WPT GTO Trainer Hands of the Week: Big Blind Defense with Shallow Stacks
Today you’ll be playing in a multi-table tournament where you must defend your big blind with less than 20BBs in the effective stack. In many tournaments, especially in the mid to late stages, this spot will be one of the most commonly played in all of poker.
Your range to defend the big blind against a min-raise will be quite wide at this stack depth. However, 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.
Postflop, you’ll want to keep in mind that 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.
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 no draw when the flop structure 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 your turn lead bets. Draws as weak as gutshots are valuable to round out a turn betting range in these spots.
Finally, 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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The full selection of scenarios for the WPT GTO Trainer are only available to members of LearnWPT, however we’re giving PokerNews Readers free access to the Trainer on a regular basis with the WPT GTO Hands of The Week.
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.