View Full Version : Playing better players
Do any of you have the great benefit of being able to play on a regular basis with a pro player? I've come to the conclusion that I really need to practice on a regular basis with someone who will run out on me if I make any mistakes. It's sorta like "playing the ghost", but I feel I need to play a real person in order to "season" my game.
The added bonus to all of this would be the knowledge you would gain by playing someone of pro caliber. It seems my game has become a little stale for lack of challenge. I have had the opportunity to play extended matches with Laura Smith, who is probably the best player that lives in my town (Boulder, CO). I've totally enjoyed these "matches" as we both are totally engrossed in the game. However, Laura is very busy and is unable to play on a regular basis.
I envy those of you who have great players to play with on a regular basis. I am a true believer that you have to play better players to become a better player. All that said...efren, johnny, jose...anytime you want to move to Boulder, you are welcome! : )
If there are any great players reading this and live in the Boulder area...stop on by "The Rack" in Boulder...Doug is waiting to play.
04-17-2002, 10:29 AM
Salamander, hey there might not be great players there but there are a ton of very good cuemakers around there. :0)
04-17-2002, 12:23 PM
Laura Smith (currently ranked #12 in the WPBA) lives in Boulder, but I don't know where she practices.
I agree that playing people that are better than you will improve your game. But there are extremes. I would not recommend playing someone like Tony Robles or Mika Immonen, unless you are anywhere close to their caliber.
If you are a B+ player than it would benefit you more to play an A player than an Open player. Or if you are a D player than you should be practicing with a C+ player.
If you play with someone too much better than you then you will be spending too much time on the sidelines.
Doug, the benefits of playing with a better player are obvious at all levels - not just for those of us lucky enough to have the opportunity to play with tour players. I played a few sets in a practice session with a strong player yesterday. I felt like I played one of the better sets of my life (don't recall missing a single shot, though I played a few loose safeties which cost me) and I lost 7-5. The second set I played nearly as well and lost 7-6. I got far more confidence and value out of those two sets than out of all the sets I've won against lesser opponents in recent memory.
Players who play in a room with numerous stronger players to observe and spar with just don't realize how lucky they really are. Once you become one of the top players in your room or league (regardless of what skill level that may truly be), it's much more likely your game will stagnate. Unless you're really motivated to take your game to higher levels and take the time and effort to travel to other rooms & play in tournaments, you just don't have any more goals to strive for. It's tough when there's no one else around on a regular basis to compare yourself to and rate your game against, to truly see how far you still need to go and what you need to work on. - Chris in NC
04-17-2002, 02:33 PM
I always seek out the stronger players and, on the North Eastern Women's Tour and the Chesapeake Area Tour, I have the opportunity to compete head to head with Touring Pros from the WPBA.
Yea...a suprising amount of decent cue-makers. I shoot with a Martinez. Any that come to mind that I might not know about?? I'm also aware of Kikel, Showcase. There is also a guy up in fort collins I guess who makes a pretty good cue, but I forgot his name.
Your use of the word stagnate describes my feeling exactly! I have traveled to other rooms to play good players, usually 9-ball sets for 1 or 2 hundred. However, although I love to gamble occasionally, I really would like to find a sparing partner that lives reasonably close. The times that I have played pros, such as Deuel, Hatch, Braumback sp?, Watson,...I have been able to "hold my own" somewhat (at least I get to the table and win a few). I usually am able to play up to the competition, however it is difficult for me to sustain the level of perfomance necessary to win over the long hall. If, however, I played very good players all the time, I would imagine that I would develope less bad habits. I have a great deal of passion for the game, and would love to go to most of the tour events and play, however time, money, and job keeps me from following this path.
Agreed. One should not play all the time with someone several levels above them. Nor would I imagine that a pro would benefit from playing with a C player day after day. I don't claim to be a pro, but I want to be punished more for missing. To that end, the level of player that i am looking for is a tour player to semi-pro player. Heck...I don't really mind sitting if necessary...at least I'll learn watching. : )
Isnt Danny Medina around there somewhere? A good player as I recall.
04-17-2002, 10:35 PM
Well said Chris. I am very fortunate to have a great deal of very strong amateur and semi-pro type players to play against in my locale, but would love to have a real pro to play with.
living in a town like houston, texas, i know where to go, any time of day or night, to get my ration of grief. i do know, in a microcosmic kind of way what you are talking about tho. i seem to be walking my way up the ladder of pool rooms. i enjoyed the heck out of owning everyone in my home room after a couple of years there. now i rarely go back. sunday night tourneys. there is a long and deep pecking order in a big city and when you run out of those it's time for the road.
dan...ain't got enough time.
04-18-2002, 12:29 AM
I always strive to play better players. It can get a little expensive sometimes. LOL I get little enjoyment out of playing those that are no challenge. I feel like I learn a lot playing stronger opponents. I live in a very small town and right now I have no trouble finding stronger players. /ccboard/images/icons/blush.gif The best in town is not pro level, but has run five racks of 9 ball on me. If I ever get to where I can beat him consistantly, I'll be one happy camper. I've had a lucky streak and beat him a game or two when he didn't run out on me, but those were mostly a fluke. My house is for sale, and I'm hoping that the next one will have a room big enough for a pool table, so I can get in some serious PT. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: stickman:</font><hr> I live in a very small town and right now I have no trouble finding stronger players. /ccboard/images/icons/blush.gif The best in town is not pro level, but has run five racks of 9 ball on me. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif <hr></blockquote>
when you talk about a small town and a guy that is runnin racks then i've got to ask what the equipment is?
yes, it's important to play better payers but it's also important to play on tough equipment. very important not to get too used to one table. it'll take work to beat that back out of ya.
dan..at least my steady date is tough.
04-18-2002, 12:49 AM
For the most part, I play on a bar box table with simonis, but I'm beginning to start practicing on a 9 footer.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: stickman:</font><hr> For the most part, I play on a bar box table with simonis, but I'm beginning to start practicing on a 9 footer. <hr></blockquote>
see, the big problem in my game is that i have this psychopathic aversion to little tables. i may require therapy of some kind. the real money around here is on those things.
dan...i'll bet the 9 is interesting as hell about now.
04-18-2002, 01:11 AM
Likewise here. All the money is on the smaller tables. The 9 footer is tough for me right now, but I'm hoping it will improve my game. I think shot making is tougher on the 9 footers, but position is tougher on the small tables. JMO
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