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 03-10-2018, 02:25 AM #1 Nut Nut centurion   Join Date: Mar 2017 Posts: 119 BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity If it's OK with the mods, I'm taking a conversation from the Wynn Tournament thread and starting it here because I think it has merit. If you deem it unworthy, please feel free to crush it. To begin I am a general proponent of the BB Ante structure which is often employed at the Wynn. It's simpler to collect ante's from one player than 9 or 10 and results in a greater number of hands played in a fixed amount of time. A legitimate complaint with the BB ante is that the structure exacerbates inequities late in a tournament when tables are unequal in size. Consider an example from a standard tournament where the levels are 400/2000/4000 and 11 players remain. The cost per hand at the 5 handed table is 400 + (2000+4000)/5 = 1,600 per hand while the cost per hand at the 6 handed table is 1,400 per hand. The smaller table has an inherent inequity of 200 chips per hand or 14%. In the BB ante structure, the amount of the ante is equal to the BB and this increases the inequity. The cost per hand for the 5 handed table is (4000+2000+4000)/5 = 2,000 and the cost per hand for the 6 handed table is 1,667. In this example, the inequity increases to 333 chips or 20%. Going through the math, one can see that the BB ante structure also increases the pace of the structure when short handed play is in effect. In order to find the right balance, I'm going to suggest that directors of tournaments with BB Ante's shift to old fashioned ante structure when tournaments break down to 3 tables. This will preserve the smoothness and pace of play intended with the new structure for the bulk of the tournament while making the conclusion more fair. Given that this is a relatively new (and probably durable) innovation and the poker directors are responsive to the wishes of the players, I think it might be a good idea to ask for this sensible implementation. Thoughts ?? Edit: An alternative solution is to change the amount of the BB ante to equal the SB at an earlier stage. Currently, the tournaments I see at the Wynn make this transition when there are only 4 players remaining. If this could be done when there are 2-3 tables remaining, it would also significantly address the inequity situation. Last edited by Nut Nut; 03-10-2018 at 02:40 AM.
03-13-2018, 05:09 PM   #3
akashenk
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,008
Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity

Quote:
Been thinking about this some more. Spoke to one TD who thinks it will slow down the tourney break-down quite a bit. I will defer to TD experience on this one, but I'm not sure why that would occur.

Eliminating antes essentially means losing somewhere between .75 and 1.5 BB of forced contribution each hand, depending on the ante level. And with antes, the total forced contribution is between 2.25 BB and 3 BB.

.5BB are introduced back by increasing the SB to equal the BB, so we're down to losing between .25 and 1 BB each hand. So, relative to the system with antes, you're losing a maximum 33% (and often less) of the forced contribution. Does this really have a big effect on the breakdown speed? I would think if the # hands/hr increased, even a little, this would counteract that a bit by increasing the opportunities for people to bust. One way to validate that would be to compare the breakdown speed in tourneys that use shuffle machines to those that don't. In any case, It would be interesting to see if a venue has done an experiment with seeing how much the breakdown speed would be affected by a reduction (if not elimination) of antes.

Anyhow, I think there are structure elements that could be put in place, or even concepts like a third blind which would eliminate any concerns over breakdown speed.

And lastly, I did think of one potential drawback to making the blinds equivalent. Sometimes dealers and players get confused about where the button is and it can help to remember if one posted a sb vs a bb. Given that the purpose of the button is so that everyone knows and remembers where the blinds were, this seems like kind of a stretch of a drawback, but still I imagine its real. I think what causes the issue is there doesn't seem to be any consistent methodology to the moving of button by the dealer. Sometimes they do it right after the hand ends. Sometimes they do it after they shuffle. I'm not sure if there is an actual procedure for it, but it seems like if dealers were instructed to ALWAYS move the button first thing after pushing a pot, it would alleviate any issues with remembering where it should be.

 03-15-2018, 12:09 AM #4 Phil9 old hand   Join Date: Aug 2004 Location: Las Vegas, NV Posts: 1,595 Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity Basic dealer training that I’m aware of always says move the button after pushing the pot. Exception if the winner of the pot was the button, in which it’s more practical to move the button first.
03-20-2018, 04:15 PM   #5
Reducto

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: In the wind
Posts: 1,174
Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by akashenk it seems like if dealers were instructed to ALWAYS move the button first thing after pushing a pot, it would alleviate any issues with remembering where it should be.
We'd also have to train players to stop moving it for the dealer. It makes it much harder for us to keep track when it's sometimes moved for us and sometimes not.

A reminder at the pre-shift meeting to make sure we are keeping track of the button is appropriate and probably all that needs to happen here. Trying to change dealers' routines for one tournament is likely to do more harm than good and frankly many of us won't do it anyway.

03-20-2018, 05:00 PM   #6
akashenk
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,008
Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Reducto We'd also have to train players to stop moving it for the dealer. It makes it much harder for us to keep track when it's sometimes moved for us and sometimes not. A reminder at the pre-shift meeting to make sure we are keeping track of the button is appropriate and probably all that needs to happen here. Trying to change dealers' routines for one tournament is likely to do more harm than good and frankly many of us won't do it anyway.
Yeah, players do muck things up sometimes when they try to be helpful. I think some of these issues (perhaps all issues that have to do with process inefficiencies) may be eliminated through technology eventually. I mean, why does there need to be a physical button? Seems like something that could be taken care of electronically.

03-21-2018, 08:46 AM   #7
plog
journeyman

Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 250
Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity

Quote:
 Yeah, players do muck things up sometimes when they try to be helpful.
This times a million. The net effect of helpful players is to delay the game.

If you add up all the micro seconds helpful people save the dealer by successfully consolidating antes on one end and/or moving the button 6 inches. But then subtract out all the minutes spent explaining to the dealer that the button already had been moved or that this pile of chips is for these 4 peoples' antes you would realize how unhelpful these helpful people are.

03-21-2018, 06:11 PM   #8
akashenk
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,008
Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by plog This times a million. The net effect of helpful players is to delay the game. If you add up all the micro seconds helpful people save the dealer by successfully consolidating antes on one end and/or moving the button 6 inches. But then subtract out all the minutes spent explaining to the dealer that the button already had been moved or that this pile of chips is for these 4 peoples' antes you would realize how unhelpful these helpful people are.
The button moving is one that has never bothered me, as long as players are clear and state "button is good" or whatever. But I hate it when players try to "consolidate" antes. It makes dealers have to do a bunch of math they are not really in the mindset to do and it makes dealers have to verify that players did it right. And when they do it wrong (for instance when they miss out on some player being due change) it definitely leads to unnecessary delays. The amount of time it takes for dealers to make change has little to do with the ante level, and mostly to do with the availability of easily accessible change chips. If change chips are easily accessible, making change is really quite quick and easy.

 03-22-2018, 03:41 AM #9 Phil9 old hand   Join Date: Aug 2004 Location: Las Vegas, NV Posts: 1,595 Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity Dealers outside of completely inexperienced dealers generally have few issues with antes with players causing most of the actual delay. The two most common being not putting them out and not being pro-active in getting change when you are only left with oversized chips that can’t be changed out by the other antes [if you only have 1k chips at the 25 ante level].
 03-23-2018, 01:47 PM #10 carlo Pooh-Bah   Join Date: Apr 2004 Posts: 3,823 Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity We have to consider that the \$25 chip becomes non existent and that an inflationary impetus is given to the tournament structure with the lowest common denominator being the \$100 chip. Because of this inflationary impulse the starting stack size is in reality diminished and according to a previous calculation made what is happening is that the "normal" 15K starting stack is diminished by 10-15 % thus subtracting to about an adjusted stack size of 13.5 K. This adjustment is in extremis at the beginning of the tournament when of course the flexibility of the \$25 chip becomes apparent vis a vis the \$100 chip. A short while ago 3X the big blind would have been an appropriate raise but people became nittier and often seen is 2X the big blind raise. With the new system the question becomes ; do I still raise the "big blind" amount or do I raise the "big blind + ante" amount ? this will only be settled in praxis but its inflationary . This "inflationary" process will be realized by the player in some manner and it is entirely possible that players will become even more conservative in their playing patterns because of a sense of loss of stack size to the house plan , so to speak. Either way, more or less conservative; underneath all of this is a plan to shorten tournament time(s) to which the dealer picking up or not picking up the antes has little effect. This is seen recently at the Aria in which with no pretense, the evening tournaments on the weekends are "big blind antes" with a 20 minute level. Check the structures of the dailies under the "old method" at the major houses and you'll see the Wynn to be the quickest followed by the Aria and the Venetian marginally slower than the Aria. Its no surprise that the Wynn goes for it totally in order to get the tournament over post haste. This is no gift for the player but a Trojan horse, a reality.
03-23-2018, 07:07 PM   #11
Poker Rep.
Poker Room Rep

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Wynn Las Vegas
Posts: 519
Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by carlo Check the structures of the dailies under the "old method" at the major houses and you'll see the Wynn to be the quickest followed by the Aria and the Venetian marginally slower than the Aria. Its no surprise that the Wynn goes for it totally in order to get the tournament over post haste. This is no gift for the player but a Trojan horse, a reality.
Hi Carlo. We can save you the trouble of asking someone else to check the "old method", since it looks like you might have missed this yourself. From the first tournament we introduced BB Ante, we increased starting stacks to combat the issues you spoke of.

Daily - 15k to 18k
\$600 Signature - 15k to 20k
\$1600 Championship - 25k to 30k

All daily's that we have run with the BB ante finish at roughly the same time as the individual ante method, which is to say after about 13-14 hours of play. "Post haste" seems like a stretch, don't you think?

03-23-2018, 08:18 PM   #12
carlo
Pooh-Bah

Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,823
Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Poker Rep. Hi Carlo. We can save you the trouble of asking someone else to check the "old method", since it looks like you might have missed this yourself. From the first tournament we introduced BB Ante, we increased starting stacks to combat the issues you spoke of. Daily - 15k to 18k \$600 Signature - 15k to 20k \$1600 Championship - 25k to 30k All daily's that we have run with the BB ante finish at roughly the same time as the individual ante method, which is to say after about 13-14 hours of play. "Post haste" seems like a stretch, don't you think?
The 400 is 18k and if the tourneys are ending at the same time; why the need to change and why the talk of being better, faster and smoother ? I didn't say that the shortening of the tournaments would be successful for that's within your realm of knowledge.

Did you think the tournaments would be shortened ? Was that within the plan ? Are people busting out earlier or later or has the game changed from your perspective ?

Just what has happened other than the "feel good" aspects of not having to put in the antes ? There must be something that has changed to which you can testify.

My first post about this system wasn't against it but it certainly demanded some clarity and the more I see of it , from afar, the more I wonder why ? I did play one at he Aria late last year but wasn't alert as to what was going on but I do seem to remember a definite lack of action and to a nit like me that's supposed to be a plus but it isn't, it is not. Who wants to play in a game where everyone is like himself .LOL

The best to you and no I didn't check as to your increases of chips relative to the old system and that's a good thing you did and I'm not going to recheck at your venue or others in the future but I believe some are not increasing the starting stacks. They can all pile on and say they have and we'll all be happy.

The dailies are still under the old system and 10K chips; perhaps we're talking of something else? I get it, your daily is the 400.

03-24-2018, 07:09 AM   #13
Nut Nut
centurion

Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 119
Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Poker Rep. Hi Carlo. We can save you the trouble of asking someone else to check the "old method", since it looks like you might have missed this yourself. From the first tournament we introduced BB Ante, we increased starting stacks to combat the issues you spoke of. Daily - 15k to 18k \$600 Signature - 15k to 20k \$1600 Championship - 25k to 30k All daily's that we have run with the BB ante finish at roughly the same time as the individual ante method, which is to say after about 13-14 hours of play. "Post haste" seems like a stretch, don't you think?
Hi. Since you took the time to respond to carlo's question, could you also comment on the OP?

 03-26-2018, 01:44 PM #14 TheJacob veteran     Join Date: Jul 2007 Posts: 3,495 Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity I can 100% see the problems being worth it early in a highroller where stacks are deep. If I'm playing a one day tournament I don't want to completely change the most important part of the tournament(shorthanded with a few tables and the FT) to get a few extra hands in.
 04-03-2018, 11:47 PM #15 BDHarrison veteran   Join Date: Nov 2016 Posts: 3,266 Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity Players being forced to act due to changing conditions is part of what makes tournaments different from cash games. If a BB ante does exacerbate certain inequities, which players are harmed by a BB ante, where harmed means that their EV decreases if a tournament they are in is switched from a traditional ante structure to BB ante at the start of the tournament? Which players are helped?
04-04-2018, 12:50 AM   #16
akashenk
veteran

Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,008
Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by BDHarrison Players being forced to act due to changing conditions is part of what makes tournaments different from cash games. If a BB ante does exacerbate certain inequities, which players are harmed by a BB ante, where harmed means that their EV decreases if a tournament they are in is switched from a traditional ante structure to BB ante at the start of the tournament? Which players are helped?
Inequities are probably unavoidable (until technology starts playing a bigger role). But if you're going to make a change which exacerbates inequities, there ought to be a really good reason. This is my problem with the BB ante. There doesn't appear to be a rally good reason for it outside of how it changes the dynamics of the game to some players' delight., and in a way that most players haven't quite wrapped their heads around yet. This is why the arguments for it almost always center around something that is demonstrably untrue (the "huge" time savings aspect).

In any case, I would agree that even if an inequity exists, or is exacerbated, in the very long run, things still even out since sometimes you will be on the positive end of the inequity, and sometimes on the negative. However, and I think this is peculiar to poker in general, and tournament poker specifically, it is very short term results that sometimes make all the difference. People don't cash very often. Even the best players in the world. And there is also a world of difference between a middling cash and a really deep run. Its often the case that a very small number or even a single tournament's results can play a huge roll in the relative success a person has over the course of a year. So, if an inequity can make a negative impact on a single tournament, and a single tournament's results can have a large impact on a player over a long period of time, then these inequities need to be taken seriously and all efforts should be made to reduce them.

 04-04-2018, 02:06 AM #17 BDHarrison veteran   Join Date: Nov 2016 Posts: 3,266 Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity I am indifferent to the use of the BB ante. I actually don't think that inequities are necessarily something that needs to be reduced, as I think that they are part of the nature of tournaments (from the perspective of someone who is primarily a cash game player). Since, I don't see it as harming players, I don't see a problem with experimenting with a BB ante. If the difference between traditional antes and a BB ante turns out to be arbitrary, then I think that one factor that should be considered is whether players like it or don't like it. Opinions voiced in this forum are unrepresentative and shouldn't be used to tell how popular the idea is.
04-04-2018, 06:14 PM   #18
akashenk
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by BDHarrison I am indifferent to the use of the BB ante. I actually don't think that inequities are necessarily something that needs to be reduced, as I think that they are part of the nature of tournaments (from the perspective of someone who is primarily a cash game player). Since, I don't see it as harming players, I don't see a problem with experimenting with a BB ante. If the difference between traditional antes and a BB ante turns out to be arbitrary, then I think that one factor that should be considered is whether players like it or don't like it. Opinions voiced in this forum are unrepresentative and shouldn't be used to tell how popular the idea is.
I'm not sure I really understand your position when you say "I don't think that inequities are necessarily something that needs to be reduced, as I think that they are part of the nature of tournaments.". By this logic, tables should never get balanced, since inequities brought about by player eliminations and table imbalances are a natural part of tournament poker.

As for the question of whether players "like" something or not... I agree this forum in not a good arbiter. But, as is the case whenever you try to gauge opinion, the results largely depend on the question asked. If you ask a player "Would you like a change which will save time and streamline certain processes?" I think most players would say, "Sure, that sounds good.". But if you ask "Would you like a change which will save a little bit of time and streamline certain processes a bit and it has this set of fundamental drawbacks and this other set of potential drawbacks having to do with the way the game is played?", I think the result would be drastically different. The first question is what one would ask if one already has an answer they like in mind. It is dishonest. The second question is one which explains the situation thoroughly. It is honest.

If there were more honesty in this whole debate, and if after being told exactly what the real pros and cons of the change are, if a majority of players decided the change was good, then I would have no problem with that. But as it stands I think you have one set of really vocal proponents (likely a significant minority, but who knows) and then a much larger group of people, many of whom might be on board, but who don't understand the nuances of the change, or don't really care to. In other words, they are fine with making change for change's sake or some other arbitrary reasons. In that case, this change will be driven by a distinct minority who's views in this area are understandably and permissibly selfish, but this does not mean it is a positive thing for the greater good of the game or the majority of players. And making those kinds of changes will undeniably be bad, even for those who want them.

I liken it to the ongoing debate over the "perfect" structure for a tournament. There are those who believe that the slower the structure, the better. People who believe this tend to be higher skilled (or view themselves as such). In any case, it makes sense. The longer one has to apply one's skill advantage, the better. However, in poker, it is not absolute skill that is a predictor of success... it is relative skill. The simple truth is lesser-skilled players do not have the time and/or inclination to play longer tournaments as a general rule. So, in general, the slower the structure, the fewer lesser skilled players you will normally see. There are exceptions, of course, but this is a general rule. So, if higher skilled players want to be successful, they need to consider what aspects of the game will bring in the largest number of lesser-skilled players. And often time, this means a structure which is not quite as deep as they would like. So, if the minority of poker players were to somehow convince TDs to only offer really slow-structured tourneys, the short-sighted might rejoice. But eventually, this would pretty much guarantee failure, even for the most vocal proponents of that change.

 04-04-2018, 06:59 PM #19 marky147 grinder   Join Date: Sep 2007 Location: Claude's Bar Posts: 493 Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity So, with all that said... Will you be getting involved in some BBA action, aka?
 04-05-2018, 01:24 PM #20 rm81 old hand   Join Date: Aug 2008 Location: The DM Posts: 1,414 Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity Now blind dodging will get worse, more stalling and getting lost on table changes. More variance from redraws.
04-05-2018, 04:27 PM   #21
akashenk
veteran

Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,008
Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by marky147 So, with all that said... Will you be getting involved in some BBA action, aka?
I'll give it a shot, just so I can say I did. But I already know the warts this structure causes and no experience is going to make those warts go away. And I already know this structure isn't going to lead to a significant increase in hands/hour unless it fundamentally changes the way hands play out. I am not prepared to definitively say whom these sorts of hand dynamics changes would benefit, and whom they would not, but I do think that having to figure it out is just another checkmark in the negative column for the format since, as I have always said, there is no clear reason to be making this change.

If it becomes mainstream, I will fret, of course, but I will just have to adjust. But in that event, I think there will be a real danger in hurting the game.

04-05-2018, 04:40 PM   #22
akashenk
veteran

Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,008
Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by rm81 Now blind dodging will get worse, more stalling and getting lost on table changes. More variance from redraws.
This was my original concern, and continues to be a big one for me.

In addition to this particular issue, there is also the question of hand to hand smoothness. I know some have argued that the main benefit of the BB ante is it makes tournament structures smoother. I'm not sure how big a benefit this is, and it is something that can be accomplished with the regular ante system if one were inclined, but I can understand how some might view it as a benefit. However, this only considers smoothness on the scale of levels played. When you look at it on the scale of table rounds, the BB ante obviously makes thing much less smooth. Under the BB ante, there will only be 2/9 (for 9-anded tables, obviously) hands where a player will automatically stand to lose anything. And then in one of those hands, players will stand to lose a minimum of twice what they would otherwise under the current system. So, it basically makes that one hand much more consequential. It means that the cards you get, and how well you play them, and how luck plays a part, will all be more consequential on that one hand. So, under the BB ante, one hand become more consequential, and many others become less so. Why is this better? It isn't as far as I'm concerned.

04-05-2018, 04:59 PM   #23
BillyBizzle
Carpal \'Tunnel

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6,509
Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by akashenk it is something that can be accomplished with the regular ante system if one were inclined
How.

04-05-2018, 05:05 PM   #24
akashenk
veteran

Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2,008
Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity

Quote:
 Originally Posted by BillyBizzle How.
There is no particularly good reason, at least as far as structure is concerned, that antes must jump directly from 500 to 1000 or 1000 to 2000. And these jumps are the cause of the irregularities in your analysis here:

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/s...1&postcount=83

 04-05-2018, 08:18 PM #25 ran journeyman   Join Date: Jun 2007 Posts: 377 Re: BB Ante Structure & Related Late Table Inequity I've played with BBA, and I liked it. At a full table of 9, with blinds at 1000/2000/200, you'll pay 4800 per orbit under the traditional structure. There will be 1800 dead money before the hand begins. With 1000/2000/2000BBA, you'll pay 5000 per orbit, and there'll be 2000 dead money to start each hand. Those two scenarios are virtually identical, and the source of the antes shouldn't affect your approach to the hand if you're doing it right. I'd have no problem changing to traditional antes once the field reaches 20% (rounded up to the nearest full table) to eliminate the late game inequities that can come from short tables/moving/bustouts (things that are far more common and impactful at the end of tournaments). Edit to add: I do know somebody's hair will catch on fire if, heaven forbid, they post the BBA then have to post traditional antes the very next hand in that scenario. Sorry you caught the short end of a 8/9 or 7/8 favorite.

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