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Conditions for Squeeze Play Success


Conditions for Squeeze Play in MTTs

Now that you’ve learned what squeeze play is; here are several conditions which are generally required before you use it in a tournament situation.

The Raiser

Like any move in poker, knowing information on your opponent is always crucial when pulling off a squeeze play.  If your opponent is very conservative, chances are his MP raise was a sign of strength.  If his PFR (pre-flop raise) stats are less than 15% than he’s only raising JJ/AK.  This is important because his hand will beat yours in a showdown.   The purpose of squeeze play is to make him fold. 

mtt strategyThe raiser’s opinion on you is also important.  If you have the table image of a rock, squeeze play is more likely to work.  However if you’re seen as an aggressive regularly re-raising player, the odds of him calling are much higher.  Even more importantly, if the raiser calls, the original caller in the pot will be getting much stronger pot odds to call – which makes him more likely to call with a larger range of hands.

The Caller(s)

Most players call preflop in these situations in order to see the flop.  The principle of squeeze play is that these players don’t get the right odds to see the flop.  The problem here, is to make sure you’re not being check-raise by someone slow playing a premium hand like KK or AA.  The better read you have on the caller, the more likely squeeze play will pay off.

The Number of Callers

The more callers in the pot, the more value you receive for squeeze play.  The downside to this is that more callers mean more hands represented – which means better hands to call you.

In my opinion, I don’t recommend the squeeze play with more than one caller involved.  Ideally I think it’s best to only use squeeze play when there are two others involved in the pot. This still gives excellent value – up to 50% of your chipstack if it succeeds. 

Another thing to bear in mind however is the strength of your hand in these situations – not necessarily their absolute strength, but their overall potential. For example, A8 is a pretty poor hand in this situation because if you do get called your almost definitely be facing a higher kicker.  On the other hand, suited connectors and pocket pairs provide better hands for shoving all-in against the premium preflop hands you’re likely to go head to head with.

Strength of Your Hand

The beauty of the squeeze play in MTT strategy is that it can be used with any combination of hands.  In reality, fast-playing/overbetting a monster hand can pay dividends.  Trying to squeeze play with a lesser hand can also work and be profitable under the right conditions.  For more information in this area, I recommend reading the MTT strategy article on value-shoving.

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