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View Full Version : I Lost to Myself...(long)



nhp
04-15-2005, 02:50 AM
Now that I am not frustrated anymore, I think I just learned something really important. I've always felt that I have a pretty solid state of mind when I am playing for money or in a tournament. I rarely get angry or frustrated, for some reason I am able to brush things off right away. Well tonight I took my self control and nuked it.

I was practicing by myself, and a guy nicknamed 'Lucky' asked me to play. It's kind of hard to describe his ability, because he plays for money often and gets weight, but his goal is to slam at the money balls. I've played him before giving him the wild eight and two games going to seven and beaten him pretty easy. So tonight he asked me for the same spot, and I agreed. The first set I zipped past him 7-4. In the second set, I was in stroke, and was relaxed with the score tied up 2-2. Then everything went haywire. He slammed the 1-ball 15 rails and slopped in the 8. Then he broke and the cueball knocked the 9 in the side. He broke again, and the 9 caromed off two balls and went in the corner. I was sitting there in disbelief thinking, "what the hell??" When he broke again, and the 8 hung up in the side pocket, but he made a ball on the break. He made a ball or two, missed and left me safe. I hit the ball and left him no shot. He slammed the ball multiple rails and knocked the 8 in. Now he's on the hill and I'm at 2, and I've had one trip to the table since it was tied at 2-2. I went to the bathroom and washed my hands, and splashed some water on my face. Finally when I managed to get control of the table I was able to keep it, and with two tricky outs and one hook/run balls/hook again/ run out, my confidence was back to normal, and the score was 6-5. In the 12th frame, he leaves me jacked up over a ball with the 6 ball at the other end of the table. I cut it in perfectly and the cueball finds its way to the side pocket at a near impossible angle. He won that game and then the set. I eagerly flipped the coin, and I just knew I had him. I was playing really good, and his luck was bound to run out, I just knew it. But it didn't. After 3 incredibly sloppy games on my opponent's behalf, I felt like snapping my cue in half. In 3 racks, this guy just slammed at balls as hard as he could, and he did not leave me a shot once. Either I was hooked, jacked up over a ball, or had some length of the table bank. In one of the racks I think I had 6 or 7 trips to the table, and never had a shot. Man was I hot. My hands were shaking, my face felt like it was burning, and I wanted to punch the wall. How could anyone get so lucky so often, I thought to myself. His luck eventually did run out. He scratched with 6 balls on the table, everything was wide open, and I missed ball in hand. After that, I had many opportunities, I was left shots with easy position and I would come up short on position, and when I had easy safeties to lock him up good, the cueball would squeak out. I went from being in stroke to playing like a C-player on crack.

My backer pulled me aside and after criticising me, told me to give him the same spot except let him have the call-8 instead of the wild 8, and to double the bet. 'Lucky' declined and quit.

After my ears stopped steaming, I learned that no matter what, luck DOES wear out. The hard part is being able to snap back to normal when you finally have a shot. Complaining about how lucky your opponent gets does you no good. Yes, I did that, I whined like an idiot about it afterwards. All that did was make me look weak.

What's so amazing about the top players, is that many of them can sit in their chair for long periods of time while their opponents run rack after rack, and finally when they have a shot, they run out. Although there is little luck involved when someone runs a 7-pack on you, I'm sure it is just as frustrating sitting in your chair helplessly, praying for a shot. But these top players, like Efren, Archer, and countless others COME WITH IT. They wait patiently for their opportunity, and most of the time, they capitalize on it. I thought I was strong mentally, but tonight I found out that I have alot to learn about the mental side of the game.

bsmutz
04-15-2005, 12:10 PM
I guess I'm forunate. I play my wife and grandson quite a bit at home and they both are so lucky leaving me in impossible situations and slopping balls in, that I have become used to the idea that when they are at the table, I am out of control of the situation. You mentioned the pros and their ability to wait for things to come around their way. I see this also. You must realize that in most endeavors, there are always going to be times when things are not happening the way you want them to or imagined them going. Your attitude when this happens is very important, especially with a game like pool. I'm not going to pretend that I have my attitude under control, I don't. But I do realize that you're going to get farther with a positive attitude than a negative one. I also realize that I am not likely to play my best when I am frustrated or upset. Remember to have fun!

Qtec
04-15-2005, 10:17 PM
nhp, brilliant post! Its a classic example of how not to play pool! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Your attitude and approach to the game is totally wrong! /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

For starters, ask yourself this;
Would you say you were focussed on,
a. on your opponents game.?
b. your own game. ?

Q

nhp
04-16-2005, 03:16 AM
I was focused on both, of course. Once frustration set in, I became more focused on my opponent's game and anxiously awaited an opportunity. That probably made me even more frustrated.

Also keep in mind that although I had the urge to yell, or break something, I didn't. So no, I wouldn't say my attitude and approach to the game is totally wrong. I've got a very good attitude towards the game, and treat all my opponents with respect. It was human nature for me to get frustrated, but it is generally not human nature to learn something from it. Next time something like this happens, hopefully I will be able to stay in focus.

GreenLion
04-16-2005, 08:25 AM
Thats great that your attitude is in check most of the time.I know when i get fustrated i stop thinking and aproach the table with a I give up attitude.I need to learn to control my emotions and think positive becuase at least with a positive attitude you can find out whats wrong with your game quicker.If this was the only time you got upset about what was happening in a game then commend you.Becareful though about hustlers cuase that guy might have been toying with ya.What he was doing sounds like something a hustler would do but i dont know much about hustlers so then agian i dont know.

sneakypapi
04-16-2005, 10:01 AM
I know how you feel, when I play I have a tendacy to get frustrated too. I have to say playing a person who bangs and gets lucky is not the ideal person to play. Overall, a banger is someone I feel can bring your own game down and and make it hard to concentrate on playing your best pool.

Qtec
04-16-2005, 10:16 AM
Focused means that you are focused on ONE thing, not two things.You are either focused on one thing or you are not.!!!!!!
Focus: the abiity to concentrate on one thing.


Why do you get frustrated? Could it be ........
Think.

Q......not trying to be a smart ass. Just trying to help........Be open, not defensive..............

One
04-16-2005, 06:33 PM
You need to practice changing your state of mind.

It is important that you don't "fake it" by having a different state of mind and showing a different facial expression.

Try to go from laughing to neutral, and then back to laughing again. But you need to really mean it, not just by changing how your face looks like.

When you can do that you are ready to start practicing going from angry to neutral. When you can do this you will have no problem playing against lucky opponents.

I can go from laughing to completely neutral in 1/5th of a second. You just have to instantly start thinking of something else. It is like you turn into another person. While you are doing it, you could try to make yourself believe you are a world class pro or some pool playing God, I haven't tried this yet, but it seems that it would work.

Stretch
04-16-2005, 06:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote One:</font><hr> You need to practice changing your state of mind.

It is important that you don't "fake it" by having a different state of mind and showing a different facial expression.

Try to go from laughing to neutral, and then back to laughing again. But you need to really mean it, not just by changing how your face looks like.

When you can do that you are ready to start practicing going from angry to neutral. When you can do this you will have no problem playing against lucky opponents.

I can go from laughing to completely neutral in 1/5th of a second. You just have to instantly start thinking of something else. It is like you turn into another person. While you are doing it, you could try to make yourself believe you are a world class pro or some pool playing God, I haven't tried this yet, but it seems that it would work.
<hr /></blockquote>

I know a woman can go from zero to bi&amp;ch in .05 seconds. /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif St.

SpiderMan
04-18-2005, 08:01 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr> Now that I am not frustrated anymore, I think I just learned something really important. I've always felt that I have a pretty solid state of mind when I am playing for money or in a tournament. I rarely get angry or frustrated, for some reason I am able to brush things off right away. Well tonight I took my self control and nuked it.

I was practicing by myself, and a guy nicknamed 'Lucky' asked me to play. It's kind of hard to describe his ability, because he plays for money often and gets weight, but his goal is to slam at the money balls. I've played him before giving him the wild eight and two games going to seven and beaten him pretty easy. So tonight he asked me for the same spot, and I agreed. The first set I zipped past him 7-4. In the second set, I was in stroke, and was relaxed with the score tied up 2-2. Then everything went haywire. He slammed the 1-ball 15 rails and slopped in the 8. Then he broke and the cueball knocked the 9 in the side. He broke again, and the 9 caromed off two balls and went in the corner. I was sitting there in disbelief thinking, "what the hell??" When he broke again, and the 8 hung up in the side pocket, but he made a ball on the break. He made a ball or two, missed and left me safe. I hit the ball and left him no shot. He slammed the ball multiple rails and knocked the 8 in. Now he's on the hill and I'm at 2, and I've had one trip to the table since it was tied at 2-2. I went to the bathroom and washed my hands, and splashed some water on my face. Finally when I managed to get control of the table I was able to keep it, and with two tricky outs and one hook/run balls/hook again/ run out, my confidence was back to normal, and the score was 6-5. In the 12th frame, he leaves me jacked up over a ball with the 6 ball at the other end of the table. I cut it in perfectly and the cueball finds its way to the side pocket at a near impossible angle. He won that game and then the set. I eagerly flipped the coin, and I just knew I had him. I was playing really good, and his luck was bound to run out, I just knew it. But it didn't. After 3 incredibly sloppy games on my opponent's behalf, I felt like snapping my cue in half. In 3 racks, this guy just slammed at balls as hard as he could, and he did not leave me a shot once. Either I was hooked, jacked up over a ball, or had some length of the table bank. In one of the racks I think I had 6 or 7 trips to the table, and never had a shot. Man was I hot. My hands were shaking, my face felt like it was burning, and I wanted to punch the wall. How could anyone get so lucky so often, I thought to myself. His luck eventually did run out. He scratched with 6 balls on the table, everything was wide open, and I missed ball in hand. After that, I had many opportunities, I was left shots with easy position and I would come up short on position, and when I had easy safeties to lock him up good, the cueball would squeak out. I went from being in stroke to playing like a C-player on crack.

My backer pulled me aside and after criticising me, told me to give him the same spot except let him have the call-8 instead of the wild 8, and to double the bet. 'Lucky' declined and quit.

After my ears stopped steaming, I learned that no matter what, luck DOES wear out. The hard part is being able to snap back to normal when you finally have a shot. Complaining about how lucky your opponent gets does you no good. Yes, I did that, I whined like an idiot about it afterwards. All that did was make me look weak.

What's so amazing about the top players, is that many of them can sit in their chair for long periods of time while their opponents run rack after rack, and finally when they have a shot, they run out. Although there is little luck involved when someone runs a 7-pack on you, I'm sure it is just as frustrating sitting in your chair helplessly, praying for a shot. But these top players, like Efren, Archer, and countless others COME WITH IT. They wait patiently for their opportunity, and most of the time, they capitalize on it. I thought I was strong mentally, but tonight I found out that I have alot to learn about the mental side of the game. <hr /></blockquote>

Why do you feel that you lost to yourself? Everything you said implies that you played at your level, but that your opponent was rewarded with several runs of luck.

Nothing you did influenced the outcome when he was at the table, which was most of the time.

SpiderMan

Qtec
04-18-2005, 08:23 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Why do you feel that you lost to yourself? Everything you said implies that you played at your level, but that your opponent was rewarded with several runs of luck.
<font color="blue"> He lost from himself because when he got a chance he messed it up. 99% of the games we loose, we loose because we made mistakes. When was the last time you played a perfect game and didnt win?</font color>

Nothing you did influenced the outcome when he was at the table, which was most of the time. <font color="blue"> This is exactly my point. nhp plays a ball banger called "Lucky" and then gets upset when the guy starts banging balls and gets 'lucky'!!!!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif I mean, what did he expect?</font color>

<hr /></blockquote>

Q

SpiderMan
04-18-2005, 12:11 PM
You do not need to play perfectly to win. But, you can play well and still lose to someone playing poorly. Pool outcome is far from deterministic, there's a huge random factor. Sometimes the random factor hits a six-sigma variation, as described in the original post. The big mistake was letting the mental game and confidence deteriorate, and/or continuing to play once this occurred.

SpiderMan

bustah360
04-18-2005, 01:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr> Now that I am not frustrated anymore, I think I just learned something really important. I've always felt that I have a pretty solid state of mind when I am playing for money or in a tournament. I rarely get angry or frustrated, for some reason I am able to brush things off right away. Well tonight I took my self control and nuked it.

I was practicing by myself, and a guy nicknamed 'Lucky' asked me to play. It's kind of hard to describe his ability, because he plays for money often and gets weight, but his goal is to slam at the money balls. I've played him before giving him the wild eight and two games going to seven and beaten him pretty easy. So tonight he asked me for the same spot, and I agreed. The first set I zipped past him 7-4. In the second set, I was in stroke, and was relaxed with the score tied up 2-2. Then everything went haywire. He slammed the 1-ball 15 rails and slopped in the 8. Then he broke and the cueball knocked the 9 in the side. He broke again, and the 9 caromed off two balls and went in the corner. I was sitting there in disbelief thinking, "what the hell??" When he broke again, and the 8 hung up in the side pocket, but he made a ball on the break. He made a ball or two, missed and left me safe. I hit the ball and left him no shot. He slammed the ball multiple rails and knocked the 8 in. Now he's on the hill and I'm at 2, and I've had one trip to the table since it was tied at 2-2. I went to the bathroom and washed my hands, and splashed some water on my face. Finally when I managed to get control of the table I was able to keep it, and with two tricky outs and one hook/run balls/hook again/ run out, my confidence was back to normal, and the score was 6-5. In the 12th frame, he leaves me jacked up over a ball with the 6 ball at the other end of the table. I cut it in perfectly and the cueball finds its way to the side pocket at a near impossible angle. He won that game and then the set. I eagerly flipped the coin, and I just knew I had him. I was playing really good, and his luck was bound to run out, I just knew it. But it didn't. After 3 incredibly sloppy games on my opponent's behalf, I felt like snapping my cue in half. In 3 racks, this guy just slammed at balls as hard as he could, and he did not leave me a shot once. Either I was hooked, jacked up over a ball, or had some length of the table bank. In one of the racks I think I had 6 or 7 trips to the table, and never had a shot. Man was I hot. My hands were shaking, my face felt like it was burning, and I wanted to punch the wall. How could anyone get so lucky so often, I thought to myself. His luck eventually did run out. He scratched with 6 balls on the table, everything was wide open, and I missed ball in hand. After that, I had many opportunities, I was left shots with easy position and I would come up short on position, and when I had easy safeties to lock him up good, the cueball would squeak out. I went from being in stroke to playing like a C-player on crack.

My backer pulled me aside and after criticising me, told me to give him the same spot except let him have the call-8 instead of the wild 8, and to double the bet. 'Lucky' declined and quit.

After my ears stopped steaming, I learned that no matter what, luck DOES wear out. The hard part is being able to snap back to normal when you finally have a shot. Complaining about how lucky your opponent gets does you no good. Yes, I did that, I whined like an idiot about it afterwards. All that did was make me look weak.

What's so amazing about the top players, is that many of them can sit in their chair for long periods of time while their opponents run rack after rack, and finally when they have a shot, they run out. Although there is little luck involved when someone runs a 7-pack on you, I'm sure it is just as frustrating sitting in your chair helplessly, praying for a shot. But these top players, like Efren, Archer, and countless others COME WITH IT. They wait patiently for their opportunity, and most of the time, they capitalize on it. I thought I was strong mentally, but tonight I found out that I have alot to learn about the mental side of the game. <hr /></blockquote>
I can completely understand what you're saying man, I can stay cool for a while but I guess everyone has their breaking points. The best thing is concentrate on your game alone. Paying too much attention to the opponent other than if he's cheating or not would do you harm in the long run.

BlindPlayer
04-18-2005, 04:33 PM
Coincidentally, my brother's name is 'Lucky' - he was tagged with that name because that's what happens when he plays games like 9 ball.

Most of us have to rely on skill. Boy, what a difference. We've probably all lost in a handicap tourney when we spot 3 games and the lucky novice wins by chance luck.

What has helped me in the past with opponents like this is to look away when they shoot. This accomplishes two things...1) it helps me maintain my mental focus...and...2) when they know you don't see their 'amazing' shots that plays games with THEIR mind and usually their luck vanishes sooner than later.

nhp
04-18-2005, 04:36 PM
I lost to myself because I was in stroke, and eventually when his luck ran out and he started leaving me outs and easy safes I couldn't capitalize on them. The first set I ran out from everywhere, I was booming with confidence. I let his lucky streak break my game down, along with my own frustration. So I beat myself, he didn't beat me.