WPT GTO Trainer Hands of the Week: Playing Against a Tough Cutoff from Middle Position
Today we’re focusing on a common spot where you are out of position against a tough opponent in the Cutoff after you raise first-in preflop in a multi-table tournament.
Using a standard continuation bet sizing and high betting frequency can often be the best play against weaker opponents in lower stakes tournaments. These opponents are less likely to exploit your betting frequencies by floating or raising with a good, balanced range on the flop.
With only 30BBs in the effective stacks and a 2BB standard opening raise with a big blind ante in play the Cutoff’s calling range is actually somewhat narrower than our opening range in this scenario. Even though the Cutoff’s range is narrow it is also capped, making AA/KK far less likely here because they would have raised with those hands in this situation rather than calling. This leads to the Cutoff often having an equity advantage, particularly on more coordinated flops not containing an Ace or King.
With the shallow effective stacks and because you are out of position against a Cutoff who will often have an equity advantage on coordinated flops you will often be checking on the more coordinated boards. On drier boards betting larger to maximize pressure with the shallow stacks is preferred given your nut advantage on the flop. You should strive for a balanced checking range with some big hands and some air so that you aren’t check-folding too often on coordinated boards.
The notable exception to checking or betting larger on the flop will be in situations where you have a significant range and nut advantage.
These are mostly Ace and King high boards that are either relatively uncoordinated or when you have a significant blocker to the most obvious draw. On those boards you can bet small and still put your opponent to meaningful decisions with a balanced range.
To see more examples and test your skills, you can play through five free solved hands from this scenario.
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