With blinds at $50-$100 at the 2010 World Series of Poker $10,000-buy-in main event, the under-the-gun player raised to $250. Three players called. The action was on 2004 champion Greg Raymer in the big blind.
He looked down to find pocket 8s and shoved in his remaining $2,500 or so. He was pulling a squeeze play, a move that wasn't aimed at the rest of the table as much as the initial raiser.
"My hand is probably a small favorite against his range," Raymer said. "It's a good chance for me to pick up a lot of chips compared to my small stack.
"If he doesn't have a big hand, he has to fold. Probably everyone has to fold because I'm going in for 10 times the bet. And if I do get called by A-K, then that's obviously fine. I'm getting 3-2 on my money while I'm a small favorite."
The initial raiser, the critical player in Raymer's ploy, immediately moved in for about $30,000.
"As soon as he did that," said Raymer, a pro from the PokerStars online site, "I knew he had aces, and I wish I'd had another 8-3 and just thrown it away."
Indeed, the initial raiser showed pocket aces, and when the board came 10-2-K-7-6, Raymer stunningly was eliminated from the main event during the first level.
Still, given his stack, his cards and his position, Raymer had a good situation for a squeeze play.
"That's a spot where some people would shove almost anything because they'd feel that if they get it just heads-up, there's all that dead money in the pot," Raymer said. "You'd be getting at least 3-2 on your money and you'd only be up against one guy. You're getting a great price on your hand no matter what you're holding, and here I have a hand that figures to be a slight favorite against his range even when I get called.
"If the first guy can't call me — if he had A-Q, say — he's probably going to fold. That's why they call it a squeeze play. If he has a good hand that's not good enough, he has to fold because not only does he have to worry about me having a real big hand, but he also has to worry about someone behind him who might've called as a trap.
"If he called my all in for $2,500 and someone behind him makes it $10,000, then he knows for sure his A-Q or pair of 9s is no good. So, even hands that good are tough to call with because of the players behind him. If I get him to fold, there's a good chance nobody else was trapping, and if they're not trapping, they're going to fold. They put in only $250 and I'm making it about $2,500 more, so they have a hard time calling without a really good hand."
Under-the-gun: The first player to act pre-flop.