WPT GTO Trainer Hands of the Week: Attacking the Blinds on Shallow Stacks
Today you’ll be playing in a multi-table tournament where you open on the Button with 20BBs in the effective stack. This spot will be one of the most common spots in all of tournament play since this stack depth and this matchup of Button vs Big Blind happens very frequently.
Your opponent’s range to defend the Big Blind against a min-raise will be quite wide at this stack depth. Certain hands including most pocket pairs and a variety of hands containing an Ace will not be in their range, since they would reshove with those hands preflop.
Since your range as the preflop aggressor is stronger than your opponent’s range, you should make a continuation bet on most flops with most hands. In general, you can use a smaller continuation bet sizing in this spot.
Both players will have wide ranges going to the flop, so the Big Blind’s range to continue against your c-bet is also quite wide. Given how wide your opponent’s range often will be when they take aggressive actions on the flop, you will frequently be able to profitably continue with just Ace high and overcards to the board.
When you have some backup equity, you should be willing to apply more pressure on the turn when your opponent calls the flop c-bet. This backup equity can be as little as a gutshot straight draw with overcards to the middle card on the board. Your opponent will often check-call the flop with hands as weak as bottom pair, so this equity matchup isn’t disadvantageous to you.
With high equity but somewhat vulnerable overpairs to the board, you should be willing to get all-in on the flop at this stack depth. With fewer than 20 big blinds in the effective stack on the flop, you can easily move all-in over an opponent’s check-raise when you hold higher equity made hands as well as some semi-bluffs.
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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.