Daniel Negreanu, Justin Hammer Talk Big Blind Ante Implementation

Daniel Negreanu

You've probably become aware of a relatively recent innovation that has begun to appear in the poker and some of the debates associated with it — the introduction of either a "big blind ante'" or "button ante" used instead of having each player at the table pay a single ante every hand.

Designating a single player to pay a table's worth of antes speeds up the pace of play considerably, allowing players to play more hands per hour, representing a positive for most.

Of course, the introduction of such a "consolidated ante" has in turn generated other questions and debates. Which is better — a big blind ante or button ante? If a player who is due to pay the consolidated ante and a big blind at once is too short to do so, which does the player pay first — the ante or the big blind?

Also relevant is the way having a consolidated ante can affect strategy. In particular, short stacks soon due to pay the consolidated ante have to alter their shoving ranges to account for the extra preflop payment coming their way.

Daniel Negreanu, Justin Hammer Talk Big Blind Ante Implementation 101
Justin Hammer, Tournament Coordinator, Commerce Casino

The most recent episode of the PokerNews Podcast from this week (Episode No. 485) focused squarely on the topic of consolidated antes with guest cohost Daniel Negreanu joining our own Brent Harrington to talk about that topic and more.

After an initial segment with Negreanu, Brent interviews Justin Hammer, Tournament Coordinator at the Commerce Casino to talk about the history of the idea for the big blind ante and arguments for and against its use in tournaments.

Hammer himself was skeptical about it at first, then after talking with World Poker Tour executive tour director Matt Savage and others about it began to incorporate it. Positive reactions from players have encouraged him to employ it more and more.

Negreanu then returns at the end to share his thoughts about some of the logistics of implementing consolidated antes. Click here for the episode page (with time stamps). For more on the debates surrounding button and big blind antes, see the articles below:

  • @RealKidPoker and Tournament Coordinator Justin Hammer weigh in on implementing the big blind ante.

  • The latest PokerNews Podcast explores issues surrounding implementation of a big blind or button ante

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