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06-07-2002, 11:10 AM

Jay M
06-07-2002, 11:47 AM
Personally, I'd have to agree with your instructor for the most part. The pressure in a tournament is pretty intense, there are no handicaps, no weight, nothing to make the game even. It's just your pure skill, knowledge and ability against your opponents with a little dash of luck thrown in. If Earl had been giving me the 7 in the tournament as he probably would when gambling... I'd have had a really good shot at winning the match. As it was, it was closer than the score shows, prompting Earl to tell me after the match that he thought I should have won.

Now, you made a statement that causes me to agree with you. IF the player is using their own cash, the potential losses and gains are higher than in a tournament. Higher stakes mean more pressure. The reality is that players in the semi-pro to pro level rarely gamble anything substantial out of their own pockets (although it has happened before). It's a LOT easier to win when you have a stakehorse and the only real pressure is whether you win or waste your time (and potentially lose a backer).

Jay M

06-07-2002, 11:57 AM
I've heard this same opinion.

Some believe that in a tournament, if you lose twice (double elimination) you're done. With gambling, you continue playing and if you believe that you have the right game, you know that in the long run you will come out on top. Pressure is alleviated knowing that you can continue playing and make money eventually, where as in a tournament you can't.

06-07-2002, 04:46 PM
It will always be in Tournaments.

If you are gambling, you are in a position that you have chosen to partake. There isn't a 'luck of the draw', single or double elimination, or finals in a Gambling situation. You are doing what you want to do, when you want to, with who you want to, and on an agreed upon wager. Where is the pressure? unless you are betting $100 and only have $50.

06-07-2002, 07:02 PM
Well yes Tom, I can see how that would be a lot of pressure..../ccboard/images/icons/wink.gif From my own very limited experience, I was gambling (which I have long since given up) long before I played in tournaments, and it still took me about 4 months to get used to the pressure of tournaments. And those were double elimination! I still quake at the single elim. tourneys!

06-07-2002, 07:45 PM
I still get very nervous at tournaments, and I have been playing in tournaments for over 20 years. But, I use being nervous as an aid to make me focus more.

There is nothing better than playing pool and being in the finals of a tournament and your knees turn to jello.. and you are on the verge of playing at your best.

06-07-2002, 07:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>Okay Cheese, I can guess where you probably stand. How about you others?<hr></blockquote>
From the tone of the above you must think I gamble /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Actually tournament pressure is greater for me for all the reasons the other posters mention. When gambling you should never take a game your not comfortable playing and if the bet is right it is a most relaxing feeling. BTW I can count the number of times I've used a backer with the fingers of one hand.(of course there's always binary) I get to worried about their money, too much of the wrong kind of pressure.

P.S. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

06-07-2002, 08:03 PM
five digits in binary is 31.. if my I remember my binary to decimal conversion correctly..

06-07-2002, 08:10 PM
Gambling never makes me nervous, but then, I don't play for big stakes. Tournaments can make me a little nervous. Playing league on a team made me nervous, especially when we went to finals. I was most concerned with not wanting to let my teamates down. I don't play league anymore.

06-07-2002, 08:41 PM
Not true, the sudden death aspect of tournaments has far more pressure. I know big money players that actually dog it in tournaments. You can't really compare the two, it is different kinds of play. I know some players will say differently, but you may even have to alter your style of play in tournaments. When gambling, assuming the guy you are playing is not a nit, or leaving town. Gambling is a never ending story. You can play as long as you want. If I have made up my mind I am the better player, I never quit. I have lost for a week to someone, only to bust them in the final night. (Of course today, it is rare to see someone play a second set without wanting a spot or something). I think what takes place during gambling is more of a rush rather then pressure. If you are not nervous you are not human, but you should not be pucking all over yourself either. It is a good kind of nervous.

06-07-2002, 08:58 PM
You know the reason in my opinion better players often don't play for their own money is, when they play with a stake horse they are on the clock. It is their job, and hopefully they will make some money for both of them. They don't want to risk money if they don't have to. I don't think many people would like to go to work if sometimes they had to work all day and end up paying the boss. For the player the worst case scenario is they get in some good play, even if they don't make any money.

Scott Lee
06-07-2002, 11:22 PM
Quote: "Those that can, do, and those that can't, teach."


Well, you opened up a can of worms here Whitewolf. That idiotic statement has been bantered around for a long time, and has been disproven in every sport! The better coaches and teachers have RARELY been the best competitors in any sport! You should be ashamed of yourself for even mentioning it, let alone supporting it. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion...but in this case, you are out of line, imo.

Scott Lee ~ can play and teach

06-08-2002, 06:40 AM
WHITEWOLF: Thanks for your pool school reference. I read from the few responses that they support our "pressure" opinion.

Like Scott implies, making the transition into the real pool world takes a little training. I think you could make it if you want to.

Most gamblers don't gamble on their own money and the Instructors that I socialize with (including Scott) all have top A+ games. It ain't like the old days!!!

Some day we might even see you in Dallas for our intense school! Thank you.....randyg (BCA Master Instructor)

06-08-2002, 09:29 AM
playing in vegas this year I was shaking so bad at the end of my first game that I could barely circle the number on the card to say that Id won... although it didnt last very long it was very very intense.

06-08-2002, 10:49 AM
Quote: "The better coaches and teachers have RARELY been the best competitors in any sport!"


I'm confused. Your statement seems to support the tired expression. IMO one's ability to be a great teacher/coach is not directly related to your ability to play a given game. You are right, it is very rare for a great athlete to become even a moderately successful coach.

MM...a much better coach than player in numerous activities.

Mr Ingrate
06-08-2002, 11:28 AM
Hi Scott,

I agree with you, many good teachers are also good players.

FYI, the complete old hackneyed saying is as follows:

Those who can, do.

Those who can't, teach.

Those who can't teach, consult.

Those who can't consult, work for the people.

There may be more than a little truth in the last two statements.

06-08-2002, 11:42 AM
I wasn't able to put any pressure on Scott when we played, but I can assure you, he's got game! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif From my perspective he's a fine teacher as well.

06-08-2002, 11:59 AM
For most pool players, tournaments always have more pressure. Gambling allows for a lot miscues. A player can always play another game or set or whatever if he/she is playing bad. In tournament play, YOU MUST play your best right then and there....when it's over...IT'S over. As far as the teaching goes, there are many CHAMPIONS that cannot teach a beginner how to stroke through the cue ball much less how to run out. But, there are many average B players that teach beginners and even 'A' players some new tricks. The one and only attribute that all great teachers MUST have is the ability to communicate with the pupil. Do you think Butch Harmon plays even close to Tiger Woods on the golf course?? I think not.

Chris Cass
06-09-2002, 08:47 AM
That's true.

16 8 4 2 1
1 1 1 1 1 = 32


06-09-2002, 09:27 AM
I think you forgot the smiley on that one, if not you may want to edit. LOL LOL /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

06-11-2002, 10:47 AM
Yes Scott, this is a hackneyed expression, and in some cases those who can teach can also play in tournaments. You are correct, technically, but I believe that the best money/tournament players either can't teach or don't want to. For instance, I met Mosconi once and asked him how hard he held the cue and other secrets he had about having a good stroke, and he could not communicate his answer.

Scott, from what I have heard you are one of the best teachers around and you are also very talented. IMO, if you looked at the object ball when you shot, you would be a much better player. This is the only objection I have to your teachings. I have asked the question many times on this forum, and nobody has responed. So here goes again: please name me any great great players who look at the object ball when shooting, besides yourself of course. lIf there are any, then they are by far in the minority.

Also, back to my original topic, everyone is mentioning that in a tournament you loose twice and you are out. Well, isn't there a tournament just around the corner in the next month? It just sounds like everyone on this forum doesn't gamble as much as I had thought. Sure there is pressure in tournaments, but I still think there is more in gambling when you are putting up your own money.

06-11-2002, 10:55 AM

Rich R.
06-11-2002, 11:03 AM
I haven't gambled on a pool game in many years, but I did my share when I was young. The only time I felt any pressure, while gambling, is if I could not afford to lose what I was betting. IMHO, to be a successful gambler, you never bet what you can't afford to lose.
Currently, I play just for the enjoyment of the game, but I have to say that I experience more pressure in a weekly league match, than I ever experienced while gambling. I hate to let my teamates down.
Rich R.

06-11-2002, 11:13 AM
Its in the tournaments i'd say. I saw Ron Wseman playing Tony Watson for 1 or 2K a game in one pocket at the Derby Classic.

It was clear neither of them could care less- I know it wasnt Tony's money and couldn't have been RW'S either. That's the main reason i suppose.

Scott Lee
06-11-2002, 11:31 AM
Whitewolf...No offense taken. As far as an answer to your question of "who's who" that's looks at the CB last...well, that's difficult to answer, as many pros don't know themselves where they ACTUALLY look...and many others go back and forth so much, that they may think they are doing one, when in fact, they are doing the other. The study done recently at U of FL that Tony M posted on (see 'quiet eye' thread) may shed some light on that in the future. I would love an opportunity to explain my theory to you, and demonstrate it's effects, if we have a chance to get together sometime. I will be back in the MD/DC area the last week of August, if you are interested.

Scott Lee

06-11-2002, 11:53 AM
"Pressure. It changes everything. some people, you squeeze them, they focus, others fold. Can sum your talent at will? Can you deliver on a deadline?"
- Al Pacino "Milton" in Devil's Advocate

In my mind, its not what causes the pressure, rather it is how the pressure is used. Some use pressure as a reason to focus, others use it as an excuse to lose. The more pressure I am under, the better I perform.

Seeing as I have never played in a tournament, I can't contribute too much. I just missed posting here for the last couple days.
sigh. its good to back.

Al -

06-11-2002, 09:32 PM
As a teenager in the 60s I played some pool for money. And I usually won more then I lost. I used to always question the better players. And the older players who I felt knew a lot even though I could outplay them. And most if not all would tell me the way to get better under pressure would be to bet everything I had on 1 game or series. And some would even tell me to bet more then what I had on one game or series.
Recently I played in 3 local tournaments with about 20 to 25 players. I lost to the first opponet each time. I personally feel there is more pressure in the tournament. It is win right now. No excuses accepted. In money games you can always try again now, try again later, or try again now or later against someone else.

06-12-2002, 04:04 AM
If its big money being gambled, I'd feel pressure, but I truly believe tournament play is more pressure due to the fact that you are in a more controlled atmosphere!In tournament, your putting up your own entry fee and also going for decent money,plus, you have an audience, so, you must have confidence and self-esteem to play when all eyes are upon you!Especially when it is so quiet, you can hear a pin drop,then God forbid someone tells you your underpants was sticking out,ha ha ha !
Have a nice day!

06-12-2002, 06:34 AM
A lot of us do gamble. As a matter of fact, if you see me playing...you can bet that I'm gambling. I always make it where I can afford to lose whatever I'm betting, at least four sets worth. So, that's not much pressure.

06-12-2002, 11:15 AM
I like this one. Interestingly enough, I find that I can't shoot in tournaments. Somewhere, my best game disappears, however, in money games, that's where my best game likes to hang out and chill. Strangley, tournaments don't get me as nervous as a money match. For a tournament the most I have had to put down was $50. Where as in a money game, I could lose $500. The thought of parting with that $500 is a nerve racking experience, why, because I hate to quit behind, absolutely hate it. Knowing my nature, that adds a significant amount of pressure to my game. Tremendous, must have a drink pressure. What I believe is that I am not the type of player to sit for a half and hour or hour waiting to play, get up and do well. I just can't do it. But I don't believe this puts pressure on me because I am resolved to give it my best knowing that I may not win but it's only $50 so lets call it a learning experience. To conclude money games give me more pressure. Secondly I look at the object ball last. I trust my stroke enough to believe I am hitting the cue ball in the right spot.

06-12-2002, 11:39 AM
I have to agree that it's not much pressure when you approach a tournament with that attitude. I used to feel the same way, but now I set out with the objective to WIN the tournament. This changed my whole perspective. Sure, my adrenaline gets going when your playing nine ball for 40 or 50 a game. After about 15 minutes, I calm down and just concentrate on getting the 10 games ahead. Tournament play is a whole different beast. Just one set and it's over.

06-12-2002, 06:13 PM
I think that is probably it. When you gamble, after a while the money is not really a factor. In long sessions, 10 or 20 hours or more, it might as well be Monopoly money. You fall into a groove and just play the game. If someone finds themselves always dwelling on the money, they really should not gamble. In a tournament, your jeopardy is always evident. It is hard to put it out of your mind and the pressure seems to build. Especially if you are trying to win the tournament. If one has no expectations of winning, then yes It may not seem very stressful. Winning is hard work.

06-13-2002, 12:25 AM
Hey Scott,

Did you realize that you contradicted yourself there? First you said that the expression "those who can't play, teach" has been disproven in every sport, then you reverse and say that the better teachers and coaches are RARELY the better players.

I don't have an opinion regarding the "tired expression", but I would more likely respect (and learn from) a coach who had competitive success at a level to which I might aspire.


<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Scott Lee:</font><hr> Quote: "Those that can, do, and those that can't, teach."
Well, you opened up a can of worms here Whitewolf. That idiotic statement has been bantered around for a long time, and has been disproven in every sport! The better coaches and teachers have RARELY been the best competitors in any sport! (snipped) <hr></blockquote>

Scott Lee
06-13-2002, 05:52 AM
Spiderman...Nope, no contradiction! I said the best coaches and instructors are rarely the champions. I did not say they had no competitive experience or success. If you would rather take instruction from someone who is just a great player, but not necessarily a good teacher, that is certainly your prerogative.

Scott Lee

06-13-2002, 07:38 AM

06-13-2002, 09:39 AM

I understood what you meant. Sounds like I may have offended a little by poking fun at your initial delivery, so I'll give the humor a rest. I also know that you have both teaching and playing credentials, that's rare and valuable.

But regarding the coach/teacher/player thing, it's true that a great player might not be a great teacher. And perhaps a great teacher can "teach anything", or at least the basics of anything. Bob Felcher is one example - he has no playing credentials and only recently became involved in pool, yet he must have a knack for dissemination because he's quickly developed a following of enthusiastic supporters.

Probably a more relevant example is RandyG's pool school. He has no champions on his staff, yet I am confident that Randy could take anyone, even a pro, and find some way to improve his play. How? By applying techniques they have fine-tuned over the years to identify and illustrate those fundamental processes, both mental and mechanical, that make up 90% of the game. Randy's school excels at this - I know (and have played with) dozens of his students.

I believe that the biggest factor in the learning process is the student, not the teacher. If someone is a good student, he depends less on his teacher's "explaining" skills and more on the specific information being made available. So the good student may benefit from working with a great player, who is an encyclopedia of knowledge, even though the great player has only moderate instructional skills.

A great student will learn, even from those who are not trying to teach.

Finally, there is that portion of the game that is neither mental nor mechanical, but situational and experience-based. For a fantasy example - let's suppose that I find myself backed in a very expensive one-pocket match with a better player. Because I've only played one-pocket four or five times, we've negotiated a spot that allows me to select a coach/instructor whom I may consult for advice at any time. I look around the room and see every BCA master instructor in existence, plus Grady Mathews. Hands down I pick the guy who's been in the ring with champions AND WON - he'll see moves that the others could not imagine.


Scott Lee
06-13-2002, 11:38 AM
Spiderman...I understand what you are saying, and agree with your observations on Cue Tech's staff. I also feel the same about my own teaching abilities. In the example you gave about the one-pocket match, the only chink in that armor, might be that you couldn't execute the shots that Grady might be able give you the heads up on...whereas the competent instuctor might be able to give you more feedback, to allow you to accomplish the same thing. Natually, this is all hypothetical! LOL

Scott Lee

06-13-2002, 11:50 AM
Cole Dickson has been known around the Mid-west for years and has played in a lot of tournaments. He's a great 9 ball player.

And, there are a lot of road agents that end up getting busted trying to get a good game and giving up too much weight to the local short stops..

Chris Cass
06-13-2002, 12:21 PM
Hi Cheese,

I don't know how to do the fancy things. LOL I'm doing good if I spell eveything correctly. haha



06-13-2002, 12:53 PM
It more comes down to tournament pool is a meager living at best for most players. I think the road player is also a thing of the past. There was a time when even a just above average player could make a decent living on the road. Gas was cheap, a room was $11.00 a night. You could easily make $100.00 or more a night playing bar pool, at a time when a working man was supporting a family on $5.00 an hour. Economics have caught up with pool. Even the little neighborhood pool room has been priced out of the market. I once owned a room with ten tables in the early 70s. I paid $250.00 a month. My electric was around $100.00. The rates were $1.20 an hour per player. $3.60 an hour for three or more players. I made more money with that little room back then, then you can make today. Today you would pay $2500.00 a month for the same place. Electric will run $500.00, Plus all the other stuff today like handicapped bathrooms and ridiculous parking restrictions in most cities. The rates are only about 2 1/2 times as much today, and expenses are 10 times as much. People can only pay so much to play pool. Economics will only continue to take a toll on pool. Someone aspiring to be a pro would have to be a fool. These are just a few observations. I would be curious to see if anyone else shares my views. By the way, Fats could play. No world beater, but he could play.

06-13-2002, 01:21 PM
You know along the same lines, I am surprised how little some very good players know about equipment. I see them all the time, their cue is some mysterious thing to them. I don't even bother trying to explain what I am doing anymore. They don't care, just fix it. The ability to play does not mean a knowledge of every aspect of a sport. They can also only speak from what they have experienced and may not have done any real study of the game. To teach, you need to know what different players require to improve. It may not necessarily be the same way you play. I have seen pro players give lessons that were in my opinion, worthless. One guy I know, (a former world champion), just plays with the student for two hours for $100.00 giving an occasional tip. He could care less if the guy learns anything. I asked him if he keeps any kind of records on the students, what they have gone over and their improvement. He looked at me like I was nuts, and headed off to the track with the guys money.

06-15-2002, 11:04 AM
I think it is tournaments. When gambling you can always play another game, you don't have to wait for the next tournament.

06-15-2002, 08:11 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Q-guy:</font><hr>. . .By the way, Fats could play. No world beater, but he could play. <hr></blockquote>
This reminds me of a time I was at a little pub with some friends.

The place had four 7-footers, and not a lot of clientele that evening. A few friends and myself were just hanging out, drinking and hitting some balls.

Suddenly, from the next table over, a guy who was happy about making a shot loudly proclaimed, "Yeah! Just like Fats Domino!"

I had to leave the room to quit laughing. . . .

(Of course, I now realize that I don't know if Fats Domino could play or not. . . . /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif )