Originally Posted by Quadstriker
Trying to get low limit players to put in antes in a timely and regular fashion is like trying to herd cats.
Wait. I just disagree with this. I mean, I started playing poker when stud games were spread more prevalently than hold'em, and putting in an ante was as clockwork as it is for you to post your blind.
I remember when hold'em started getting more and more popular, all the old school stud grinders at the Taj in AC would say, "Hold'em is just a fad! The average player walking in from the casino floor will never understand 'blinds' because he doesn't play with them in his home game!" I mean, those guys were just so sure that no game with blinds was viable.
Now, we're seeing a trend back towards mixed games, and all the people who only know how to play NLHE are learning proper strategy for stealing blinds in the stud variants, and a lot of the lowball games are played with both a blind and an ante.
Obviously, the "average player walking in off the casino floor" who wants to sit an a 1/2 NLHE game doesn't play games with antes most of the time. But to say that the average player can't get used to an ante is incorrect.
I CAN imagine this scenario, however: It seems to me that, hypothetically, if a player were to walk into a cardroom and his regular small to mid-stakes NLHE game is being spread at two tables--one with an ante, and one without an ante--he is going to be more inclined to stick with what he knows (the game without the ante). But, of course, this scenario is strictly imaginary, and no poker room actually offers such an alternative.
My bigger point is that it is unwise to underestimate the extent to which the game will change, and the players will change along with it. There was a time not too long ago when stud for high was the big new thing, and all the players in CA were playing lowball draw poker (often with a joker!). No one seems to remember that poker is an ever-changing game, and I seriously wouldn't be surprised if more ante NLHE games at the mid-stakes started popping up as the trend towards mixed games continues to take hold.
And as for the charge that antes slow down games, well, I agree in part, and dissent in part. The obvious solution to this problem is to have the big blind post the antes for the whole table (as suggested above). This is a method that is often implemented in mixed games. Once this is accepted at any given table as the proper mode for paying the antes, the game will run just as quickly as it did without the antes. BUT, this method has a serious drawback in my opinion: When a weaker player posts an ante, he is more likely to get involved in pots which he shouldn't. (Such a player will often play many more starting hands than he would had he not "already invested money in the pot.") When such a player is relieved of the obligation to PHYSICALLY post his ante each and every hand, this benefit is greatly diminished because such a player will be more inclined to perceive (incorrectly) the ante as a "third blind." So while that extra dead money is still in the pot, I suspect that one of the benefits the OP perceives to a NLHE game with an ante is, in large part, lost.
DISCLAIMER: I don't even play NLHE unless it's the only game available or is in the mix... So I certainly don't claim to have my finger on the pulse of NLHE trends. But my point is that players can--and will--adapt to much more dramatic changes than adding an ante (a concept most people grew up on, playing poker at home with Dad or whatever) to a game of hold'em.