The World Series of Poker (WSOP) announced Wednesday that it has added Big Blind Ante tournaments to the 2018 WSOP schedule. Eight of the 78 bracelet events – all with different buy-ins – will use the format.

In a news release, WSOP’s Seth Palansky said that the decision was made after seeing how Big Blind Ante events worked on the WSOP Circuit as well as at other, non-WSOP events.

While Big Blind Ante tournaments obviously have a name that indicates that they are different than “regular” tournaments, they are not really all that different. If a tournament is at a stage where an ante would normally be introduced, the player in the Big Blind not only pays his blind, but also pays another forced bet – the Ante – for an amount equal to the Big Blind. So, if the blinds are 500/1,000, the player in the Big Blind pays the 1,000 blind PLUS a 1,000 chip Ante. Nobody else at the table pays an Ante.

If the player who is in the Big Blind has a stack that is so low that he can’t pay both the Big Blind and Ante, the Big Blind is paid first.

The Ante is dead money, while the Big Blind is live pre-flop. And as the WSOP explains, whoever wins the pot wins the Ante, so even a short stack who doesn’t have as many chips as the Ante can pick them all up if he wins the hand.

A lot of people’s first reaction to the Big Blind Ante may be that it’s unfair, that it punishes the Big Blind too much. Remember, though, that everyone is going to pay the Ante once per orbit, so what goes around literally comes around. From the WSOP news release:

The BB-ante is a fundamental rethinking of what the ante is. The ante in this format is no longer a specified amount that each player pays each hand. It’s now a specified amount that each player pays each round. The beauty of the Big Blind Ante format is that players no longer have to remember to ante each hand or to determine whether they did or didn’t ante. There can be no dispute over which player didn’t ante. Plus, dealers, no longer have to go around to all participants at the table to collect the antes, thus speeding up the pace of play and allowing players more hands at each level.

Here are the bracelet events that will employ the Big Blind Ante:

Event #5: $100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em
Event #13: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
Event #20: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em
Event #45: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em (30-minute levels)
Event #54: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em
Event #74: $10,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em
Event #77: $50,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em
Event #78: $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop No-Limit Hold’em

The format will also be used in two Daily Deepstacks tournaments, some Mega Satellites, and the $25,000 and $50,000 buy-in weekend tourneys in the King’s Lounge.

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