View Full Version : Gamble to be good??

02-24-2004, 03:56 PM
Just read the interview with Danny "Kid Delicious" Basavich in the latest issue of BD.

"Q: What advice would you give someone who wants to go on the road?
A: If a young kid wants to get good, he's for sure gotta gamble. There must be only about one out of every 100 champions who just practices and doesn't gamble. I think its a must, even though its not talked about as, quote-unquote, a great thing to do. You really have to get that pressure in your veins."

Personally I dont think you have to gamble to be good. There are other ways to get "pressure in your veins" than gambling ie. competing in tournaments. What do you think?

02-24-2004, 04:08 PM
I don't think gambling is something that has to be done in order to be a good player. But, I do think that some RESPONSiBLE gambling can make some people perform under pressure. Head to head gambling pressure is different than tournament pressure so getting that experience could be helpful.
Putting the rent check in jeopardy is just plain stupid.

Also all people are different and are motivated by different things so some people may need to gamble to get better.


Jay M
02-24-2004, 04:37 PM
I don't believe that you have to gamble to get good. You do need the extended periods under pressure. Tournaments are good, but you would need a TON of them to make up the difference. You also need for them to be tournaments where you are playing people that are right on the edge of your skill level. Playing the weekly mom and pop tournament that you cash in every week isn't doing you a darn bit of good in prepping for bigger events. You need the ones where you HAVE to be at the top of your game to cash. If you are cashing fairly consistently at a certain level, move to the next. In other words, if you are playing local weekly tournaments and cashing more than....say...50%, pick up and move to the regional types (Southeast Open, Florida Open). At first you'll lose a LOT. There is a huge difference in the play at each level. Local players that ALWAYS win the small tournaments will be lucky to win a match at a regional. The style of play is different, the speed of the matches is different, everything is different. BUT, you will learn things without realizing it by playing, and losing, in those regionals. Learning by osmosis... they say it doesn't exist, but I disagree. You will try things that don't work (the less motivated will try them MANY times before they realize it) and you will adjust your game to accomodate the fact that you can't do that particular shot at this level.

IF you ever get to the point where you are cashing regularly in the regionals, or even just holding your own, then you move up to the national level events (Derby City, US Open, et al.). These events will shift your perspective even further into the mindset of perfection in your game. You'll lose that daring, flashy method of shooting. Jump shots will all but disappear from your game. Safeties will become a real option... and the pressure will increase tenfold. If you try to just go to the higher level without paying your dues in the lower ones, you'll find that you have NO pressure. You may cuss and swear a lot... but you know in your heart that it's all a joke and you are SUPPOSED to lose. You'll draw a tough opponent and fold...guaranteed.

To get good at pool without gambling requires a level of commitment that most people will never achieve. It also requires huge sacrifices in terms of money, something that most pool players aren't willing to do. At some point the attraction of playing for cash and winning decent to large sums in short periods of time takes over.

Jay M

Ralph S.
02-24-2004, 04:43 PM

02-24-2004, 05:13 PM
Does gambling make you better? Of course not. Competition and practice make you better.

The reason why I bet is because I want to compete against good players. Tournaments are too infrequent to stay in competitive stroke. Betting has done more for my game than tournaments. I know I can book a pro for $10 a game -try that in any other sport.


02-24-2004, 05:39 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> Does gambling make you better? Of course not. Competition and practice make you better.

The reason why I bet is because I want to compete against good players. Tournaments are too infrequent to stay in competitive stroke. Betting has done more for my game than tournaments. I know I can book a pro for $10 a game -try that in any other sport.
<hr /></blockquote>

You have the right idea. It's not the gambling, it is playing better players. You must have a chalenge by playing people better than you. The pros are so good because they play each other.

02-24-2004, 06:05 PM
To me there's nothing better than that kinda pressure. Money is the root of basically all pressure in professional sports. The bigger the purse, the higher the pressure. Never bet more than you can afford to lose obviously but friendly bets are great for pressure playing. Also me and my friends play a friendly ($2 on the 5, $5 on the 9) ring game that is both pressure filled and good practice forcing 2 sets of 4 ball runs to see money. And it's fun b/c the money is usually just passed around between us, but if one of us is having an off night wallets get thin quick (and vice versa). But we never bump the bet, we always keep if friendly and fun, the money definitely changes the game though.

Chris Cass
02-24-2004, 06:17 PM
Hi Dooz,

I don't think you have to gamble to get really good. I think if one drinks about a gallon of water and then plays a set without using a bathroom should be good enough. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif


C.C.~~the more numb you get from gambling, the stakes have to get higher, to put that pressure on you. I don't begin to feel the pressure till $100. sets. In tournament play I think, I feel more pressure. Matter of fact I think way more in tourney play than gambling. weird ?

02-24-2004, 07:49 PM
I agree gambling teaches you to play under pressure, however good players usually lose to good gamblers, learn how to gamble as well as you play.

02-24-2004, 09:20 PM
Visa versa, you see many successfull gamblers going 2-and-out in tournaments against players they'd smoke in money games. My take is that you need to get both kinds of pressures, but many players simply hate losing any money at all, so they won't gamble, even for real cheap. That's their short-change to themselves(IMO) sid

02-25-2004, 01:05 AM
That's why you have players that are "tournament players", and players that are "money players". There's no two ways around it. Every once in a while, you'll see a big time money players, such as TW, place in one of the regional tourneys, but very rarely will they place very high into the money at large events such as the DCC or the Open for that matter. Playing for money is a much different style of play because

-1- you are usually playing the same person consistantly (unless it's a ring game) when playing for money. You can tailor your game to your opponents weakness, in those circumstances that you have to let him shoot. (leaving him a kick if he is no good at kicks, or long cut shots...you get the point)

-2- You generally have more than the one or two barrels to lose when playing for money, unlike tournaments. If you lose twice while playing for cash, you can always come back and win in the end all. In tourney, once you lose twice, you go home...or find a money match.

If not taken to extremes , (i.e. gambling the honeymoon dowery away...don't laugh, saw it happen while I was a valet at Foxwoods casino in CT. He lost the car they were given too...as well as the house.) Playing for money can be a good way to apply pressure to yourself over a long period of time, while at the very worst, losing money that you are able to do without, or best case take home some xtra.

IMO, you need both types of pressure, and experience in both types of environments to improve your game to higher and higher levels. Not saying that it can't happen through strict practice. Everyone is different. But the likelyhood that someone would be able to do that is very small. Just my two cents.


Scott Lee
02-25-2004, 02:27 AM
dooxiexx...In my opinion, gambling is one way to make yourself perform at a peak level, and in view of that, is okay...until it becomes your ONLY reason to play! At that point, you've forgotten what the game is all about. It is not about gambling... Naturally, you should only bet what you can afford to lose!

Scott Lee

02-25-2004, 06:50 AM
People who play in tournaments are fooling themselves if they think they are not playing for money - gambling. When you get to the match that a win puts you in the money you are then playing for, say $10, win that and the next match you are playing for $20, win that and you might be playing for $40, etc.

When you play someone for money you see his best game. Or at least enough of it for him to win. And it makes both players play harder and play to win, not just fool around.

Keep in mind that a lot of gamblers do not want to win the tournament. Word gets out that they beat everyone in the tournament then they have trouble getting their money games.

But outright gambling is not my cup of tea because I really don't need or want their money; I sure don't want to give them my money; I don't have to prove to myself how good I am - I know I am just mediocre. But every now and then it is good to play for a small sum just to see if I am improving. Or to get a lesson for cheap.

But a person betting $50 a set, getting the 7 ball, and consistently losing is just stupid. Especially if he should be getting the 5 out and he is the only one in the room who doesn't know it. It is sad to watch players who just don't know how good their competition really is.