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Jonathan Little Talks Big Blind Ante At 2018 World Series of Poker

Two-Time WPT Champ Gives Advice For Players Trying Out The New Format For The First Time


In recent years more and more poker rooms have offered tournaments featuring a new format that fundamentally changes how antes are approached. Known as “big blind ante,” this new approach sees a major change: instead of every player anteing each hand, one player antes an amount equal to the big blind each round. The ante is dead and is immediately brought into the pot, while big blind is live and is part of the pre-flop betting. The goal is to save time and confusion, with dealers no longer responsible for going around and grabbing an ante from each player in turn and settling disputes when it is unclear if a player has anted or not.

Earlier this year the World Series of Poker announced that the big blind ante format would be utilized for the first time in bracelet events at the 2018 WSOP, with a total of 8 of the 78 bracelets awarded coming in events using the new method, including the $1 million buy-in Big One For One Drop and a number of other no-limit events with buy-ins across the price-point spectrum. A number of other events at the Rio this summer will also utilize the format, including two Daily Deepstacks events.

The first event on the schedule to feature the ante change is the $100,000 no-limit hold’em high roller, which kicked off at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, June 1. Card Player TV caught up with two-time WPT champion Jonathan Little on day 1 to discuss the format.

“The idea behind the big blind ante is that it speeds up the game… and that is usually good because the game goes much faster,” Little said in the video. “I think it is a great idea because you can play more hands. It effectively makes the structure better, for free.”

Little also shared some advice for players who might be trying out the format for the first time at this year’s WSOP.

“When there is a big blind ante the game is essentially the same,” Little suggests. “The main difference is that the ante size per person changes. So say you are playing 100-200 with a 25 ante like normal. With ten people, the ante totals 250. If there are only five people at the table it would fall to 125. But in this format, it might be 200 across the board. So if you are playing ten handed you might want to be a little bit tighter, and if you are playing five handed you will want to play significantly looser.”

Check out the video at the top of the article to hear more of Little’s advice. Here is a look at the tournaments that will feature the Big Blind Ante format this summer:

When the addition of the format was announced in April, the WSOP made the following statement:

“After testing out the big blind ante format on the WSOP Circuit and monitoring venues that have put it into use, the WSOP has announced plans to add some big blind ante tournaments to the 2018 playing schedule,” said WSOP Vice President of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky in the release. “This range of buy-ins and events will allow WSOP staff to monitor implementation and help decide whether to expand the use of the big blind ante in the future.”

For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2018 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.