View Full Version : Neg Or Pos Value In Breaking Even

06-13-2004, 08:39 AM
I seemingly have a mode of testing myself during "my one day" a week cut back in pool, play cheap sets amd play long hours...at least my body says so when I'm all done. What happens(and I'm not complaining when I write this) is that I'll oscillate from being up a few sets maybe, to whittling it back to even, maybe even lose a couple of sets, and all because I have a "time greed" and addiction to not wanting to quit. I doubt that many of us will have trouble relating to that last part, getting me to quit when I know I've hit that physical limit,,,well the brain is still having fun, besides I wonder whether you actually learn from extending yourself in these marathon(for an old guy) sessions. On the other hand, is it fighting the inevitable pushing yourself, and being a negative thing, even though you don't lose all that much, except for the realization that you ended a satisfying session in the red a little, or even, and all due to physical/mental fatigue for the most part.

I will definitely admit this, "I'm not able to simply hit that moment where I know I'm tired, and just quit, when there is still "liberty hours" available before having to face real life and the 40 hour job." You reckon this addictive feature has any positive value, say in gaining toughness for a latter, more important session which may demand a lengthy period of play? Or is it pure foolishness to fight the reality that it's time to call it a day, and save the enthusiasm and pride in ending the winner, instead of breaking even?

This is my take, I figure I'm spending quality time at the PH with interesting people, and that I am kinda in a power workout session during the time I extend my best game, which eventually goes south due to overall fatigue, but I justify losing back to near to even(either side, up or down), telling myself I bought myself a pool lesson, cheap!

What's you opinion? Does making yourself acknowledge that moment when you should announce, "One more set and I'm done" due to your body speaking to you help more or hurt more in building your game and pool abilities, assuming you are hovering around a small amount of cash and not getting buried?

You can also look at this in the tournament arena as well, without gambling. One Sunday night tourny here runs to 11-12 at night, meaning I'm looking at a 10-12hr day at pool. In my mind I know I have hardy a snowball's chance in hell of finishing in serious money by that hour, but I'll play many times just to push the stamina a bit.

So assuming you're not losing terribly, but you do end up shooting into a lackluster performance zone by day's end...have you learned anything???sid

06-13-2004, 01:51 PM
I was a Golf Professional & a Professional Steel Guitar Player. In my days as a player or teacher, I was taught that continuing to play past your stamina peak, is nothing more than practicing poor form.

Your muscle memory is capable of remembering those half-hearted attempts to sink key shots & it will deliver up another half-hearted attempt when you are really wanting a tournament winning shot out of your game.

My Uncle Jack (Red) Bond, one of the greatest Snooker Players in North Texas, told me once... if you don't try your best on every shot... you will never be a Champion.

We make good choices & bad choices every day.

06-13-2004, 03:46 PM
So assuming you're not losing terribly, but you do end up shooting into a lackluster performance zone by day's end...have you learned anything???sid

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Yes, don't do it again. Sid, you just want to play, which is all right but your not doing yourself, game (or your pocketbook) any favors. It seems you carry a little baggage around from your game. I'm not quite sure how to put it but you must know down deep being exhausted and breaking even or loosing isn't the answer. You still need to pay time. Had you put forth your best effort and quit at a reasonable time I'd think at least you'd won enough to pay time.

I know people break even, I have many times. It is the way we break even, less than your best effort is not the way. You can honestly say you made a mistake, I know I have. That just leads to sloppy play and it carries over to regular play and practice. That is why you practice to eliminate bad habits and work on fundamentals. Make no mistake about it, it does hurt your game. One reason is, humans develop habits and I'm sure we all know some that are hard to break.

I don't feel good about breaking even. If I bet even a few bucks I want to win. If I don't, then I gave it my best shot. Granted it gave me a chance to play (which I've done very little lately) but it also gave me some time to tune up my stroke. If loosing a little doesn't bother you fine, but I sense it does somewhat.

Which brings me to another subject. There is a guy here that finds a way to break even. He is sincere, he really does not want to take others money, so he finds a way to break even. There are plenty of players out there that (whether they know it or not) play to break even. They just don't have the sense, drive, or heart to walk away a winner. They play until even or loose, somehow I think it makes some feel better. It is just their makeup until someone points out or shows the difference.

Lets take that guy that always wanted to break even. Over the years he found out when he played me, I didn't back off. I folded up his cash and shook hands after a match or games. So did some others so he came to realize all people are not as nice about playing just for the sport. Many do want youíre money and mine. It is just a fact of life unless two people play and both of them have the same attitude. If they win they buy drinks or dinner, whatever. That is fine if that is what they both want. It really does little for their game though, other than moving their arm back and forth. No hard concentration is going on or if it is it's short lived. Wrong kind of training if you ask me (and you did) you just learn to be careless.

Remember the line from the Hustler, Bert said, "stick with him he's a looser". Eddie found a way to loose and learned a lesson. People get lessons all the time, problem is they didnít realize they got one. Much of the gambling, pool playing population is a looser. It is a fact; there are few real winners out there. To win on any kind of regular basis you need to manage yourself, many fall short in the process. Just to improve one needs to manage their life in a way that gives them a good chance of reaching their goals; yes goals.

Donít take anything personally, just pointing out some of my observations. I have enough bad habits for all of us. However I am getting certain things put together so I hope to be playing more in the future. Until that times comes though my game is taking the back seat.


06-13-2004, 04:07 PM
Excellent Post, Rod. As usual you gave me something to think about.

You and Popcorn both give some really valuable advice if people listen.

Thanks, you guys are very valuable to this board.

06-13-2004, 06:59 PM
Aww shucks, /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif Thanks JDB, I'm glad I could be of some help. You know, we all, well I do anyway, sometimes need things put into perspective. Or if not, at least it gives me something to thnk about.


06-13-2004, 10:13 PM
Thanks Rod, it's going to be tough admitting I'm steering toward easing the other guys pain and breaking even, but you got me cold on that one. Thing is that when I need to be tough on the strong, sharky types, I do fold when I should capture the moment for glory. These are exactly the answers I was looking for...sid

06-14-2004, 12:09 AM
Denial= Psychology. An unconscious defense mechanism characterized by refusal to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, or feelings.

Admitting to such puts in concious mode. It's in your corner. Sid, not everyone admits (very big of you) so if you want to play better it is a start. Some people just want to have fun and not get hurt $$$ wise or take advantage when the opportunity is there. No problem there if that is truly what they desire. I choose not to go that way, I'll kick, bite and claw till the last ball, so to speak. Even when I have fun $$ games I'm looking to take something home. Besides my butt in a sling. LOL I have fun but I'll admit I'm going to make it at the expense of others when money is involved.

I think where it comes from partly is no one ever showed me anything. After becoming a player info become easier to obtain. Hell I'd take it but where were they years ago? LOL Another reason is I have never been blessed with what I'd call a good income. Money is an issue with me and I'm sure many others. I just keep it at the top or very near.

When I was out on the road it never left the top within reason. No one was going to pay for my food, gas and hotel room. At any rate I think we all play for the same reason, to have fun. I had fun but being secure is much more fun. I'd better stop my rambling, good luck to you what ever you decide.


06-14-2004, 09:08 AM

Independent of the gambling/money question, I feel strongly that you should play longer when you're playing above average. It means you're probably doing a lot of things right. When that happens, the additional repetition will help your body and mind fall back into a similar groove next time.

Likewise, if you've been shooting badly and can't pinpoint the cause, stop playing. Whatever is wrong with your game, it could be as simple as tilting your head or something else fundamental, you don't want compensation for that stuff in your muscle memory.


06-14-2004, 09:41 AM
"Likewise, if you've been shooting badly and can't pinpoint the cause, stop playing"

I sometimes start off as you mentioned above, and then groove out of whatever it is causing the bad play, but usually there's a peak of my performance bell curve where I wane, and I assume everyone has, except for those going to the bathroom to "powder their noses" if you catch my drift. I'm still enjoying the game so I continue to use my weekend liberty hours at the PH, hours which have been cut back to Sunday afternoons...well, league is starting tonight so that'll change. My cutback has helped me IMO, I was becoming a pool fanatic and probably experiencing what Rod posted, developing losing habits in the late innings.

In the same breath though, some of my most golden moments riding home from the PH was when I closed the PH down, and wore the other guy down more that I was wore down, finishing with either a nice comeback or the whole enchilada, a zone all of it's own...sid~~~see ya at work in a bit