Today you’ll be playing as a medium stack with 30 Big Blinds at a major tournament final table with a couple short stacks in play. You raise in the Cutoff seat against the chip leader’s big blind and they call. This model is a common spot where the chip leader can put pressure on you due to the presence of the shortstacks. Note that your preflop range is narrower than it would be otherwise if chip stacks were all similar in size due to this effect.
Despite this pressure the chip leader can apply, you will still regularly be able to make a small continuation bet in position on the flop. Your range is fairly narrow and the Big Blind’s range is fairly wide, which means you will typically have a range advantage on almost all flops.
As you play through this spot, you’ll notice that the chip leader will often check-call on the flop then lead the turn against you. This donk-leading strategy on certain turn cards will be quite effective for the chip leader, as it allows them to effectively deny equity to the medium and lower stacks when the turn card favors the chip leader’s range more than yours.
The key to understanding how to proceed against these donk leads is to recognize how the card interacts with the chip leader’s check-caling range. If a card often helps their range and doesn’t usually help yours, you can simply fold flop misses to the donk-lead if your actual hand hasn’t increased in value.
Keep in mind that you should still be both semi-bluffing and pure bluffing on the turn when checked to some portion of the time. Hands like turned flush draws are good candidates for this.
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