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Executing the Squeeze Play

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MessagePosté le: Mer 14 Oct - 20:19 (2009)    Sujet du message: Executing the Squeeze Play Répondre en citant

Executing the Squeeze Play by Nick Eisel
This article and others like it should come with a disclaimer that boldly states,
"Do NOT Try this at home."
The reason that I say this is that the squeeze play in tournament poker is not unlike the television show Jackass in that plenty of people will try to copycat what they see, but they will end up carrying it out wrong or at least choosing the wrong situation to use it.
To rephrase my disclaimer then, do not try this at home unless you are well adept at reading poker situations.
The reason you don't want to use this play at all if you aren't skilled enough to choose the right situation is because when it doesn't work you will usually be knocked out of the tournament or at least completely crippled when your weak hand loses the all in. The squeeze play can win you a ton of chips without a good hand if you implement it correctly but is also a very delicate move.
While I've performed many a squeeze play in my tournament career, the best example I can possibly give actually was done by Dan Harrington at the Final Table of the 2004 World Series of Poker. Those of you who watched the taping on television will surely remember the hand where Josh Arieh raised under the gun with K9o and Greg Raymer called in early-middle position with A2 of clubs. Dan read the situation perfectly and put both players on weak hands and elected to make a giant reraise with the trash holding of 62o and win a nice pot for his efforts. So why did this play work you ask? Well, Dan was aware that in order to attempt such a gutsy play, a number of requisites must first be true.
First off, you must have good enough reason to believe that the guy opening for a raise is very willing to do so without adequate starting hands. Evidence of this can be found when he shows down weak hands after raising or if he is simply raising way too many pots to realistically be playing solid poker. Remember too that just because someone raises three hands in a row when they've sat quiet the rest of the tournament does not mean that they are being out of line. Getting a few hands in a row happens often enough, and in order to attempt a squeeze play you must be sure beyond reasonable doubt that the guy who has initially raised is more than likely holding mediocre cards.
Second, you should have pretty good evidence based on past hands that the person calling the initial raise is willing to do so without a monster hand. This can happen because someone is simply seeing too many flops or possibly because you think that he also suspects the initial raiser to be doing so without premium hands. It helps a lot to have a tight table image and have the other players at the table worried whenever you come into a pot, especially with a big reraise in a situation like this. If you've been getting a lot of cards lately and been involved in the action, you should certainly avoid squeezing and wait for a better opportunity.
Finally, you should look to see who's acting behind you and make sure that there isn't anyone who is shortstacked enough that they will call with any sort of hand. In this case you're better off waiting and not getting involved in a pot with a trash hand.
Some other things you should know about the squeeze play are that it is best to wait until later in a tournament to execute it as the blinds are far too small in the early stages. If you've been getting lots of rags and haven't played a pot in a while, you should be very observant after folding and find someone who is raising more than his fair share of hands. After that, you can pick spots to play back at his raises if he attacks your blind, or also execute a squeeze play on him if a loose player also calls his initial raise. A lot of determining when to use this move is based on paying attention to the action at the table and recalling past hands you have observed.
As a general rule you should also tend to move all in with your squeeze plays rather than simply making a big bet, as you'll almost always be enticed to try to move all in after the flop to try to steal the pot anyway if one of the players happens to call your reraise preflop. Attempting squeeze plays with multiple callers after a loose raiser is also a dangerous proposition as a good player may have called with a hand like AKo after another caller in order to lower his variance on the hand should he miss the flop. This player will almost certainly call your all in then if the initial raiser and other caller fold. My point is that the more callers that are in a hand, the harder it is to determine if someone can actually stand up to your all in bluff. Try to keep it simple with a loose raiser and loose caller only, and also remember that this play is to be tucked away in your arsenal and only used when the situation is absolutely perfect for it. This isn't even something that will happen in every tournament, and rarely more than once per tournament.
While rarely used, the squeeze play is special because your hole cards don't actually matter in determining whether or not to make the bluff or not! If you keep these things in mind while nearing the end of a tournament and choose your spots wisely this is a play that can win you a lot of chips in a hand that you have no real right to be involved in.
Above all, remember to pay attention during hands as the information you can gather by doing so is tremendous.

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MessagePosté le: Mer 14 Oct - 20:19 (2009)    Sujet du message: Publicité

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