Why redbetLIVE Local Events Are Sticking With Traditional Antes

Okay, before I get into the meat and prepare to take cover against the expected backlash, I’ll just pop up the dates for redbetLIVE @ Dragonara, Malta 2019.

8th-10th February
5th-7th April
21st-23rd June
13th-15th Sept
20th-22nd Dec

We may sneak in another cheeky event, but we don’t want to step on any toes of the two operators running the big events here in the autumn (BoM and MPF).
redbetLIVE will suppport both those events, and, as ever I’m super excited about the poker to be played in Malta 2019.

Now, on to the main feature…

The tournament director of Dragonara (Paul Kelly) and I have officially decided that we will continue using the traditional ante structure instead of either consolidated ante structure for redbetLIVE @ Dragonara in 2019.

Between us we have almost 30 years of live tournament experience

Between us we have almost 30 years of live tournament experience

Okay, okay! Before you kick off, here is a few of our reasons, in no particular order of importance, they are all equal as far as we are concerned:

1) there’s a lot of unnecessary messing about with whether the ante or the bb is posted first in a consolidated ante structure where a short stack is in the ante position. Is it fair? He can only win his ante! Oh no!
This is exactly why we like the traditional ante- everyone puts the same, and even if a player has 1x ante, he can still win chips and begin a spin. Even the best players and tournament directors in the world cannot agree on which order this should be, so until they do, traditional ante looks better to us in this respect!

Some graphics from Willie Elliot help explain this problem (content creator for major brands PokerStars and Unibet):
bb-ante-graphic-1bb-ante-graphic-2

2) in addition to the messing about, there is a serious question of game integrity. It’s nitty, but it’s there. The short version is that a consolidated ante is essentially the act of “lending” the other players at the table their ante in that hand. They repay the debt when it is their turn to ante… unless they don’t have enough chips.
Whenever a question of game integrity is raised, but not answered, I get very nervous. Call me hysterical, I don’t care; one of my favourite things about poker is that it’s a great leveler, only skill gives a player an advantage at any time. I don’t want to mess with that truth, however marginally.

3) long term winning player and maths master, Allen Kessler, is against consolidated antes. He claims that it’s fine early on when everyone has 500bbs, but in the later stages it is detrimental to the ICM position of smaller stacks. Frankly, we don’t know how to do the maths to prove or disprove this, but if Kessler talks, we listen.

There is actually time for naps in our structure, so the game speed does not need to be such a worry

There is actually time for naps in our structure, so the game speed does not need to be such a worry

4) traditional antes just “feel” fairer. There are probably a million ways to show how this is nothing more than a human perception, but sometimes “feel” is important.
If there are nine players at a table, there should be 9x antes in. Easy game.
Playing short-handed with a consolidated ante you’re gonna get less or more, depending on what number of players the TD decides to drop the consolidated ante to 50%- just seems crazy to us!

5) perhaps some tournament structures need to recoup every second because they are shallow and turbo. redbetLIVE @ Dragonara is a fantastic, deep and slow structure. There’s no need to panic about time.
In 15 events over the last two years, the tournament average has barely dropped below 30BBs at any time. If your tournaments are so massively impacted by a few seconds delay for a traditional ante… maybe your structure is just a bit crappy to start with?
The redbetLIVE Local structure is SO good, that when we looked at what it would have to be to accommodate the benefits of a consolidated ante (namely getting rid of the damn 25 point chips) we would actually end up with a WORSE structure! For eg, the 100/200 to 100/200/25 level would be eliminated… that’s 30 mins lost right there!

6) we will commit to ensure the dealers are on the ball and ask for the ante every hand. We will also ask players not to put in 16x 25 point chips for their big blind of 400 and then ask for change from a 500 chip next hand. If dealers and players don’t mess about, there’s no need for the traditional ante to be a problem within a decently structured tournament.

 

We hope you all understand our reasons, and that you will still play the events.
We have VERY carefully considered this point, and I estimate the time spent discussing with Paul runs into around four hours! We absolutely DO NOT take going against the grain lightly.

Sometimes it’s important to have the courage of one’s convictions, stick to what you believe in, even if it’s against the fashion.
Perhaps something will happen in the future that changes our attitude towards this topic, but for 2019, redbetLIVE Local events are sticking to the old ways, because all things considered, we think it’s best for our particular tournament.

I look forward to discussing this with you all at the events!

 

SOURCES:

https://www.pokernews.com/news/2018/01/big-blind-antes-pros-cons-29848.htm

https://www.uspoker.com/blog/big-blind-ante-first-debate-matters/22325/

https://calvinayre.com/2018/03/28/poker/big-blind-ante-taking-poker-world/

https://www.cardplayer.com/cardplayer-poker-magazines/66379-card-player-poker-tour-bestbet-jacksonville-31-8/articles/23353-the-case-for-the-big-blind-ante

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/65/tournament-events/bb-ante-structure-amp-related-late-table-inequity-1706326/

https://www.cardschat.com/news/big-blind-ante-goes-mainstream-in-2018-format-appears-here-to-stay-71765

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