View Full Version : new to tournaments - questions

05-30-2002, 01:46 AM
I'm looking at some ads for tournaments in Chicagoland's Chalk Talk. These two are at 63rd St. Billiards.
9 ball on 9' tables....... handicap fromat...... 7's & under only...... weekly hot shot - pot over $200........ No call ins...... Just show up in time..... $10 entry... 100% payback...
The other ad is basically the same except it isn't limited to 7's & under and the entry is $20.

Are lower number or higher number handicaps better players? And what do the handicap numbers mean? Does it have to do with what balls you have to make or how many games you have to win?

I only played there once by myself about 4 weeks ago. Would I be able to get into the $10 tournament or would I have to start out in the $20 tournament? I never had a handicap. I've played about 7 times in the last about 5 weeks. I don't expect to win many games. I'm really a pretty bad player now. I just restarted playing after about 20 years. And then I played mostly 3 cushion. It was back in high school that I played more pocket pool. That would be over 30 years ago. About 65 to 70. But I wouldn't want to play against brand new type players that I could beat.

Or should I just wait a few months before even thinking about getting into any of these cheap tournaments. Maybe only the really good players are playing at this time of the year. What is a hot shot pot? It gets boring playing mostly by myself. I have played one man twice. He is better then me. He makes most of the balls. But I beat him 9 to 8 in 9 ball. And the first time I beat him closely even though he out shot me. It was just a friendly game. I'm not looking to play for any money.

Are there any rules I need to know about. I know if you break and make a ball you can push out only on the first shot. If you don't make anything on the break can the opponet push out on the first shot? And I know any time you scratch or don't hit the lowest numbered ball first it is ball in hand for the opponet. I'm not sure what happens if a player touches any balls on the table. Is that a foul and ball in hand? I never heard of these rules when I played back in the 60s. And I haven't been able to catch any pool on tv in the past few weeks. I think I read something in one of the threads that you cannot concede only one game. That if you do the opponet wins the match. I wouldn't want to make an embarrassing mistake like that. I'm not sure if that was a rule or not. Thanks.

05-30-2002, 03:02 AM
Eddie, in this case the higher numbers are the better players. Handicap is established on how well you play. You should call first, but it could be ball or game weight. For instance out here a typical 7 & under tournament, a 7 goes to 7 games and a 6 has to win 6 games etc. I'm sure you can and would want to play in the 7 & under. The TD or someone there would have to give you a rating, or tell you what is required. Sometimes they make you play at the highest rating the first time just to see how well you play.
You might want to go there and watch one time before you play. This will answer your questions. I imagine a 7 rated player, plays pretty good so you might want to know where you fall into the food chain before you donate. This will give you the chance to compare your game to the others. I'm not trying to discourage you but it will prepare you better when you do play. I'm sure it will be push out after the break for either player, and touching balls other than the c/b is not a foul, but you opponent has the right to restore the ball position before you shoot. You should buy a rule book. Good luck

05-30-2002, 05:37 AM
Hi Ed,

The higher the number the better the player. From what I hear you say I would guess that you would be a 3, perhaps a 4. In spot ball handicap you subtract your handicap (3) from your opponent's handicap (7) and subtract that number from 9. 9 - 4 = 5 And that equals your second winning ball. So if you make the 5 or 9 you win. Just go and play. Your opponents will tell you the rules as you go along. Where on 63rd Street is that pool hall located? Jake

05-30-2002, 06:38 AM
Hi Jake.
It's: 63rd St Billiards: 2145 W. 63rd St. (at Belmont):
Downers Grove, IL. It's about a 1 hour drive for me. It seemed like a nice place with 24 9' Brunswick tables, 1 3-cushion table and 1 7' table. I mentioned this one because it has one tournament on Thur and the other on Mon. I only played there once because of the distance. I've played at Chris's Billiards twice. It's on the north side of Chicago about 40 minutes away. And I played at Cue Time Billiards in Lyons about 4 or 5 times. It's about 30 minutes away. These times are if traffic is good. Rush hour or bad traffic can easily add another 1/2 or more traveling time. But they do have cheap practice rates. At 63rd St you can play from 2:00 am until 8:00 am for $10 prepaid. And you can play from 8:00 am til 5:00 pm for $5 prepaid. And at Cue Time you can play from 12:00 noon til 8:00 pm for $6 m-f & for $7 Sat & Sun. It's hard for me to plan anything because I have a bad stomach. And that is the only reason I don't like to drive far.

05-30-2002, 07:20 AM
Rod pretty well nailed it with his response. If they have a players meeting before the matches begin listen very closely as they may have some unusual local rule. Be forwarned about how excited you may become in that first match. I hope you meet some nice folks, maybe you can find a group of like minded social players and start a regular playing day with them. Have a good time, Eddie.

05-30-2002, 07:52 AM
If you touch an object ball before or during the stroke you must not restore its position. That option is your opponents and he must determine what to do. If you restore the ball that is a foul.

It is common not to concede in tournament play although it is not likely that there is a rule about it. It depends on the custom but I would avoid it. That is more for one on one matches (even for money) to speed them up and to acknowlege a good run.

I would avoid the $20 event. That is for the better players and they are very interested in higher entry fees because they are likely to win since the handicap is not enough. They are there primarily to take your money and they will. The handicap is to suck you in. Wait until you can play as a 7 and you are actually better.

05-30-2002, 11:55 AM
Quote: I don't expect to win many games. I'm really a pretty bad
player now. I just restarted playing after about 20 years.

Hi Eddie, as far as the rules go, their is only one place to hear them, from the TD. Eddie my humble opinion would be since you don't expect to win many games, you don't expect to win the tournament. So when you go their your GOAL should be to shoot as well in the tournament as you shoot on your regular table. If you go their and play your own game you should enjoy it. If you go their and fall into the roll of a spectator because these players are running racks or whatever, I think it would not help your game. Remember your goal is to play as well as YOU can, so while it's good watch good players, don't let them occupy your brain while your shooting YOUR game. Good Luck and enjoy, Terry

05-30-2002, 12:58 PM
Eddie, many tournaments around here play by BCA rules. If you go to their website, you can probably read them there. Be careful, the tournaments you're looking at may be playing by APA rules, which differ slightly. Make sure you ask the tournament director when you arrive what the rules are. It should be a short and simple list, and the other players will appreciate you not taking up time at the player's meeting. Some tournaments are very cuthroat, and others are more friendly. The ones for less money are generally the best for socializing. For right now, try to avoid the ones with a calcutta (player auction), and above all, HAVE FUN! Best of Luck to you! Lorri

05-30-2002, 05:41 PM
EDDIE; what suburb do you live in? I live in Peru ,Il which is about an hour & a half downstate on route 80. I have a daughter living in Carol Stream, so I do get to play in the suburbs once in a while...JER

05-30-2002, 06:09 PM
Okay Ed, I was thinking 63rd street in Chicago. My advise for you is just to go there on a tournament night and talk with some of the players and learn the ropes. Around here a "7" is considered a pretty good player and it might take you several years to reach that level. The majority of players here are under a 7. And it is very seldom that I see anyone run a rack in these "local" tournaments. So just drop in and see how they play. And don't be afraid to talk to the players when they are sitting on the sideline waiting for their turn. I find they are a pretty friendly group in general. Just find someone who plays around your speed and pick his/her brain. Jake

05-30-2002, 06:55 PM
I too am getting back into the game and have my first 7 and under tournament on Monday evening. I'm lucky enough that my hubby knows a lot about the game and rules so I can ask him. Don't worry about being embarrassed. The TD should let you know all the rules beforehand. If a 7 plays a 3, that means that the 7 has to win 7 games before the 3 wins 3 games. At least that's how they do it here. It depends on the TD on how they will rate you. I'm rated a 3 because I haven't played in so long and getting back into the swing of things is harder than I thought. There are some players though that will "lay down", just to keep their handicap low. I saw a 4 run 3 racks on a 9 the other night and couldn't believe it. I was so mad, but nothing I could do. Not my place to say. There is nothing that you can do about this, but most of the players are rated correctly so don't worry about it. Just shoot your best and good luck.

05-30-2002, 07:04 PM
Throw down the twenty man. Jump in and have some fun. Don't waist time. Get in the action it maybe just what you need to get the juices flowing. $20 is one cheap lesson in pool. Riding the bench is nowhere.

05-30-2002, 07:44 PM
Hum, married to a 12 and rated a three. Now what's wrong with this picture. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Just kidding, go get em Kmom.

05-30-2002, 08:58 PM
I would like to kick some butt Monday night, but don't expect miracles. In the open local tourney, 10's and 9's give up the break. 10's have to go to 8 and 9's have to go to 7. Jamie Bowman is rated a 10 and Chris is rated a 9. In the last tourney, Jamie Bowman went to 8 and Chris went to 7, swap breaks. Chris won 7 -5. So you see, in the end, it doesn't really matter, because Chris always wins anyway. They say he's just lucky, but I know better. LOL. Spiderman says that you and Chris are twins separated at birth. Is this true?


05-31-2002, 12:49 AM
Hi Jerry.
I live in Chicago on the near south side. I'm close to Comiskey Park, Chinatown, & Downtown etc. I'n not too good on directions.

05-31-2002, 01:20 AM
Tonight I did just what you said to do. When I first got there I talked with the counter man and the one who runs the tournament(owner I think). All that was there were teenagers. So I said I just wanted to watch. I felt out of place. Then about 7;15 to 7;30 about 5 or 6 older men came in. I should have just got into the tournament. I stood until just after midnight. They were just going to start the final match. The last four players left were 6, 6 1/2 & 7 handicaps. I knew the 7 from the IL. Billiard Club in 81. His name was Dennis. I don't know his last name but he is in and plays in a wheel chair. Before I heard he was a jockey and got injured. He said this would be his last time in that tournament because they would move his handicap higher.

21 people entered. I was told that was their smallest field. Probably becasue of summertime. It was single elimination. You had to win a number of games equal to your handicap. So a 6 would have to win 6 games befor a 4 would win 4 games etc. 3rd & 4th go $20 each. 2nd got $40 and 1st got $110. And the way the last two players talked I got the impression the last two players would often just split the money. But not tonight because Dennis wouldn't be able to play in the tournament after this. One of the guys & girls that manage Cue Time briefly stopped in. They didn't get any players for their tournament last Tue, so they didn't have it.

I think I will have to try their Mon tournament. It is an open handicap. I was told ? Marcos or Marcos ? plays in it as a 12 minus 2. He is a well know good player from the area I guess. He has to win 12 games and his opponet subtracts 2 off thier handicap. But everyone must win 4 games. So if he plays that low of a handicap player then he has to win 14. I know I can't compete with anyone even close to his ability. Maybe I will wait and try to get into the Thur tournament first. I would probably just end up a rack boy in the open one.

The big shot was worth $420. They drew two players name's. And they get to break one time each. If they make the nine ball on the break they win the pot.

05-31-2002, 01:29 AM
This tournament was run the same as your's was run. Whenever I play someone I seem to play better then when I play by myself. The guy from the place where I've played about 5 times said I would probably be a 4 or 5 handicap. He said he would watch me closer next time I played. But I wouldn't feel right if I was rated like that and then won the tournament. That just wouldn't be right. Maybe because in my mind I really can't accept how bad I am. An example is twice I played this man named Milo. Each time he outshoots me. He makes more balls then I do. But somehow I beat him 9 to 8 the last time. And the first time I beat hin about 4 to 2 in 8 ball. Then about 6 to 4 in 9 ball. And also 3 to 2 in last pocket. And I only played about 2 or 3 games of last pocket in my life before that. Most likely I will choke up and not will a single game in a tournament.

05-31-2002, 04:18 AM
Heidi, first of all good luck. One little secret if you can't make the ball or a hook is difficult, leave them long and or whitey near a rail. It takes away control even for the best players.

I'm curious how Spidey come up with that analogy. Probably because were both suave debonair kind of guys. It is possible that we resemble each other having a follicle challenge. Other than that it's hard to say. We both hold on to the cue at the same end, and make a few balls when our turn comes up. If that makes us twins, I'll bet we have other brothers. Well who knows Spidey has a vivid imagination. Those engineers, or in this case, gadget boy as some one called him seems to have one also./ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

05-31-2002, 04:49 AM
After a while, everyone who spots me two wild balls and the breaks starts to look alike!


05-31-2002, 06:11 AM
I'm beginning to think that I miss that little mouse. Jake

05-31-2002, 06:25 AM
Hi Karatemom,

I personally prefer playing a race to your handicap format rather than playing the spot ball handicap. We have both here. In spot ball it is only a race to 3 and many times luck does play a big part in the outcome. If I play someone rated better then me I play harder to try and win and see if my game is improving. If I play someone rated lower than I am I play harder because I feel that no one rated lower than I am should beat me. Jake