Poker Analysis: Bullets vs. Crazy tourist with a short stack

Mar 08 2012 |

aces bulletsWelcome to Color Up Poker Blog, where we occasionally look at your hands and give a short and educational analysis of the way the hand was played.

This week we got an email from Troy J. Just for easiness (and because we are pretty lazy at the moment) we copied the email below as he described the hand perfectly.

"Hi Guys, I was playing in Vegas against a crazy tourist who was playing every hand and calling a lot of raises with nothing. I found AA on the button and he limped pretty early in the hand. I raised and he and another guy called. The flop came J93 with two hearts (I did not have the Ace of hearts) and the pot was around $52. I made it $100 to chase him off the hand or to make him pay for his draw (I had seen him play many suited cards in the hour or 2 I was with him at the table). He was the only one that called and he had about $100 left at this stage. The Turn was the Jack of hearts which I saw as the worst card in the deck for me as he could have played hands like KhQh or JT etc etc.  He checked and I checked too. The river was the 7 of spades and straight away he went all in. What was I to do???"

Well Troy...Here we go :)

There are a few things about this hand that stand out. You did not mention how much you made it pre-flop, but I have to guess it was $15 or so to go. That was the correct play and you might even have made it $20 in this case as you know he is probably going to call. The thing about that play (making it a little bit more), is that you need to be willing to “go all the way” with the hand as you will be committed to the pot pretty soon with his pretty shallow stack.

As played though, pre-flop was good enough. The flop bet, however, is damn near crazy and impossible to defend. The bet is just way too big. If you make it a pot size bet (around $50-$60) you set up for a pot size shove on the turn. NOW on the flop he might not get the right odds to call, but on the TURN or RIVER he will get excellent odds to call you. Especially on the turn of course, as the maximum you can bet is $100 (that is all he has left remember) and there is already $252 in the pot. So on the turn you ask him to make a decision for $100 to put in a $352 pot, so he gets the correct odds to call in almost any case.  If you make the bet $55 on the flop the pot will be $162 and that is roughly what he has behind so he will only get 2/1 to call instead of the 3/1 you give him now.

The check in the turn is a scared move in my opinion and if you expect him to shove all in on the river you must be prepared to blindly call that immediately no matter what card comes down (you might be able to fold when a HEART comes down on the river). Just giving free cards is not good practice and is something you should never do. The Jack of hearts is just as much a scare card for him as it is for you.

On the river you can only go for the call as you have no correct read on the play by him. He could have had a hand like AJ with the Ace of hearts or he could have missed completely with a hand like KQ (crazy tourist WOULD call hands like that on the flop for an inside straight draw).

To find out more about pot odds and how to work them out quickly and effectively click here to check out the Color Up Pot Odds flash card deck. They will help you to establish when and what to bet into any size of pot.

Hopefully, Troy, you will have found the correct answers to your play and if YOU, readers, also want some advice based on your hand history, send us a quick email just like Troy did at

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