVer18

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Just curious: why do you have the SB post instead of the button? I had read an old post from 2018 where some folks (including you, I believe) had endorsed the button ante. I assume there is a reason that the button ante structure has mostly disappeared since 2018, but haven’t seen an explanation of why. I really respect the opinions of you and experienced TDs on here. Trying to optimize my own home game full of mostly very recreational players.

Thanks!
Button Ante works better in a cash game with a moving button because there's always a button. Big Blind Ante works better in a tournament with a dead button because there's always one big blind (singular).
 

BGinGA

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Just curious: why do you have the SB post instead of the button? I had read an old post from 2018 where some folks (including you, I believe) had endorsed the button ante. I assume there is a reason that the button ante structure has mostly disappeared since 2018, but haven’t seen an explanation of why. I really respect the opinions of you and experienced TDs on here. Trying to optimize my own home game full of mostly very recreational players.

Thanks!
In table ante tournament games with blinds, my rules have the SB post the table ante as the player with worst position (conversely, the Button has the best positional advantage, which seems unfair). The argument that it sometimes results in a dead SB (and thus no posted ante) is countered by the fact that it happens when the missing SB player was just eliminated (always the goal in tournament poker). In addition, the stack burden/pressure on any given ante posting player's hand is lessened in the SB (vs the BB having to post both a full BB plus an equal amount table ante).

A rotating Button-posted table ante is great for non-blinds games, like Draw or Stud where there is no pre-existing positional advantage for any player -- just not for hold'em or Omaha, where the button seat has a significant advantage.
 

Poker Zombie

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A rotating Button-posted table ante is great for non-blinds games, like Draw or Stud where there is no pre-existing positional advantage for any player -- just not for hold'em or Omaha, where the button seat has a significant advantage
This is how we hosted our Stud tournament. It's the only time I prefer the table ante.
 

CSW

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In table ante tournament games with blinds, my rules have the SB post the table ante as the player with worst position (conversely, the Button has the best positional advantage, which seems unfair). The argument that it sometimes results in a dead SB (and thus no posted ante) is countered by the fact that it happens when the missing SB player was just eliminated (always the goal in tournament poker). In addition, the stack burden/pressure on any given ante posting player's hand is lessened in the SB (vs the BB having to post both a full BB plus an equal amount table ante).

A rotating Button-posted table ante is great for non-blinds games, like Draw or Stud where there is no pre-existing positional advantage for any player -- just not for hold'em or Omaha, where the button seat has a significant advantage.
And, in this context, is the relevance of the button’s positional advantage simply that the ante is somewhat less “dead” money when posted by the button because he/she is most likely to win it back? Or is there some other relevance to the positional advantage of the player posting the ante?

Thank you all for the great advice on this forum. It truly is invaluable as I am a longtime player, but new host, trying to lead a game of mostly brand new and very casual players.
 

CSW

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And, in this context, is the relevance of the button’s positional advantage simply that the ante is somewhat less “dead” money when posted by the button because he/she is most likely to win it back?
And if this is the (or at least one of the) principle(s) governing the theory of who should post the table ante, has a UTG ante ever been considered? UTG should, theoretically, be playing the fewest hands and therefore should be winning among the fewest of any position. So a UTG ante would be very dead money.

I’m sure that people smarter than me have considered this and rejected it for a good reason, and that’s why I’ve never heard of it. I am trying to do as many on here suggest and think for myself instead of just doing what “everybody” else does, while still respecting the wisdom and experience of those who have thought about and tried more ideas than I have.
 

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