WPT GTO Trainer Hands of the Week: 3-Betting from The Button Against a Narrow Range
This week we’re focused on a typical cash game spot where you’re in position on the Button against a tough player in Early Position after 3-Betting their opening raise.
Your range in this spot is “polarized”, meaning you are 3-betting the early position player with both some of the very strongest starting hands as well as a mix of semi-bluffs including suited combos containing an Ace, suited broadways, and some middle suited connectors. The early position player’s range is much more condensed to just pairs, some suited broadways, and AK. Their range is also capped in this spot and does not include any combinations of AA/KK, while your range can still contain all of those combinations.
Being in position with the nut advantage on most flops means you will be c-betting with a very high frequency on the flop. With the early position player’s range consisting mostly of suited broadway cards and pairs, the only flops that are super dangerous for you are coordinated double broadway flops or T-9-x and 9-8-x flops. On most other flops you will have a significant advantage as our opponent will be out of position, and unless they flop a set, often with a hand that is quite vulnerable to the top end of our range. You can and should be c-betting small on all other boards, even ones that might otherwise seem quite coordinated and dangerous in other scenarios.
Due to this same concept of having a nut advantage you also will get to fire again on the turn quite frequently, especially with any reasonable sort of chance at improving on the river like turning a flush or straight draw. This really puts the early position player in a tough spot with all but the strongest hands in their range. The exception to this would be on the turn with hands that have a lot of showdown value but are vulnerable to a turn check-raise, such as second pair hands without a significant draw to improve on the river.
Our GTO opponent will try to combat your frequent continuation betting by utilizing a check-raising strategy on the flop. It is important that you not give up too easily to check-raises against tough opponents, particularly with hands that have significant hard equity when they hit on future streets.
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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.