WPT GTO Trainer Hands of the Week: Defending a Shallow Stack Against a Cutoff Raise
This week we’re focused on a typical tournament spot where you are out of position against a tough player on the Cutoff after calling their raise from the Big Blind. Stacks are shallow, with only 20 Big Blinds in the effective stack to start the hand.
There are a few flops where you could construct a leading range from the Big Blind in this spot, but for the vast majority of flops you can begin by checking to the preflop raiser. Checking is preferred as a default because the preflop aggressor in this spot will typically have an equity advantage. This means that as the preflop aggressor, their range is usually stronger and narrower than your calling range from the Big Blind.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the player on the Cutoff will have a wider hand range than many other seats at the table as the preflop aggressor. This should cause you to take more hands to showdown in this scenario compared to spots facing narrower ranges from earlier position raisers.
As a general rule, you want to check-raise the Cutoff’s continuation bet with some strong hands (including vulnerable top pairs) and some lower equity draws (backdoor draws, gutshots with overcards, etc) so that your check-raising range is somewhat polarized. You can typically check-call with medium strength hands and draws.
Donk-betting, or leading out when you called the previous street, is usually only viable on equity changing cards. Leading out when a card comes that helps your overall hand range significantly can be a good strategy, whether your hand is actually helped by that card or not.
For more GTO hand analysis, you can play through five free solved hands from this situation.
To access the free five hands, visit this page.
Regular play on the WPT GTO Trainer will help you adjust your decisions closer and closer to GTO strategy.
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The full selection of scenarios for the WPT GTO Trainer are only available to members of LearnWPT, however we’re giving PokerNews Readers free access to the Trainer on a regular basis with the WPT GTO Hands of The Week.
Use this series of articles to practice the strategies you learn on LearnWPT (or at the table) and test your progress by playing a five-hand sample each week.