PDA

View Full Version : Tournament handicap woes



Brick_Top
10-26-2004, 08:05 AM
Last night, I played in a local weekly tournament for the first time. The field is full of very strong players. They use "ball spots" to handicap the matches.

So, I started out at the "scratch" handicap of 9. After surverying some of the participants, I felt that might be a little high, but figured that it would force me to play my game. After winning my first match hill-hill, and my second match 7-5, the TD told me that I was to be raised to the +1. I then had to play a guy shooting as an 8, so I'm spotting him the 7 ball. He proceeds to play near perfect pool and beat me 7-1. I asked the TD why that guy was an 8, and he told me that my opponent had initially been a +2, but hadn't cashed in like 40 weeks.

Why is past performance the determining factor? If someone shoots at a "+2 speed", shouldn't that person be a +2? It shouldn't matter that they can't get the job done. If they are capable, let them shoot at their proper speed. Is the attitude, "hey, this guy has donated so much money to our tournament that we'll make sure he has a better chance?" Does this mean that I have to show up every week and donate before I have a fair shot? So frustrating....

bomber
10-26-2004, 09:41 AM
this is the problem that you face when playing in handicapped tourneys...especially if you are not local or if it is your first time. We always make all newcomers play as A players in our local tourneys and their position will be adjusted according to playing ability over time. People that come in every week should get some benefit from playing every week. Everyone might disagree but for the most part, handicapped tourneys are pretty well set up on the local level. The people who disagree are either mad because they cant cash in or they are mad because they cant rob a tourney. You play yourself up and you play yourself down in handicapped tourneys. You can always play in Open tourneys if you want it to be completely fair or you can establish yourself in a room. You will get your shot at establishing a handicap. If not, dont play the tourney. Dont get frustrated though. jmho

Tom_In_Cincy
10-26-2004, 09:48 AM
'Woes' at Handicapped tournaments.

Players are always going to complain about someone else's handicap, and only to your face when they lose.

Accept it and continue, or do something about it, or stop playing in the tournament.

Popcorn
10-26-2004, 10:34 AM
In any one session or even a few it is impossible to handicap pool. I could beat you 9 to one and the next set the score be the other way around. They, the tournament directors, try to make everybody happy but they can't.

Brick_Top
10-26-2004, 10:37 AM
True, it was my first time playing in this tournament, but about half of the field knew me and knew my speed. The fact that I got raised after my first two matches did not bother me. It was more that the other players were all clocked way too low.

The excuse for their low handicaps being that they haven't cashed - maybe it is they who should not be playing in the tournament.

I was in no way looking to rob this tournament. But on the other hand, if it's your first time playing, you should have as good a chance as anybody to win it.

If I was the TD, and I had a player that I absolutley knew played like a "+1", who hadn't cashed in 30 straight tournaments, approach me and say, "Gee, I think that you should lower me to a 9", my response would be something like this: "You know that you play +1 speed. Maybe you should stop feeling sorry for yourself and figure out why you can't win at the handicap you should be at."

The purpose of handicapping tournaments is to give everyone an equal shot at the prize, not to reward people who play all the time and lose.

Troy
10-26-2004, 10:57 AM
After reading your post a few times I think you're probably a "+1". You won 7-6 and 7-5 playing "scratch". You said your third opponent played "near perfect pool and beat me 7-1". Had he not played nearly "perfect pool", you probably would have won that match also. At any given time a player will shoot way above or way below their "average" speed. Them's the breaks, son... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Handicaps definitely should be an average of how a player performs over a long period with numerous tournaments. That's the only truely fair way to establish a handicap. Using an average means a handicap can go UP or DOWN.
However, a handicap should NOT depend on whether a player cashes.

In my experience, pool player always complain about handicaps when they lose, and never when they win. As a TD, it's a lose-lose situation.

Troy
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Brick_Top:</font><hr> Last night, I played in a local weekly tournament for the first time. The field is full of very strong players. They use "ball spots" to handicap the matches.

So, I started out at the "scratch" handicap of 9. After surverying some of the participants, I felt that might be a little high, but figured that it would force me to play my game. After winning my first match hill-hill, and my second match 7-5, the TD told me that I was to be raised to the +1. I then had to play a guy shooting as an 8, so I'm spotting him the 7 ball. He proceeds to play near perfect pool and beat me 7-1. I asked the TD why that guy was an 8, and he told me that my opponent had initially been a +2, but hadn't cashed in like 40 weeks.

Why is past performance the determining factor? If someone shoots at a "+2 speed", shouldn't that person be a +2? It shouldn't matter that they can't get the job done. If they are capable, let them shoot at their proper speed. Is the attitude, "hey, this guy has donated so much money to our tournament that we'll make sure he has a better chance?" Does this mean that I have to show up every week and donate before I have a fair shot? So frustrating.... <hr /></blockquote>

Deeman2
10-26-2004, 11:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Brick_Top:</font><hr> True, it was my first time playing in this tournament, but about half of the field knew me and knew my speed. The fact that I got raised after my first two matches did not bother me. It was more that the other players were all clocked way too low.

The excuse for their low handicaps being that they haven't cashed - maybe it is they who should not be playing in the tournament.

I was in no way looking to rob this tournament. But on the other hand, if it's your first time playing, you should have as good a chance as anybody to win it.

If I was the TD, and I had a player that I absolutley knew played like a "+1", who hadn't cashed in 30 straight tournaments, approach me and say, "Gee, I think that you should lower me to a 9", my response would be something like this: "You know that you play +1 speed. Maybe you should stop feeling sorry for yourself and figure out why you can't win at the handicap you should be at."

The purpose of handicapping tournaments is to give everyone an equal shot at the prize, not to reward people who play all the time and lose. <hr /></blockquote>

This is why I rarely play in handicap tournaments. Just stack 'em up against the big boys and you may get to be one yourself. How can a handicap ever really neutralize the field? It may help one but hurt another. Most people who don't win feel the handicap is unfair. However, even the best player in a medium field is not a favorite to win most tournaments. Find a tournament small enough to compete, then as you get better, find a more competitive one, then move on. JMHO... If you don't judge a guy who hasn't won in 40 weeks on past performance, how would you judge him? Forever make him pay for years old performance?



Deeman

Brick_Top
10-26-2004, 11:35 AM
[ QUOTE ]
If you don't judge a guy who hasn't won in 40 weeks on past performance, how would you judge him? Forever make him pay for years old performance?<hr /></blockquote>

If his game is well known, he should be handicapped as such. What I'm trying to say is that if you know a guy plays a certain speed, handicap him thusly. If he aint winning, it's no reason to lower his handicap. Furthermore, it doesn't indicate that he's playing below his handicap.

What about a guy who is a "practice champion?" He plays two balls better in practice than he does in competition, how would you clock this guy?

Deeman2
10-26-2004, 12:29 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Brick_Top:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
If you don't judge a guy who hasn't won in 40 weeks on past performance, how would you judge him? Forever make him pay for years old performance?<hr /></blockquote>

If his game is well known, he should be handicapped as such. What I'm trying to say is that if you know a guy plays a certain speed, handicap him thusly. If he aint winning, it's no reason to lower his handicap. Furthermore, it doesn't indicate that he's playing below his handicap.

What about a guy who is a "practice champion?" He plays two balls better in practice than he does in competition, how would you clock this guy? <hr /></blockquote>

I wouldn't know as I don't know anyone who is handicaped by their "practice speed". If you'll handicap me by my practice I'll sign up now! I do know you can't handicap a guy by future preformance, can you?

I mean, if the poor guy has not cashed in 40 weeks, is he really a big threat to the field? I don't think so.

Deeman

woody_968
10-26-2004, 12:44 PM
As far as your being raised after two matches I would consider this to be a little too quick. Especially considering one was a hill/hill match and the other was one game away from hill/hill.

Do I think handicaps should be based on past performance, yes. When I ran a local tournament, which I also handicapped by spotting balls, I had every match score turned in so that I could track win/loss percentages by game. When they went over or under a certain win/loss percentage their handicap was adjusted. I know there are still other things that effect win/loss, as in what opponents they were playing and things like that, but this was the best I could come up with. We had a different winner almost every week and the skill levels of the winners ranged from the highest to the lowest, so I thought the system worked pretty well.

If the guy was a plus two speed and hadnt cashed in 40 weeks I probably would have adjusted him, depending on how he was losing. IMO you have to pick a couple of players to base the field off of, one at the top and one at the bottom, then compare everyone else to which ever one they are closest to. You cant compare every player in the tournament against every other player, it just doesnt work, there are too many variables.

When getting into ball spot tournaments (which I believe evens out the field the most) many good players wont do well in the tournament. You have to play a tighter game in ball spot tournaments. If a high number plays a low number, and gives up four balls, he cant shoot balls he "hopes" he will make, he must play safe. Even if it just means separating the balls as much as possible. Many people arent used to playing this type of game.

To those that say just dont play, I understand your point, but fully disagree. I think players should support any tournament they can possibly play in. Even if I dont really care for the format I will play. The more people show up for tournaments, the more tournaments will be offered. This IMO is what we all need to do if we really want to see growth in this great game.

Keith Talent
10-26-2004, 04:51 PM
Hey, if some poor guy hasn't cashed in 40 weeks, doesn't that come under the heading of Time to Move Down Based on Performance?? I mean, the fact of cashing or not, or winning a tourney, shouldn't be the only factor, but it's a pretty clear indication of a player's level, right? You saying nobody should ever be moved DOWN?

In fact, I gave up on one tourney after it looked like I'd be paying out for months, giving the 7 to players at my level because my initial rating was too high and I lucked into beating a better player in my first match.

But it sounds like you got hit pretty hard, having your level raised so quickly based on those results. Try another tourney, maybe. For instance, from what I can tell about one of our local tours in NYC that uses game spots, you just about have to win a tournament before they'll move you up. And I ain't complaining! I've won about 90% of my matches at my level, have cashed about half the time, and haven't been kicked up yet.

Still, I'd rather win one, or get in a couple of finals and get moved up, no doubt. Good luck.

woody_968
10-26-2004, 06:23 PM
One question I forgot to ask, if you dont think past performance should be considered for skill level, if someone cashed 40 tournaments in a row should they not move up?

Not trying to be a smart A#% so dont take it the wrong way, just trying to understand you point of view.

Thanks,
Woody

Chris Cass
10-26-2004, 07:18 PM
Hi Brick_Top,

It's like this. The first timer that noone knows how they play will be set at a certain # handicap. This is to stop them from coming in and robbing the regulars. They'll then take your scores and match them up with other scores from other players and get a rating from there for the next time.

Players that consistantly are losing or not cashing get lowered after a certain amount of time. This is judged by enough time that they wouldn't normally dump to get lowered to take it off. Money wise it wouldn't be to their advantage if the TD does it right.

Remember, sometimes even the inconsistant player will shoot like an "A" player when in reality the next match they could end up back to shooting like a dog. Kind of like running into a buzz-saw but not fun for sure. Just lucky for that match or that particular nite.

What I don't like is the TD that gives you a handicap and then changes it during a match. That tics me off the most. I once walked in a tourney out here by me and they made me an 8 because they never seen me shoot.

After winning my first match they raised me to a 10 the next match. After that they raised me to a 12 the following match. I was so pi$$ed because the players I was playing were tough. I just happened to be playing well and they were all bitching I was running out on them.

The next thing I was in the hot seat and the TD walks up and tells me I'm now a 12 -2. This is at the end of the tourney. I played and gave the 10 the 2 game spot and won the tourney. I was then told after working so hard to win like $60. stinken dollars that I would have to be a 13 the next time.

I really had to laugh because, I'd rather go to 13 and not give up games then to give up 2 games. Don't know where his head was at? lol

Spotting balls is always geared to the lessor players though. The "D" has a good chance in that type tourney. For you, it's a challenge and will make you play your a$$ off. You may not cash for 40 tournaments too but you'll still reap the benifit of getting to play under extreme pressure. This will pull your game up. The "D and C" players will win the doe.

Regards,

C.C.~~just my .02 btw, I made it to 13-2 and give up the breaks. Spotting balls I was a 4A and 5A being Jonny Kucharo.

Chris Cass
10-26-2004, 07:39 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Brick_Top:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
If you don't judge a guy who hasn't won in 40 weeks on past performance, how would you judge him? Forever make him pay for years old performance?<hr /></blockquote>

If his game is well known, he should be handicapped as such. What I'm trying to say is that if you know a guy plays a certain speed, handicap him thusly. If he aint winning, it's no reason to lower his handicap. Furthermore, it doesn't indicate that he's playing below his handicap.

What about a guy who is a "practice champion?" He plays two balls better in practice than he does in competition, how would you clock this guy? <hr /></blockquote>

The reason you have to drop his handicap is because he hasn't cashed. Nobody wants to donate every week and win nothing. You'll end up losing player and if you don't you'll never fill the tourney.

Most places make it if you haven't cashed in the tourney that would equal the cost of not dumping to win back to back. Say, the guy pays $5. every entry and he loses 10 times and first place is $40. You need to lower the guy.

I like the .5 system used in Chicago. But that system goes by games and not balls spotted. I hate balls spotted tourneys. Mark Wilson came up with that out here and all but chased all the good players out of the tourney. It's like way too much work if your a 4A.

4A gives:

3A: 7 ball wild
2A: 7 out wild
A : 6 out wild
B : 5 out wild
C : 4 out wild
D+: 3 out wild
D : 2 out wild

This is the kind of crap I have to deal with. Race to 4 on top of it. The real ball buster is when the D beats you and then starts to brag about how he beat this guy and that guy. He won't mention the weight and the race. It's all about how he won. I just laugh it off and think. Well, he did win. lol

Regards,

C.C.

stickman
10-26-2004, 09:05 PM
What you described sounds pretty typical to me. Most TD's set handicaps based on experience. It is difficult when a new player has no experience to base a handicap on. Raising a handicap during a tournament is always an option, but in my experience is seldom done. I've played in tournaments where I thought I was ranked too high. Usually I was new to a tournament. After playing a while I came down. Hopefully you will too. I'm a very streaky player. I seldom ever complain about handicaps. I can go two and out one a day and beat the best on another day. If I'm shooting my best I can beat anyone, if they leave me an opening. I've gotten a few second place finishes, but still no wins. I play as many tournaments as I can afford. Never less than one a week and sometimes as many as 3 or 4 a week. I'm glad my handicap isn't based on my best game. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Chris Cass
10-27-2004, 04:31 AM
Hi Jim,

I used to play in 3 a week in Chicago. All $20. single elim tourneys. I loved it too. I need to get back to that so I can get used to the tournament play once again. However, I like you don't care about handicaps anymore. I'd rather play in Open events but even in hadicap events that I go to for the first time I walk in and tell them what I'm rated at other places and let them do whatever they will. I too don't like it when the house take care of their clientel and rank them low when they should be something else. So, in this case I still don't complain. I just never go back.

Regards,

C.C.

JimS
10-27-2004, 04:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> 'Woes' at Handicapped tournaments.

Players are always going to complain about someone else's handicap, and only to your face when they lose.

Accept it and continue, or do something about it, or stop playing in the tournament.

<hr /></blockquote>
Tap. Tap. Tap. Handicaps are ALWAYS going to be wrong...according to somebody. I won't play in a handicap situation. Done with league, done with handicaps.

stickman
10-27-2004, 05:36 AM
One tournament that I play in seems to have a small, good ole boy group of favored handicaps. They play at least two skill levels below where they would play anywhere else. If I win, I just savory my victories all the more. I count my victories one game at a time. I go home happy knowing I beat someone that, on average, is a much better player regardless of whether I win the tournament or not. Of course, everybody would like to win. I'll get the big win eventually. I used to play in a 5 and under tournament and won it several times, they stopped having them. Since then, I have been statisfied with a few second place finishes. Considering, the level of competition, second place is something to be proud of.

No matter the odds, I like to play pool.

SpiderMan
10-27-2004, 06:45 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Brick_Top:</font><hr>
Why is past performance the determining factor? If someone shoots at a "+2 speed", shouldn't that person be a +2? It shouldn't matter that they can't get the job done. If they are capable, let them shoot at their proper speed. Is the attitude, "hey, this guy has donated so much money to our tournament that we'll make sure he has a better chance?" Does this mean that I have to show up every week and donate before I have a fair shot? So frustrating.... <hr /></blockquote>

Past performance is how you determine someone's "speed". Frustrating if you think someone has really been sandbagging for 40 weeks, but that's unlikely. If he played bad forever but shot "perfect pool" your entire match, then he was just playing over his head. It happens. I've done it myself.

Better players are more consistent, lesser players will show more variability in their game. After a year of losing, his game came together for an hour or so. Someone had to be there, and it was you!

SpiderMan