WPT GTO Trainer Hand Review: Playing Against a Strong Big Blind
Table Of Contents
No one likes to play against a strong big blind.
The way the position and skills influence the range of poker hands your opponent may (or may not) be playing is confusing enough for you to question the strength of your hand.
And you know that nothing good comes from it.
In this week's WPT GTO Trainer Hand of the Week we analyse a scenario that is as difficult to handle as it is common to see happen in a no-limit hold'em cash game.
What is the WPT GTO Trainer?
Use the WPT interactive tool to get better at poker and learn how to win at poker. This tool incorporates the benefits of Solver study without the need for extensive computing power or esoteric knowledge.
Register a free account here (it only takes your e-mail address to begin) to try it on this and more poker hands.
Hand of the Week: Playing Against a Strong Big Blind
This is a situation that occurs regularly in No-Limit Hold'em cash games:
With a 100 big blind effective stack, we open-raise to three big blinds in the cutoff - the position just before the button - and get called by the player in the big blind.
You have a standard cutoff opening hand range, with the big blind having what is called a capped calling range, essentially a range that does not include exceptionally strong hand.
This model shows a common spot where you are in position against a tough opponent in the Big Blind on the flop after you were the preflop aggressor.
Against a lesser-skilled opponent, automatically putting out a continuation bet of a standard size is often the best play.
These types of opponents are less likely to put pressure on your continuation bets by making moves on the flop.
Against tougher players, you’ll need to focus on board texture to determine what the best continuation bet sizing is and identify flops where checking behind will be the best play.
Tough opponents will have robust check-raising ranges as part of their overall big blind defense strategy. Do not overfold hands with too much poker equity when your c-bet gets check-raised.
Need help to understand the concept of 'poker equity'? Don't miss the beginner's guide to poker equity, a free manual with free calculators to help you understand the real value of your poker hand.
You will often be put to tough decisions with marginal hands, with the correct decision often coming down to understanding the effects of Blockers.
Access More Hand Analysis
For more GTO hand analysis, you can play through five solved random hands from this situation.
To access the free five hands, visit this page.
Scroll down before you start and note the detailed view of the preflop hand ranges.
True "Game Theory Optimal" strategy can be a bit counterintuitive at first, so don't be surprised or discouraged if certain plays you make show significant expected value loss (EV).
Regular play on the WPT GTO Trainer will help you adjust your decisions closer and closer to GTO strategy.
Why is the WPT GTO Trainer a Good Tool?
The WPT GTO Trainer has over 1 billion unique solved flops, turns and rivers that are fully playable.
As you make decisions in a hand, you receive instant feedback on the specific EV loss (if any) and Played Percentage for every action you take as compared to GTO strategy.
Generally speaking, the WPT GTO Trainer is only available to members of LearnWPT, but PokerNews reader get free access to the Trainer regularly with the WPT GTO Hands of The Week.