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Cash games with ante; how do you adjust?

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  • Cash games with ante; how do you adjust?

    Hey everyone,

    After a few months playing only MTT I decided to go ahead and change airs a little and play cash games for a while. I am starting at the very bottom: online micros, 2NL (exciting isn't it?).

    So after a couple of hours playing a normal cash game I was about to die of boredom due to nitty grinders, so I decided to try the ante game. Now, the 2NL cash game with ante has a particularity that I guess is uncommon in further stakes: the ante is 50% the size of the BB ($0.01). So basically this made me think... we are talking about little money but if we think in terms of BB or fractions of a BB as we should that is a HUGE ante. I found a lot of action in that game and had a lot of fun, managed to take advantage of my opponents poor plays and realized that the ante forces players to give more action with wider ranges and gets them out of the comfort zone, making more mistakes...

    The main question in my mind right now is, what are the necessary adjustments from a GTO, mathematical point of view? In the Cash Game Masterclass Jonathan Little recommends to use a pot sized RFI... should we still do that in this type of game? 9 handed the initial pot is at 6BB (1 from the BB, 1/2 from the SB and 9/2 from everyone's antes). I have been looking for answers online everywhere and I barely found anything other than recommendations to play slightly wider ranges (something around 5% more hands). I am actually surprised not to find answers to this easily, I guess the ante games are not that popular? Seems to me like there are clear pot odds implications. Maybe I didn't look hard enough or in the right sites, but my search engine normally comes with answers quickly. I checked in PCP and here in the forum in the search function and couldn't find anything.

    So I actually will throw the double question to everyone here, which would be:

    -In a cash game with antes, how do you adjust your RFI size and why? How do you adjust your RFI and calling ranges and why do you choose that adjustment?

    My idea so far is playing slightly looser, especially in late position, because we have more incentive to steal, and I am trying with a 5BB RFI from EP, 4.5 from MP and 4bb from LP so far in order to not give amazing pot odds to everyone every time I open.

    I am looking forward to your answers and hopefully we can create in interesting discussion here. I understand it's a bizarre case to talk about 0.5BB ante so we can discuss the normal 10-20% ante structure too but I would be very interested to listening your thoughts about this particular case too.

    Thanks a lot to everybody.
    Have a nice day & GL at the tables!

  • #2
    I believe your chosen solution is correct. You have to RFI looser and also call looser when there is ante.

    This was seen more often in the days of 7 card stud too, because that game is usually limit, and almost always has ante, so the question of how much ante compared to the bet size was definitely important and people were more used to noticing. Since it rarely comes up now people aren't as familiar with it.

    The reason is simple: there is more to steal so you have to go after it. At the same time you are also bleeding faster so you have to do something about that too. I believe this is pretty well-known even back before Super/System, that ante games are looser. Doyle even tells a corny joke about "going like Broomcorn's uncle" (he was anted to death).

    As for what exactly is the optimum RFI amounts in and out of position, I don't know. Guess you might have to run some solvers. In my experience, in small games, 5x RFIs aren't unusual even without ante. On gut feel, I think your guess is pretty good.


    • marcos
      marcos commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for your answer! I am experimenting, today being Sunday the games are wild so I don't think it's the best day to take any conclusions, I will experiment and study what's going on and comment here what I find out. Cheers!