Today you’ll be playing a common tournament spot where you reraise from the Big Blind against a Button open. Having a robust Big Blind strategy that includes frequently defending by calling as well as reraising is a crucial component of winning tournament play. Sizing your reraises when out of position to 4x the previous total raise amount will put the appropriate pressure on opponent hand ranges.
On the flop, start by paying attention to board texture and estimate whether the flop favors your range as the reraiser or the Button’s range as the caller. Our preflop reraising range is somewhat polarized between very good hands and various high card blocker semi-bluffs. Villain’s range has good board coverage but is especially heavy with middle to high card hands. This means that certain flops that are coordinated and contain medium to high cards (7 through J) especially favor the opponent’s range. On these flops, we should consider checking very frequently, especially with our pure misses.
Also keep in mind the types of hands that we can include in our bluffing ranges. Oftentimes holding a blocker will cause us to bluff in a spot that we otherwise wouldn’t bluff. Ideally, our flop and turn bluffs have some backup equity when called. For example, gutshot straight draws + an overcard or overcards are frequently played aggressively as part of our bluffing range.
On the turn, always ask yourself the question: Does this card tend to help my range more often or Villain’s range more often? The answer to this question usually determines whether you should bet or check on the turn, regardless of whether that specific turn card actually improved your hand or not.
Lastly, don’t be discouraged by higher than usual EV Loss with this scenario. Since the pot is so large on the flop already (21.5 BBs), any mistakes made tend to show a higher loss than compared to scenarios where the pot is smaller.
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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.