Table Dynamic Changed By Exploiting the Bully

Keith BrandtKeith Brandt Red Chipper Posts: 19 ✭✭
In a recent NLHE tournament I played I was moved to another table and seated to the right of the table bully when we got down to two tables. This was a small stakes tournament with 35 entries. This gave me time to identify his (wide) ranges and observe his general demeanor. He talked a lot, showed his cards a lot, played alot, and had a huge stack. We've all seen it before.

When we got down to the final table, we drew and the bully was now seated immediately to my right. Even though he had a way bigger stack than I did, I wasn't doing too badly, maybe third highest. I remember looking at his huge stack and knowing how he played, thinking, "Oh my gosh, I'm going to win this tournament."

The first time he opened the betting I 3-bet him with trash and he folded. The very next time he opened I repeated the procedure and got the same result. When I tried it for the third time in a row, with trash again, the action folded around to him again and he 4-bet me. My cards went into the middle the instant his 4-bet chips hit the felt. He won all his chips back from me with this hand. But in hindsight I think I may have done some damage.

There were still about eight players left and he still had the big stack. But he never got another bet through again unchallenged. It was as if, without saying a word to each other, we all agreed to gang up on him, tame him, and cut his stack down to size. In addition to all this, he went on tilt after he won with the 4-bet. He was still talking a lot but now it was complaining. Maybe I'm making too much of it, but he seemed incensed that someone (me) had been stealing from him.

I also noticed that my own bets got little action after that. At one point when he folded preflop I raised and the table folded around to me. The bully made a hand gesture toward me and said something like, "Huh, they all fold to YOU."

Bully ended up min-cashing in 4th place.

When it got down to heads-up action my opponent had three times as many chips as me. I had played with him through much of the tournament and had long since profiled him as a calling station. He built his big stack by winning big showdowns on the final table.

But in heads-up action he stopped being a calling station. He laid down hand after hand, and basically let me run him over. I ended up winning the tournament.

Do you more experienced live players have any thoughts on my interpretation of how exploiting the bully the way I did may have affected the table dynamic?

Do you think my snap-fold of the 4-bet helped?

Was I too aggressive and just got lucky this time?

Can table dynamic from earlier carry all the way through to heads-up action and affect the way your opponent plays? Or am I reading too much into it?


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