The Rocket Jump: Is it the new Squeeze Play?

decisionsThe late stages of a turbo MTT tend to be an all-in crapshoot, so it’s important to chip up early, while stacks are still deep enough to allow for some creativity in play. One such creative play is the short-stack assisted reverse squeeze, or as I think of it, “The Rocket Jump.”

The Setup

In order to pull off this move, the requirements are for you to have one of the larger stacks at the table already, to be in early or middle position, for most players to have between 15 and 30 BB, and for there to be a short stack with 4-8 BB on the Button, SB or, ideally, BB. You also need to have a hand with reasonable, but not necessarily great equity against Ax; suited connectors, pairs and Broadway hands are ideal.

The Ploy

Even if you would not normally open such a hand from your position, you come in for a min or just over min-raise. What you want to have happen is for one or more average stacks to call and for the short stack – who has just enough chips to reopen the betting for you – to see the great odds he’s getting and therefore shove.

In all likelihood, the callers will fold. Your perceived opening range in early position is quite strong, and if they were not strong enough to 3-bet in the first place, they are probably not strong enough to call the over-shove. Meanwhile, you will probably be slightly behind the BB, though usually not by much, and with the antes and one or two callers who’ve now folded, the dead money in the pot will often be laying you 2-1 or better odds, making this a hugely profitable spot even if you’re a 40/60 underdog.


Of course, the move won’t always go exactly as planned, but things work out okay for you no matter what happens. If you get callers but the short-stack folds, you’re seeing a cheap flop with a reasonable and somewhat concealed hand. If you steal the blinds or get it in just with the short stack, those are both positive outcomes as well. Finally, if someone else 3-bets or shoves, it’s an incredibly easy and not too expensive fold, since you’ve committed relatively few chips and your actual hand is considerably worse than your perceived range.

Alex Weldon is a game designer by day and poker tournament wizard by night. You can read more from Alex at and follow him on Twitter at @benefactumgames

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