ClubWPT™ Poker Strategy Corner
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Defending your Big Blind Against Button Raise
This week we're focused on a typical tournament spot where you are out of position against a tough player on the Button after calling their raise from the Big Blind.
There are a few flops where you could construct a leading range from the Big Blind in this spot, but for the vast majority of flops you can begin by checking to the preflop raiser. Checking is preferred as a default because the preflop aggressor in this spot will typically have an equity advantage.
It is however important to keep in mind that the player on the Button will have a wide hand range, typically at least 40% of all hands but sometimes much wider. This should cause you to take more hands to showdown in this scenario compared to spots facing narrower Villain ranges.
As a general rule, you want to check-raise the Button's continuation bet with some very strong hands and some lower equity draws (backdoor draws, gutshots with overcards, etc) so that your check-raising range is somewhat polarized. You can typically check-call with medium strength hands and draws.
Donk-betting, or leading out when you called the previous street, is usually only viable on equity changing cards. Leading out when a card comes that helps your overall hand range significantly can be a good strategy, whether your hand is actually helped by that card or not.
To see more examples and test your skills, you can play through five solved hands from this exact scenario. To access the five (5) FREE hands, click here.
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Use this weekly 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.