play (something) for all (something) is worth

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play (something) for all (something) is worth

To make use of or exploit something to one's advantage to the furthest possible extent. He's been playing the bit of celebrity his book brought for all it's worth, but if he doesn't write something new soon, he'll just fade away as another has-been. The woman's admission of misremembering part of her testimony has given the company new ammunition in its defense, and they are playing it for all it's worth. He's been playing his back injury for all it's worth lately to get out of doing any heavy lifting around the warehouse.
See also: all, play, worth

play it for all it's worth

Fig. to exploit a problem, disability, or injury to get as much sympathy or compensation as possible. He injured his hand before the examination and he played it for all it was worth in order to get the exam delayed.
See also: all, play, worth