WSOP Testing The Big Blind Ante Waters This Summer

Written By Martin Derbyshire on April 4, 2018
bare foot dipping toe in water

Poker’s premier tournament series has decided to adopt a new and popular tournament structure format tweak that started in Las Vegas and is quickly spreading around the world.

The 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) will go off May 29 to July 17 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas with a record 78 gold bracelet events. When play begins, it will do so with a number of events featuring a new big bind ante format.

The big blind ante format

In games with an ante, instead of each player posting that ante each hand, the new format asks the player in the big blind to post an amount equal to the big blind as an ante for the entire table.

The ante ceases being a specified amount each player pays each hand. It becomes a specified amount each player pays each round, keeping things even.

Players no longer have to remember to ante every hand. There’s no need to determine who did or didn’t ante and there are no disputes over that fact. Plus, with dealers no longer collecting antes from all players at the table every hand, the pace of play is sped up. This allows players to play more hands at every level.

The format was first popularized in a series of High Roller events held at ARIA Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. It has since spread to tournaments all over the country and beyond.

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Eight WSOP events and more

The WSOP began testing the Big Blind Ante format at its WSOP Circuit events.  After positive results, organizers announced this week eight of the 78 gold bracelet events at the 2018 WSOP will feature the format.

Side events, including two of the Daily Deepstacks, a variety of Mega Satellites, and the $25,000 and $50,000 weekend tournaments in King’s Lounge held throughout the series will also use the format.

A WSOP press release says the format will be used across the series’ full range of buy-ins, allowing WSOP staff to decide whether to expand its use in the future.

The list of 2018 WSOP events that will use the Big Blind Ante format includes:

  • $100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em (Event #5)
  • $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (Event #13)
  • $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em (Event #20)
  • $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em (Event #45)
  • $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em (Event #54)
  • $10,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em (Event #74)
  • $50,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em (Event #77)
  • $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop No-Limit Hold’em (Event #78)
  • 4 p.m.: $200 Daily Deepstack (one-day event) Daily May 29-July 17
  • 10 p.m.: $150 Daily Deepstack (one-day event) Daily May 29-July 17
  • King’s Lounge: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em – Every Friday at 8 p.m.
  • King’s Lounge: $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em – Every Sunday at 8 p.m.
  • Mega Satellites: A variety running daily in Pavilion Room
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Written by
Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire is an award-winning journalist, video and film producer with a decade of experience covering the brick and mortar casino, poker and iGaming industries. He has produced content for top media outlets including PokerNews, Bluff Magazine and PokerListings, and has crossed the globe scooping stories and interviewing major players in all corners of the high-stakes gambling world.

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