Poker Strategy - Chip Bullying

Chip bullying is one of the more difficult tactics to pull off in poker.  First of all a player that is new to the game may not realize the reality of the situation and therefore bully badly.  Traditionally those players that try to bully other players are also the large stack, or at the very least one of the largest at the table.  There are slightly different approaches in tournaments and cash games because the pressures are fundamentally different.  Unfortunately many players try to bully with the idea that they should go in on every hand and try to power through with just chips.  For inexperienced players playing with inexperienced poker players it will certainly have its value and maybe you can get through just by throwing chips at your opponents but against a well educated experienced poker player things may not turn out so well with the same strategy.

Trying to chip bully in poker cash games is much more dangerous in most players’ opinions, only because tournament bullying has much more power behind it, the fear of elimination that players have.  They don’t have this fear in cash games and players can always come back in with more money.  Effectively removing a motivating fear makes more players apt to try to take bullying players head on and attempt to double up through them.  Players looking to play the big stack should realize this and be cognizant of the added pressures that they will face. 

Tournaments are very different in that fear of eliminations and the inability to just rebuy back in can make it much harder for players to choose to risk all there chips.  A good bully always forces his opponents to choose especially on critically close hands.  Large stack tactics like chip bullying is one of the more difficult strategies because it forces you to make a lot of the action and having the chips can often tempt newer players into playing more than they normally would but poker players shouldn’t lose the money just because they can ‘afford’ to. 

The main theme of chip bullying is to effectively put the choice of a player to risk all his money or fold to you.  As a tournament force large stack players are feared because of their ability to eliminate players in a single hand.  This is where all the power of large stack players is derived, the fear of losing everything at once.  It certainly isn’t that cash poker game players wont’ have a fear of losing their money they will its just that they don’t’ have that added pressure.