WPT GTO Trainer Hands of the Week: 3-Betting From the Button Against Middle Position
The featured hands this week showcase correct play 3-betting strategy in a tournament where you are on the Button against a Middle Position player. With a big blind ante in play MP2 makes a standard opening raise to 2.5BBs, you 3-bet to 7.5BBs, and MP2 calls. The effective stacks are 50BBs to start the hand.
In this scenario the original raiser’s range is only somewhat capped as they will just call with AA preflop with some frequency at this stack depth to mix in slow playing to balance their range. Your opponent will still 4-bet QQ/KK/AK, however unlike scenarios where the preflop caller’s range is completely capped there are some big hands in Middle Position’s range in this scenario. The rest of Middle Position’s range is quite linear and consists mostly of big broadway hands, pairs, suited broadway cards, and a handful of suited connectors and suited aces.
Your range is completely uncapped but also more polarized. You are 3-betting all of your big hands preflop but using a mixed strategy of raising 25% with suited broadways, suited connectors, suited aces, and even some suited gappers and suited kings!
Given that you have the nut advantage on most boards in position with relatively shallow stacks (the starting stack to pot ratio is less than 3), your default strategy is just to continuation bet small with all hands in your range. Even a small bet into this pot applies a lot of pressure to the preflop caller. Middle Position will fight back by check-raising with a higher frequency to try and turn the tables back on you so it’s important to be prepared for that increased aggression and not give up too frequently or you will be exploitable.
Utilizing solid 3-betting ranges in position in tournaments is key to expanding your game and becoming an extremely tough player to play against. This scenario really demonstrates how being in-position gives you a tremendous advantage even over very tough players who are out of position, even with some weaker hands in your polarized range.
To see more examples and test your skills, you can play through five free solved hands from this scenario.
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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