This is a discussion on Waiting for the Antes! within the online poker forums, in the Tournament Poker section; I have always liked to be there for the start of any tourney I play when the stacks are typically deep in most structures. I
I have always liked to be there for the start of any tourney I play when the stacks are typically deep in most structures. I believe that there are alot of positives in doing so, being able to play more speculative hands in position, getting info from your opponents, the amount of "bad" players willing to take 2nd pair to the felt, etc. There are plenty more but I dont think I need to say much more about them to express what I mean.
I hit a slump for awhile and things werent going my way as in any poker journey, I learned a valuable lesson about my mental game through it to take something positive away. But I decided to try something different recently and not register for a tourney, structure dependent, until the Antes had kicked in and my starting stack compared to BBs anywhere from 30BB down to 10BB and surprisingly have had decent results.
Now I am not a fool I realize that in many of these cases I started running very good and was able to double/triple my stack quickly upon entering but I also found that I was alot more focused then when I start from the begining going through all the pre ante levels. When I start from begining I have noticed a pattern where I would play really well and have a average to above average stack going into the middle stages when antes start and then by the time the bubble is closing in I am short stacked or I am already gone. I can contribute alot of it to what seems to be a lack of focus causing me to pick bad spots and spew off my stack. I dont know what the right answer is if there is one but I think I have found something that was hindering me based on my playing style. Not enough hands to say so for sure but I certainly will be taking notes. What do the rest of you think?
For me, I like to start a tournament from the beginning like you stated at the start of your post. It gives me time to settle in, get used to the play of the table and the other players, etc. Also, if I start late, how many premium hands have I missed out on that could of added all those valuable chips to my stack.
When I start late, I feel a bit rushed to make something happen to build my stack, and if the cards don't come then the pressure is really on since the blinds are increasing and the antes are added.
So, for me, playing from the start is the right play. You can be there from the start and play super-tight and get to the spot your in later in the tournament, but at least your there for those premium hands, or open-up and play some hands when its cheaper to do so. Totally up to you and what style fits your poker personality.
November 18th, 2016, 3:23 PM
Jim Brown 
Poker at: acr
Game: up4 whatever
I think it's important to remember to remain patient pre antes. you can pretty much just sit and wait for premiums or good spots in position, don't even bother bluffing. Once antes kick in you're draining your stack more steadily and quickly, and there is more in the pot to target preflop.
November 18th, 2016, 3:42 PM
Online Poker at: PokerStars
As a tournament player, I find tournies pretty dull early on without antes, and I almost always register later on. While it is true that there are more recreational players earlier on, and sometimes you can double your stack early on or whatever, I simple don't think it's worth it. Before the antes, stealing the blinds is less useful, and so you have to be tighter. You can limp along with some more hands, but you definitely have to play a lot less and be very nitty when people raise. I probably wouldn't play anything worse than AQ UTG and I'm pretty loose. Also, the pots are obviously far smaller earlier on, so your edge will not allow you to gain as many chips. To add to this, I am nowhere near as good playing with 200BB. I would rather play a few more tables at a time than be a nit and win just a tiny bit more.
November 18th, 2016, 6:44 PM
Poker at: ACR
re: Poker & Waiting for the Antes!
@carddead711 thanks for your input, i do agree that there are definitely missed spots when entering right at the start but I also have found that some of those spots turn into suckouts by the recs early, for example raising AK suited from BB with a 2 way limped pot, get called by 1 opponent flop comes 5 A 10 rainbow, you cbet get called turn is a 8 all dif suit, dbl barrel get called, river comes a J, you check not wanting to over play your hand, villan checks and shows 5 8o for bottom 2, now i didnt go broke cause i dont over play my 1 pr hands especialyy early on but i know alot of others that will in this spot by a rec playing cards that should never be in pre flop, or the very least after flop bet. This is why I think I have found a new niche of waiting till antes start to reg. Like i said though i still dont have a large sample size so I have to wait a bit b4 i can say 4sure what is best for my style of play.
November 18th, 2016, 6:48 PM
Online Poker at: ACR
@saintnick i am leaning towards exactly the same feeling with the dullness of the pre ante levels and the fact that even if you chip up at that stage in the tourney your chips still arent worth that much, like winning say 500-1000 more chips pre ante, this is not much different then starting out with antes anyways and a lot less of a chance of being sucked out by a rec when stacks are deep. Not that it cant happen later but chances are when stacks are shallower it will happen alot less because of mainly pairs, broadways, Axs, and Premiums being the majority of ranges going to the flop
November 18th, 2016, 6:51 PM
Poker at: ACR
I would like to note though that structure of a tourney has a big factor in decision to late reg or not. For example on ACR micros, the $1500 gtd for 3.30 is a 5 hr late reg with 3k or 5k starting stacks, i think very rarely will you make it from start to finish when you reg. right from the begining of tourney.
November 18th, 2016, 7:15 PM
I like start the game from the beginning, i consider myself a tight player so i always have to wait for the right hand at the right time and if i get in the tournament when the antes arrives i have very few hands before my stack force me to go all in when i got a decent hand
November 19th, 2016, 4:47 AM
I completely understand and agree with your logic in starting late. All the things you say are true and can happen. Bottom line, maybe it comes down to personal preference and poker playing style on which technique works best for each individual player. Since I don't get to play to many tournaments I want to play from the beginning and get the most out of it. Perhaps, if I was more of a regular tournament player, then I wouldn't mind starting late sometimes depending on the structure.
November 19th, 2016, 5:51 AM
Online Poker at: ACR
re: Poker & Waiting for the Antes!
It all depends on the structure but I definitely don't mind buying in after the antes start
December 2nd, 2016, 10:15 PM
Poker at: PokerStars
i like to play from the beggining, and i think that my game is better when if i enter the tourney in the first 3lvls.
December 4th, 2016, 9:54 PM
Dan Lucas 
Online Poker at: Pokerstars
What you are describing is the difference between deep stack, regular blind tournaments and Turbos. In a turbo, you can't afford to wait to long or you will blind out, but in a regular tournament you can afford to be patient and wait for spots. You are correct that early stages can be tough, but I don't agree that you can't increase your chip stack when you start at the beginning. It sounds like you have more of a concentration issue early in tournaments because it is so hard to win big pots when blinds are low, so it feels like you are spinning your wheels.
December 5th, 2016, 11:45 PM
Poker at: pokerstars
I prefer to play the tournament from the beginning .That way I have the chance to play more hands , set mines , play suited connectors ,gappers , play more loose than normal trying to build a stack from weak players . I don't like very late registration , cause my stack then is small , it'a few BB , and I have paid for a tournament to last for some time to enjoy it , not for it to end in some minutes . Now , somewhere in the middle , when the blinds are little higher and the antes have just begun , once in a while , it might not be a bad idea to play it , at least then you can play AK better with raises/3bet .
December 7th, 2016, 1:55 AM
karl coakley 
Online Poker at: ACR
Generally, I play pretty tight at the beginning of a tournament because there just isn't much out there to win. As the antes start, plus the blinds, a lot more dead money out there and I start to loosen up. As the blinds and antes grow my range grows.
I never minded joining late. Generally as a tighter player, I want to play big pots with my hands which is difficult with 15/30 blinds.