WPT GTO Trainer Hands of the Week: Playing with an Expert to Your Left
This week you’re playing a common spot in a cash game where you raise in the Cutoff seat and an expert player flat calls you on the Button. These spots are difficult, since a very tough player has position on you on every street.
Since we have a fairly wide opening range in the Cutoff and the Button has a calling range that is narrower than this, you often have a range disadvantage on the flop. This is unusual for the preflop aggressor and in some ways this spot plays similarly to when you call from the Big Blind. In both cases you are out of position with a range disadvantage on many boards. Due to this effect, you should be prepared to check to the Button on flops that favor the preflop caller’s range, such as coordinated and connected middle cards.
A common hand that you usually want to check with on the flop and turn in this spot would be second pair. This type of holding has a lot of value against an opponent’s range when the pot remains small, but loses value quickly as the pot grows.
Given all these considerations, on more static boards you should often make a continuation bet. With strong made hands like top pair top kicker or better, you will usually want to size up the c-bet to the larger size option. The reason for this is that with strong hands you want to implement sizing that allows you to get all-in on the river. With a hand like a big overpair on a static board, you will often take a bet/bet/bet line with sizing of 75% pot, 125% pot, and all-in. This is the sizing necessary to naturally move all-in on the river.
Avoid simply going on autopilot with big made hands and always be aware of how certain turn and river cards interact with ranges. Specific cards can be so good for your opponent’s range that you must abandon the plan to get all-in by the river and instead exercise pot control or even fold many made hands.
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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.