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wantsumrice
07-28-2004, 11:24 PM
I was talking to a friend today at the table about gambling and pool. Now, I ususally don't play for money unless I know I'm going to win (I'm a wuss, what can I say). He's been playing for only 3 years, but he's definitely the best player I've met (which honestly isn't much to say).

He told me that he got better by playing money with semi-pro's that shot at his hall, but lost over $700. Then he went on to say that since then he's made the $700 back and even more. So that got me thinking... I can see why gambling can help ones game by adding extra stress and learning from that, but is this way appropriate?

~ivan

Frank_Glenn
07-28-2004, 11:49 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wantsumrice:</font><hr> I was talking to a friend today at the table about gambling and pool. Now, I ususally don't play for money unless I know I'm going to win (I'm a wuss, what can I say). He's been playing for only 3 years, but he's definitely the best player I've met (which honestly isn't much to say).

He told me that he got better by playing money with semi-pro's that shot at his hall, but lost over $700. Then he went on to say that since then he's made the $700 back and even more. So that got me thinking... I can see why gambling can help ones game by adding extra stress and learning from that, but is this way appropriate?

~ivan <hr /></blockquote>

This is a good way to get rid of your petty cach. It may help your pool game and it may not. Playing in tournaments is better and less expensive, IMO.

Rod
07-29-2004, 12:09 AM
Depends, It will teach you how to match up. You learn how to bear down or lose you money, play under presure, increase focus etc. I'll bet your friend's estimate is low. It's probably a lot higher. 700 is cheap to be a good or reasonable player. I don't have a clue how well he plays. There is something to be said about the merits of gambling if that's what you want to do. Most are better off playing tournaments etc. Then after they know more about the game/s bet a little. Or bet more and learn faster. LOL

Rod

catscradle
07-29-2004, 05:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wantsumrice:</font><hr> I was talking to a friend today at the table about gambling and pool. Now, I ususally don't play for money unless I know I'm going to win (I'm a wuss, what can I say). He's been playing for only 3 years, but he's definitely the best player I've met (which honestly isn't much to say).

He told me that he got better by playing money with semi-pro's that shot at his hall, but lost over $700. Then he went on to say that since then he's made the $700 back and even more. So that got me thinking... I can see why gambling can help ones game by adding extra stress and learning from that, but is this way appropriate?

~ivan <hr /></blockquote>

First of all bear in mind gamblers always overstate their winnings and understate their loses (except to the IRS). It's a macho thing.
The question is do you learn more losing that money than you would spending it on an instructor? IMO you'd get more bang for your buck out of a GOOD instructor and league or tournament play. The only advantage I see of gambling is unlike tournament play you can play as long as your money lasts. In a tournament you can be out in 2 without hardly doing anything but rack, you don't learn a lot that way. Maybe if you get good enough that the only competition you can get are the top caliber players you may be forced to gamble to get an interesting match up.

woody_968
07-29-2004, 10:19 AM
While I do gamble, and do see some ways it can help ones game, I agree with cat here. That money would be better spent on a qualified instructor. They will help your game the most. Then when you go to gamble at least you have something to work with. Straight out gambling will help you with focus and nerves, but it wont teach you how to stroke the cue straight.

Popcorn
07-29-2004, 11:01 AM
If you gamble you will certainly become better at gambling and will improver your game due to the importance of doing so, after all when you lose it cost you something. Having said that it is not the fast track some would lead you to believe. I find that many players that gamble are more intent on making a good game they can win at with ease rather then a game that will require them to stretch out. The biggest thing I think that will improve your game is just being around better players. You learn almost like osmoses. The gambling in its self does not improve your game. Ever notice the ones telling you that gambling will improve your game are those trying to get you to play? If it was so good for ones game, why don't they make a game with you that you could possably win at and improver their games as well. The answer is, because they don't gamble.

eg8r
07-29-2004, 03:04 PM
[ QUOTE ]
I can see why gambling can help ones game by adding extra stress and learning from that, but is this way appropriate? <hr /></blockquote> I guess whether it is appropriate completely depends on how you feel about gambling. If you are against gambling, then I would guess it is not appropriate.

There are plenty of people who argue that gambling will help you improve, however this is not true for everyone. Maybe you don't perform well under that type of pressure. There are people who do not perform well when it is their money on the line. It does not matter how often they try, or how much they lose, they will probably not get any better as a result of it. The only good to come out of it would be the realization that they do not perform well under that pressure. There are others that strive under this type of pressure, and then there are others that learned to handle it and overcame the pressure. You need to know which one you are?

eg8r

SpiderMan
07-29-2004, 04:31 PM
I guess it's different for everyone, but I believe the best way to get better is to play against people better than you. Not leagues over your head, as you will not get to play at all, but good enough that you must struggle for your best game just to win maybe 1/4 of the time.

Gambling is one way to get these people to play with you, another way is tournament play. It's a different kind of pressure for each.

Gambling costs you money every time you lose, and gains you money every time you win. So you can play all night if you win or have deep pockets.

Tournaments cost you to get in, but nothing more. But, in order to win anything, you have to make it through the brackets. Unlike gambling, you can't just post up more money and stay in until you finally win.

Some people don't need any element of risk or pressure to concentrate, others do.

By the way, you can get a lot of the same benefit of gambling or tournament play just by being an intent watcher. You don't have to shoot with someone in order to learn from him.

SpiderMan

wantsumrice
07-29-2004, 11:21 PM
I find that I actually play better when I play for money... I guess the added pressure helps me make better choices. But even with the added pressure, I am just playing the game, money isn't even on my mind /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif.

~ivan

ryushen21
07-30-2004, 01:42 AM
I have to say that i'll agree with SpiderMan on this one.

Playing against other players who are a step or two above you is the best way that i can think of help improve your own game. of course having the fundamentals down and knowing your own abilities and faults helps also.

I will say that i think that tournament play is one of the best ways to improve. I play in an intercollegiate league here in Texas and we have a great cast of players at all skill levels. And, at least speaking for myself, it feels a lot better for me taking home a trophy than taking home cash. I'll have that trophy for years and years whereas that cash probably would go to buying some cigarettes and a gourmet meal from Jack In The Box or something else i otherwise don't really need.

I can still remember watching guy in my league play. At the time i was a "B" player and he was an "A" and i couldn't believe the things that i was seeing this guy do. Position play, shot selection and everything else. I hadn't seen anything close to it except for on ESPN. Seeing that gave me more motivation than any money game i have ever played. I was finally able to move up to "A" and play against him. He beat me 9-6 but it was one of the best matches of my life.

I think one of the problems may be that people don't see enough of that side of the sport. Or all the people that they know who play really well are money players. In some of the leagues down here that i have seen, there are some great players, but there are hardly any league matches that go on without some kind of bet on it. I dunno, maybe that is here or maybe i haven't seen enough leagues down here. I know that there are some tourneys that go on down here but of course the prize is cash.

But that's my 2 cents.

rah
07-30-2004, 09:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wantsumrice:</font><hr> I was talking to a friend today at the table about gambling and pool. Now, I ususally don't play for money unless I know I'm going to win (I'm a wuss, what can I say). He's been playing for only 3 years, but he's definitely the best player I've met (which honestly isn't much to say).

He told me that he got better by playing money with semi-pro's that shot at his hall, but lost over $700. Then he went on to say that since then he's made the $700 back and even more. So that got me thinking... I can see why gambling can help ones game by adding extra stress and learning from that, but is this way appropriate?

~ivan <hr /></blockquote>
Just remember that "there is a sucker born every minute". You will learn some things gambling - some good things and some bad things. Just be prepared for the bad things as they are not just likely to happen, but they will happen.