WPT GTO Trainer Hands of the Week: Playing Late Position in Small Stakes Cash
Today you’ll be playing a common spot in a live small stakes cash game where it folds to you in the Cutoff seat, you raise to 5BBs, and the player on the Button calls. This spot is something of a reversal from many “raiser vs caller” scenarios in that the caller will have a significantly narrower range than the open raiser. A standard open raising range from the Cutoff seat is quite wide, whereas the Button calling range is generally about half as many hands.
Due to this dramatic range disparity, you should check the flop with a relatively high frequency with many of your hands. Even hands that would normally bet both for value and protection such as small overpairs on the flop will become checks. The reason for this is that the Villain's narrower range gives them a range advantage on most boards.
Another effect of this is that we should often take more passive check-call lines in this spot. This is somewhat similar to being the Big Blind taking a check call line against a preflop raiser. In both cases we are out of position against a player that has a range advantage over us, so our medium strength made hands want to keep Villain’s range as wide as possible.
When we do have hands in the higher portion of our range including top pair hands or better, we have to often be willing to call down on all streets. If we don’t, we risk becoming very exploitable. Our hand range is fairly wide, so if we fold hands as strong as top pair, we are folding far too often to Villain’s aggression.
Lastly, you can use smaller bet sizing when out of position on the river with hands like second pair and others as both a block bet and value bet. You can often set the price of showdown and extract some additional value from Villain with this sizing.
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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.