This week we’re focused on a cash game spot where you are out of position against a tough player in first position (UTG) after 3-betting their open raise from 3BBs to 12BBs from the Big Blind.
Since you are making a large, out of position raise from the Big Blind versus an already narrow Under The Gun range, your range is going to be both very narrow and polarized. The defending range for UTG in this scenario includes many strong hands, even calling AA/KK a significant portion of the time. This means postflop, that while you as the Big Blind often have top end range advantage (also often called nut advantage), the overall range advantage on many flops is actually with the UTG player.
This unusual situation where the preflop caller often has an overall range advantage and your range being quite polarized creates an interesting dynamic. You will often be checking to the UTG player on more coordinated flops that hit their overall range quite well, and you are often betting bigger on drier flops that favor the stronger part of a polarized range from the Big Blind. It is often the case that when one player has a significant nut advantage over the other player they are able to bet much larger than default sizing.
On Ace and King high boards where you have both the range advantage and nut advantage specifically, you can make an exception and choose a smaller sizing. In these situations you can use a smaller sizing and still apply appropriate pressure for the UTG player to force meaningful decisions postflop.
To see more examples and test your skills, you can play through five free solved hands from this scenario.
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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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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