WPT GTO Trainer Hands of the Week: Facing a Tough 3-Bettor
Today we’re focusing on a common spot where you are out of position against a tough opponent on the Button who 3-bet your 3BB open in the Cutoff to 9BBs.
Since your opponent on the Button made a standard 3x raise vs your wide opening hand range from the Cutoff seat, their range should also be quite wide. The primary difference between your range and the Button’s is that yours is capped, since you would re-raise the best hands such as AA/KK/AK, while theirs is uncapped. This gives the Button a fairly significant nut advantage on most flops even though their overall range isn’t much narrower than yours.
As a general rule, due to the Button’s overall nut advantage on most flops as well as their positional advantage, you are going to be checking to the Button with your entire range as a default on the flop. This stack depth creates a situation where the Button’s nut advantage is so strong that you are unlikely to even have much of a check-raising range on the flop. Your preference should be to check/call with most hands and mix in a few check-raise bluffs on the turn when the board is much more favorable for your range, and/or you have significant blockers. Look for opportunities to lead the river when the turn goes check/check to attack the Button’s wide, capped range in those situations.
The biggest mistake you can make in the Cutoff in this situation is folding too many hands to small bets on the flop. While the Button does maintain a nut advantage, the equities of both ranges are relatively close on most flops and even hands such as Ace or King high still have significant equity versus the Button’s wide continuation betting range. Even hands with multiple back door draws can make sense to check-call with once you combine their equity with future bluffing opportunities on the turn and river.
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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.