View Full Version : "One Last Set For A Hundred?"

03-19-2004, 01:37 PM
Let's say you are playing this guy, starting at $20 sets to 5, you play for hours, swap sets(money) but get up a little, jump the bet to $50 sets, play two sets and win, now it is within 30 minutes of an agreed upon time for quitting, having the guy stuck at $100. He wants to play one last set for 100, race to 7 and he's giving two games(playing even up until this time.) Would you be conservative and keep it at $50 knowing you will guarantee yourself fifty, or would it seem logical that you'd get the 5 games before he hit 7 since you'd been winning sets playing even up until this point, and cash out for 200? I need to mention that the guy offering the 2-spot wager has little concern over a hundred bucks, 200 for that matter. How would you deal with this, a no-brainer(?), just play and win? Or realize that the hundred means more to you than it does to him and remain at fifty for the last set?

Btw, could you gauge your opinions on the amounts of 20-50-100 as relative you your own comfortable amount that you play for? I ain't a big fish in the gambling pond, so if you find that $1000 is your worrisome limit, please adjust your logic to fit.

sid~~~finds breaking even a downer after a long event

03-19-2004, 02:16 PM
Guess it just comes down to if you want to break even if you lose, be up $200 if you win. Or play for $50 and be up $50 is you lose and up $150 if you win. If you don't particularly need the money or care that you walk out with $0, then I would play the guy on his own money. As long as he won't hold a grudge later.

03-19-2004, 02:18 PM
Personally I would stick to the agreed $50, saying that I just couldn't bring myself to betting $100 on such a short race. Which is the truth. For $100 it better be an ahead game or a long race. $100 means a lot to me.

Besides I wouldn't give the guy a chance to even up.

03-19-2004, 02:29 PM
Well, that cash, even the 50 would have paid time plus a bar bill. My financial situation being what it was at the time, I'd have sung a happier tune on my way home with the conservative 50 dollar set value. "Thing is" I keep getting pursued with gamblers wanting to play cheap, and then hop it to a hundred after I get even the slightest in their pockets, flashing a wad of cash to prove the got it.

WTF is that all about???sid

03-19-2004, 02:30 PM
I like to let it ride. To me winning in that position is more of a high than grinding it out conservatively. Ultimately it comes down to what you are comfortable with. I don't care what the money means to him.

I say take the two games and take the set down. Go home with 200 in your pocket and that good feeling.

As I type this however I am on the other side having played races to 15 for 500 last night and ending up $100 loser because we broke even on sets and I lost a 100 dollar side bet on the last set. I missed a relatively easy nine to win a thousand. :-(

So I got the broke even blues and the fatigue hangover to go with it.


Steve - Detroit
03-19-2004, 03:15 PM
You earned that money playing "for hours" and then he wants double or nothing on the last set? I'd say no. Why give him the chance to win back everything it took you hours to earn?

03-19-2004, 03:18 PM
It's called "gambling". If you have been beating him and don't think he is laying down, go for it. If it is above your comfort level or you think he was laying down, don't. Also, if you are tired, hungry, horny, or just plain don't want to play any more, don't. YMMV

03-19-2004, 03:44 PM
You should play at your comfort level Sid. If a hundred is to high then don't. But, I will say you played the guy even so you must know how he plays. Then him offering you two on the wire in a short race, well --- sometimes you just got to play. You get past the larger bet once and your confidence just might improve. After all, if you had confidence, then you would have played. You also must have had a certain amount of confidence to begin with or you would not have played, even that is.


03-19-2004, 03:47 PM
Increasing the bet at this point is a bad bet.
If you win you will get $200 instead of $150 - a 33% increase in your winnings.
If you lose you will win $0 instead of $50 - a 100% decrease in your winnings.

03-19-2004, 04:37 PM
Don't go nuts over analyzing it, this percentage, that percentage. There is no rule, do what you feel comfortable doing. It does not sound like he has any ill motives or is trying to high roll you. If you do say no, you need to have an explanation though. Don't say something rude like, "No, you can win it back the same way you lost it". Just say "No, $50. is good, we can play some more the next time I see you. You could say, "Play for $200." but I don't think that is your nature. There is another aspect here also. If you say yes and should lose, you have established a new game other then even, that you may feel justified asking for next time. After all, he beat you with the weight.

03-19-2004, 08:14 PM
If you're gambling to make money, by all means go for it. I think it's a good bet to take. But if pool is just a social hobby, I would stick with the original plan. Personally, I like betting on games, but I shoot pool to shoot pool as a hobby, not to gamble.


Steve Lipsky
03-19-2004, 08:42 PM
I think you really have to take the game. It sounds like this guy might go off. He's losing all night, playing even, and then not only wants to play you again, wants to SPOT you. And 2 on 7 is a pretty healthy spot, at any level. He has to beat you 7-4 in actual games to win the set, and that makes it hill-hill.

In poker, there is a term called implied odds. It applies to when the money in the pot does not quite justify making a certain call - but the call should be made anyway because if you do hit your hand, you can really bust someone. This sounds like a similar situation. Who knows what this guy might offer you if you win that set? I have seen, albeit rarely, two guys starting out with innocent bets - and by the end of the night the bet gets raised to something outrageous. All it takes is for one of the guys to go on tilt.

So... although you might play the set, lose, and then stop - you also might end up playing a guy who decides to give you $1,500 by the end of the night. I think it's worth the shot.

- Steve

03-19-2004, 10:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote smfsrca:</font><hr> Increasing the bet at this point is a bad bet.
If you win you will get $200 instead of $150 - a 33% increase in your winnings.
If you lose you will win $0 instead of $50 - a 100% decrease in your winnings.
<hr /></blockquote>

This is terrible analysis, sorry. It is too shortsighted. You have a chance to play for 100 getting a spot. You have been beating the guy without a spot. So you have to assess your chances of winning the 100. I bet he figured to win 80% of the time. Let's take that as a number to work with. So they play 10 times, hero wins 8 for 800 in additional win. He loses 2X for a loss of 200. So he figures to be 600 ahead after ten tries right? So he walked away from $60. You can't walk away from that kind of edge and expect to win in gambling.
IF it was a fifty-fifty proposition, or even a small edge, maybe having a tiny bankroll is a factor. And I am talking BANKROLL management, not "money management". So maybe you walk away.

If our hero had a significant edge in the game and passed on it because of worry over $50, he should not be gambling at all. He should only do locksmith work. You just can't pass up good bets over worry over $50. And the factor the above poster mentioned that you might get the guy stuck and losing. What if he cracks over losing and goes off for 700? You don't know. If the bet was good, turning it down was a disaster, not a matter of comfort.

But you have to assess how much of an edge you have. I am pretty risk averse, but if somebody offered me a bet that I knew I would win 75% of the time, I would put a lot of money in play. No, I wouldn't bet it all on one shot. But if there were a new casino game that offered that kind of edge, I would divide my entire net worth into a few hundred barrels and start firing. You want a cushion to ride out standard deviation, but you have to bet the money. Not betting gets you broke in that spot.

No offense to the original poster, but I think you shouldn't gamble. I don't think you will allow yourself a big enough win and can't fade even a small loss comfortably. It will be painful psychologically because you aren't comfortable with the money. And painful financially because you can't pass on good bets and win. So rob some cripples until you have a gambling bankroll. You only need 5000-10000 to be comfortable at lower stakes pool gambling I bet. It would be hard to go through 10K playing 100 sets over time if you match up at all. The other question you asked is different. You have to think about it differently if someone wants to jump the bet right away. And that is for bankroll pupposes. If you have plaenty of money to fade losses at a given bet, it doesn't mean you can afford more. So say you are comfortable playing for 20. And you win 2 bets. So you have 40. That does not allow you to play for 100. Say no to these players.

03-19-2004, 11:32 PM
Hey Sid,

For me personally, the way I've developed a pattern for gambling that has been successfull enough for me. I play until I am more concerned about the money in my pocket than the game itself (please note: im a much better card player than a pool player). Which could be a different answer depending on my bankroll, my bills, or simply my mood.

If I were offered that spot in your situation, and the first thing I thought about was.."well... jeee... I've got enough to go home and not even have paid for gas (a serious thing to consider now with the new prices)." If that is the case, I keep the bet the same. But, if my first thought is "This guy has to beat me 7-4 or worse." Then I am game, unless the sets he's won have been landslide matches where I only picked up a rack or two then there is something to consider.

If someone is playing pool and using it as an income tool to buy meals, lodging and clothes.... Comfort is not the issue, it cannot be, because it is strictly business. Emotion should be removed, and if you know you can beat this guy 7 out of ten matches with the spot, then you know its a good bet. if its less, then you have afew more variables.

However, if this is just gambling/hobby time away from your career, then its completely personal. Your money doesn't come from betting on pool, and therefore you don't want to risk hurting the other aspects of your life on a dam pool game. If spending 50 bucks on table time and drinks, with zero winnings is an expensive night, then play for 50, and if you win you have an extra two similar nights at your disposal.

Just my thots.

Al - would need more than a two game spot

03-19-2004, 11:45 PM
Well Sid,,, We have a guy here in Albany who lives for gambling.He even bet his coat not to long ago. Heck he played a guy 1 day and lost 400 playing even. the guy he was playing was going to quit and he offered to play 1 set for 500 giving the guy the 8. hell he just lost even and now he wants to spot the guy the 8. the guy agrees and he loses the 500. so he goes home losing 100. but the secret to this guy is if he is losing he likes to stop the current game and double the bet and start over...........if i was you i would just have played for the 50 and let it go at that.............................................m ike

03-20-2004, 12:23 AM

Did you play the guy? for the $100? and with the spot?

I wish I had a dime for each time I had someone tell me that this was "the last set".

03-20-2004, 01:07 AM
Two things:
Do you know this guy enough to know that he is not hustling you.
IF you know he has been playing his best, it then depends on your financial situation. If 50 is a significant for you, keep it safe. But if you can afford to loose fifty, go fast and loose!

03-20-2004, 08:28 AM
I would keep it where it's at and offer to play him some more another time.

My theory is to make them get the money back the same way they lost it.

03-20-2004, 08:57 AM
If you keep it like it was you know you will win $50, So the way I would look at it is I have a chance risk $50 to win $200. Plus he is spotting you 2 to 7? With those odds you have to bet it up!

03-20-2004, 09:24 AM
Tom...Yes, and having another chance I'd play it the same again, just be more agressive. The scenario went like this: I show up at the PH early as usual around 1PM, he shows at around 5 and we get started, both alerting the other that we are playing on air but both agree to hit the ATM if needed to cover the days losses. I almost never play him for more than $20, but fourty is not uncommon, and we get to fifty a set around 8PM. We had agreed in the beginning that we'd quit at 10PM, cuz as he says, I don't want to be here all night", and I certainly didn't either. Now, I've had several hours on my feet and run up a fairly good bar tab but nothing I couldn't cover from the wallet, so that tells you my physical stamina compared to his. I get him on both of the first two 50 dollar sets, it's 9:30 and the offer for the hundred is made. My feelings at the time were this: "I have his hundred, I have money in my pocket, not like I am dependent on winning his, I beat him playing even...Play the short race Sid, make him work though, you've got him on the ropes, all your advantage." I played differently, deciding to slow down the game and make him kick out of safeties, and my safeties went sour too many times, plus he hit a gear and finished, making some full table banks he'd hung many times earlier. End result was us breaking even, and he immediately entered into another matchup with another player...didn't bother him to stay beyond 10 anymore.

I truly believe that I would have most likely won the last set playing at the same spot, same race as the previous sets, but the spot was too sweet to pass up, and like I said, I was already richer by a hundred. In retrospect though, I should have known that my legs were gone and that he usually tries to roll up the bet to get even, and I probably should have kept the wager as it was(I've kept his money many times before using that conservative logic.) It seems that regular gamblers(I'm not one) find some renewed depth when they are pressed and the bet is high. I know this guy well, he just always wants to play for more than I do, and he got me this time with the 2 game bait late in the evening.

I'd do it all over again though, given the same circumstances, I'd just keep playing in the same style and not duck quite as much, waiting for Christmas presents. That was a mistake.

We'll have some more fun, probably today, but it'll not get deeper than 20 or 40 unless I really get him stuck or if I can wrangle a ball spot instead of a game spot. I do better with shorter races and a wild 8 rather than games on the wire. Even playing "even" for smaller cash amounts seems to cause him more trouble, funny how that works...sid

One last comment, I felt that it might be a good test for myself to try the pressure for the hundred, and my goofy thought at the time was that it wasn't costing me "my money" to find out, I already had his from the two cheaper sets. sv

03-20-2004, 09:52 AM
Glad you played the guy.. now you can use it against him the next time you play.

There's always the 'next time'...

03-20-2004, 09:57 AM
/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Sid

03-20-2004, 10:50 AM
Hi Sid:

From strictly an investment standpoint, playing him again for a hundred was the correct decision. You were even or slightly ahead playing even, so playing with a spot is a wise bet unless...

1. He was holding back before. But since you played for hours already, he would have showed you more game by then if he it. Plus you've played him before so there was no hustler factor.

2. Your not fatigued. As you indicated you were getting tired, the game changes somewhat towards his favor. The spot offsets this factor, but how much makes the wisdom of the bet less clear.

3. Your not distracted. If your concerned about getting home, getting some sleep or anything else, you will likely be unable to maintain the same level of focus on the game. This factor swings the bet towards his favor.

4a. The stakes don't bother you. If you are concerned over the amount of the bet, you are likely to become uncomfortable. How much it swings the odds towards your opponent's favor is again a judgement call. As it played out, you did change the style of your game because of the amount of the bet which is probably what he was hoping for.

4b. As you also indicated, most players which sufficient bankrolls and/or relatively low fear of putting it at risk can and will use a higher stakes game as a motivation to bear down, focus and play better.


03-20-2004, 11:21 AM

"My theory is to make them get the money back the same way they lost it"

Think about what you are saying. There seems to be an assumption you are going to lose, and it is just a matter of time and especially if you play for more money. That should not be your thinking.. As you play, you are getting a pretty good idea of where you stand in this game. If it is a little lopsided you can tell almost right away. When I get a guy stuck and we have been playing for a while, I pretty much know if I can win. If I feel if I can win, my biggest worry at that point is the guy quitting, I hope he has unlimited funds. The money should not be the factor, just your assessment of the game. That is not to say keep raising the bet, you need to manage your money. But you can't win anything if you have a rule you won't raise the bet when he asks, like it is some kind of move. I beat a guy for $15,000. in a game that started out for $5. a game when we first met. You never know what will happen.

03-20-2004, 11:37 AM
"I beat a guy for $15,000. in a game that started out for $5."

Damm'd, that's stiff! I understand where you are coming from, he and I played several nights in the past years where 5 was a beginning, and it eventually got to, "yes, a hundred." I got 3 bills once, the PH closed, or else we'd played more pool. he won't quit. I gotta say though that the multi-hundred wins had me waiting a while for complete payment, and I didn't care, I could wave his owing me around to my friends. I also gave him some of the samne nights too, so it's maybe getting close to even. All in all though I'd have to say that most of the time we worked it back to even, just like the last scenario. "Sweet money" when you win...sid~~~a newbie to the art of gambling under pressure, better now than before cuz I know who not to gamble with at all

03-20-2004, 11:46 AM
I read most of these posts and it seems most people are more conservative than I,but if I ever have a chance to bet $0 of my money to win $200 with 2 games on the wire going to 7(which is about like gettig the 6 ball)from a guy who plays like me I'm in.If you are going to gamble very regularly you must bet on the good games where you have a mathematical edge.If you let those pass you buy you are going to have a tough career as a gambler.

03-20-2004, 02:07 PM
Pool is very different to gamble at then say something like cards or in a casino. Too much human factor. Am I going to get paid, what if he quits winner, will he play again, is he a bad loser and will there be trouble. Pool is not like the track or a casino or even cards. There are not outside factors to rationalize your losing. It is as personal as boxing and when you lose you got knocked out. When you have to quit because you can't win, it can be very humbling and some don't take it very well. They are ready to give up the game.

Oh, the guy I beat out of all the money was over a brief period of time, not in one session of play. The point was, you never know what will happen, I never try to figure out why people do what they do. That guy would rarely played anyone else, and believe me they all tried to get him into games. He like playing me, it always drew a crowd and he liked being the center of attention. It was a tough game by the way, I did not win every time we played, but my edge was such that, when I lost it was always small and when I won, I murdered him. That is the perfect game, you have an edge that shows up even when you don't win and keeps your loses small.

I will tell you something funny, I said others tried to get him to play. The ones he did play with found he played better then they thought and lost to him. He was only weak in how he managed his money and would not quit. They just assumed he was a sucker. He was, but even suckers can play.
Getting back to your game, it sounds like you can beat the guy. That being the case, you have to look at it long term if he is a regular game for you. It does not matter if you win every time, just as long as you win more then you lose. If you have the edge, your wins will be bigger then your loses and more frequent. You have to be a good loser also. There is nothing worse to see a guy beat another guy a dozen times, and the first times he loses he bitches and complains. It is very disrespectful, especially if the other player has not said a word every time he has lost.

Ralph S.
03-21-2004, 02:34 AM
My thought process is along the same line as yours. I would have went for the bigger payoff, knowing I had nothing out of pocket to lose.

03-21-2004, 10:10 AM
Thought you were saying $5 turned into $1500 all in one event. I've gone from 5 to a hundred a few times, lost three bills to a guy once who shot every stroke warp speed, WHAMMO! banking in long balls that aren't suppost to go, so I figured "This luck can't hold up, it's against the pool odds, nobody hits every shot that hard and stays successful." Dem Jacksons just flew into his pocket, 1-2-3 and I had to accept that I wasn't going to see him breakdown and I folded. A 300 dollar loss for a day is beyond my current cost of living, I haven't gotten stuck like that but a few times since then, certainly not outta pure stubborness on my part. I kept thinking though that one set would get me lots closer to even...NOT! You'z guys who play minimal 50-100 sets probably think I'm wimpy with these drawn out episodes consumating into a measely hundred, and you're partly right. Today, that's as much as my "habit" can afford, and it's fun with fun people.

Your guy bearing down and giving those other player trouble is like my guy. Spiderman hasn't seen this guy play in years, he thinks he doesn't "have game" but Spidey needs to come watch sometime. It ain't all gravy,,,well it out to be if I'd keep my head in the game and not on the coins.

I really appreciate all of the advice people, all suggestions are valuable and fit well. I say I'd play the same bet again, and I would, but maybe there is times when my legs and back should tell me to keep it modest and cash out a little rather than a lot. Still the offer was just too sweet to pass up.

To the one poster who suggested I didn't need to gamble,,,I agree except for one thing. I have learned who I can and can not play, and have learned that I HAVE to keep it a comfortable amout of doh. All in all I always play cheap, this one time it got enticing with the 2 on the wire. I am a break even type of gambler if you averaged out my career, I do it more for the competition and the small change that pays a tab from time to time, otherwise it's just artificial pressure for hoping to build overall confidence. I'm finding that one of the most important things to do is learn how to match up, not forcing a lock mind you, but knowing when I'm surely out matched, even with a 6-out spot...sid~~~beginning to know his limitations

03-21-2004, 01:10 PM
One thing that can be a cure for worrying about the money, is having money you only gamble with. Put a couple of hundred in the back of you wallet and try to run it up. Sort of the way you may move money around in the stock market. It is just numbers on paper. Don't pay bills with it, just use it to play pool and try to manage it into a bankroll. If you run it up into a few thousand, buy yourself something. There is something about the money not having real materialistic value. That is the secret. You can't lose a $100. and say to your self, "I could have bought a pair of shoes with that". It has to just be gambling chips. I think you will be surprised, how you will run up the money over a short time. I learned this from race track people. You can't be taking your paycheck and gambling with it, the pressure and guilt will effect you too much.

03-22-2004, 03:51 PM
Personally, I would not think twice about playing the last set for $100 and I would refuse the spot and play him even (the same way I had beat him to that point).