WPT GTO Trainer Hands of the Week: Playing Against a Tough 3-Bettor In Position
Today we’re focusing on a cash game spot where you are out of position against a tough opponent who 3-bet your 3BB Under The Gun open raise to 12BBs from the Big Blind.
This scenario is different from many other scenarios in the fact that you have an uncapped range as the preflop caller. Due to the large 3-bet sizing from the Big Blind you adjust by calling with a higher frequency than default (around 75%) with your big hands such as AA/KK/QQ/AK. Your range is also quite linear consisting mostly of stronger hands and pairs. In contrast, the Big Blind also has an uncapped range, but it is extremely polarized. The Big Bind’s range includes only the very strongest hands and semi-bluffs including T8s/97s/75s as well as a small percentage of suited broadway and suited Ace-wheel cards.
Due to the Big Blind’s hand range being polarized it won’t be uncommon for you to call down with some reasonably strong one pair hands in order to keep the Big Blind’s range as wide as possible and include all of their potential bluffs as well as their big hands. This will also help mitigate any losses that occur when you have a hand such as JJ and run into hands closer to the top of their range.
When the Big Blind doesn’t continuation bet you will often get to bet yourself in position. It will be as a part of a mixed overall strategy with some of your stronger one pair hands and will be done with a high frequency with weaker hands using a smaller sizing. The reason for the mixed strategy with stronger hands is the Big Blind will incorporate a robust check-raising strategy, particularly on boards containing multiple low/wheel cards that can more easily connect with their range than your range. With weaker hands such as second or third pair the benefits of folding out random overcards such as suited broadways become stronger and thus the overall bet frequency increases.
To see more examples and test your skills, you can play through five free solved hands from this scenario.
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Regular play on the WPT GTO Trainer will help you adjust your decisions closer and closer to GTO strategy.
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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