In contrast to everything else you can find on-line about TheTexas Holdem tournaments, there seems to be one category rarely mentioned, yet seen in almost every game. It’s a player who decides to “bully” the tournament. You know, the guy who starts raising every hand?
A “Bully” is basically a poker player who places large bets or raises constantly in an effort to either run as many eligible players out of a hand, or go “head’s up” with another opponent, trying to increase his odds of winning. Going “head’s up” is another term meaning that an opponent is playing only one other player. This term is mainly used when a player goes all-in and is called by another player. A bully will play every hand with the intention of over betting, scaring the other player out of continuing to play. Sounds like a sure-fire plan. Here’s where this game play usually back fires and why bullies rarely win. A bully is often noticed early in a tournament, making outrageous raises on small blinds, (bets) resulting in almost everyone folding their hands.
Once the table of players get the notion that there is a bully playing on their table, (and it doesn’t take long to catch this type of playing), evry player on that table will set the bully up and the bully will get called on a bad hand he just bet on. For more experienced players, there will also be more than one who will call out a bully, making the odds of his hand winning, greatly improvised.
In the great world of playing tournaments for Texas Holdem, there is a saying. “Respect a bet”. Not only does a bully disregard this important lesson, but this is where the other players start disrespecting his bet, often running the bully out of the game.
The attitude around the table once a bully starts, changes immediately, and the other players will go on the defense, not only calling out on his bets and raises, but also reraising. His chances of winning the tournament greatly reduces and some of the other players will play hands they generally won’t play. The other players will also take a greater risk at bluffing a bully also, trying reverse psychology.
On a personal note
On a personal note, I have played hundreds of tournaments, if not thousands, and only seen a bully win twice. These were also small tournaments, where the pay-out was less than $100.00 and the bully usually ended up going out first during the next tournament. This is not to say that this technique doesn’t work, It just doesn’t justify itself into winning. It’s basically the worse technique to use and rarest way to actually win.
As the old saying goes; Slow and steady wins the race”.