WPT GTO Trainer Hands of the Week: Shallow Big Blind Defense
Today you’ll be playing in a multi-table tournament where you defend the Big Blind with less than 20BBs in the effective stack. This spot will be one of the most commonly played in all of tournament play, since ranges to continue are quite wide and this situation comes up nearly every orbit.
Your range to defend the big blind against a min-raise will be quite wide at this stack depth. Certain hands like most pocket pairs and a variety of hands containing an Ace will not be in your range, since you would reshove with those hands preflop.
Keep in mind that postflop due to the shallow stacks you can simply check-call with many of your strong hands since standard betting on all streets will allow you to be all-in by the river. Using stack depth to determine your slow play frequency is an important concept in winning play.
Since ranges are very wide, you’ll generally be able to continue profitably against small c-bets with hands as weak as undercards to the board with gutshot straight draws. Facing larger c-bets, you should be prepared to fold hands as strong as bottom pair with no draw when the flop is somewhat coordinated. You may not be able to get to showdown profitably with those weak pairs on very poor board structures.
When your opponent checks back on the flop, you should generally size up turn lead bets. Draws as weak as gutshots are valuable to round out a turn betting range in these spots. Larger sizing in these spots is generally used to attack the now somewhat capped hand range of Villain.
In passively played pots checked down to the river, don’t be afraid to value bet hands such as 2nd pair. You can often get value from bottom pair type hands or even Ace high.
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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.