Negreanu & Kessler Fight Over WSOP Big Blind Ante Controversy

3 years ago
Negreanu & Kessler Fight Over WSOP Big Blind Ante Controversy
06 Apr

In a move calculated to cheer most pros and all dealers up the WSOP announced on Wednesday that its 2018 iteration will feature a number of big blind ante tournaments. A selection of holdem events including the $1 million buy-in Big One For One Drop will use the new rule which has been trialed in several WSOP Circuit events.

For those who have been playing under a rock for the last year, big blind ante removes the hassle of ante collection with its attendant acrimony over whether or not Barry is responsible for the missing ante or not.

Instead the big blind pays an ante the same size as the BB every hand. Most pros have been calling for wider use of the system across poker so its good to see the WSOP listening.

Trial Run

If you’re panicking about the changes though, don’t worry. It’ll only be eight bracelet events which take on the new format as well as a selection of satellites and the recurring $25k and $50k high roller events in the King’s Room

The $10k Hold’em Main Event will not be messed with. This is a pilot scheme to see if and how it works.

The WSOP also announced a few clarifications to the rule like that a short stack in the big blind pays the ante first, and that the ante will be part of main pot in cases where a side pot is generated.


This has not been met with universal praise without some controversy as seen when Daniel Negreanu and Allen Kessler got into a spat over it on Twitter.

Other pros had more constructive criticism than Kessler though:

And all in all, the response has been broadly positive and we look forward to seeing how it works.

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Jon is a freelance writer and novelist who learned to play poker after watching Rounders in year 9. He has been giving away his beer money at cards ever since. Currently he is based in Bristol where he makes sporadic donations to the occasional live tournament or drunken late night Zoom session. He ...Read more


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