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Buzzsaw
02-22-2006, 09:05 AM
I've got a friend of mine that says "the only way a person will ever be any good at pool is to play for money". Personally, I think he is full of sh!t. What are your thoughts?

Rich R.
02-22-2006, 09:09 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Buzzsaw:</font><hr> I've got a friend of mine that says "the only way a person will ever be any good at pool is to play for money". Personally, I think he is full of sh!t. What are your thoughts? <hr /></blockquote>
IMHO, You are correct.

PHJ314
02-22-2006, 11:00 AM
Although I may not agree with that statement, it certainly doesn't hurt to play for money...makes you and your opponent be sure to bring your 'A' game!

Personally, my friends and I always play for cash.

supergreenman
02-22-2006, 11:09 AM
I don't agree with that statement, but playing for money shouldn't be discounted offhand. Playing better players is one of the best ways to learn and fine tune your skills. A lot of times they will only play you for money. I have found though that most are quite reasonable when you approach them and often agree to play for "cheap sets".

James

Rich R.
02-22-2006, 11:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote supergreenman:</font><hr> I don't agree with that statement, but playing for money shouldn't be discounted offhand. Playing better players is one of the best ways to learn and fine tune your skills. A lot of times they will only play you for money. I have found though that most are quite reasonable when you approach them and often agree to play for "cheap sets". <hr /></blockquote>
Practicing makes you better. Playing makes you better. Playing better players makes you better. A lot of other things will make you better.
Adding gambling, to the mix, may make you concentrate more, but it doesn't add to your level of skill.

supergreenman
02-22-2006, 11:31 AM
I totally agree with you Rich, I was just trying to state that gambling may give you more oportunities to play better players.

James

Bumps
02-22-2006, 11:34 AM
It's not the only way, but more people get better playing for money than those who don't. Very, very few pros got where they are without playing for money. Mosconi didn't hustle but he did gamble. It gives you a reason not to miss. It tests your nerve, your ability to play under pressure. Tournament play does this too, and some consider it harder because in a double elimination tournament, if you lose twice you are out. If you run out of money, you can go get more. I don't have a whole lot of respect for those who sneer at the gamblers. However you look at it, it takes guts to play for whatever you've got in your pocket. Playing for money is not necessarily hustling. There is a difference.

Buzzsaw
02-22-2006, 11:36 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote PHJ314:</font><hr> Although I may not agree with that statement, it certainly doesn't hurt to play for money...makes you and your opponent be sure to bring your 'A' game!

Personally, my friends and I always play for cash. <hr /></blockquote>
Don't get me wrong I don't shy away from money games but to make a blanket statement like that is crazy. What I am hearing is that if you have a family to feed or your job doesn't pay you enough money to gamble you might as well forget improving your pool game. I know a lot of people that don't gamble, for whatever reason, and they play extremely well. I also know a lot of gamblers that are "broke as a broke d!ck dog".

Scott Lee
02-22-2006, 11:48 AM
Buzzsaw...Your appraisal is 100% correct. You should never gamble with the rent, or grocery money. There's nothing wrong with playing for money...UNLESS it becomes your only reason to play. It is one way to force yourself to perform at a peak level, under pressure.

At the same time, there is also pressure to perform in tournament and/or league play. Like was mentioned, you can always play another game as long as you have $$$ in your pocket. Lose once or twice and you're out, in the tournament. Many of today's top players do not gamble. Many of the ones that do, do so because they can't make a living any other way, due to poor prize funds, and massive competition. Note that I said many, not all. There is certainly a segment of players that enjoy gambling, for whatever reason. It is not, however, the only prerequisite to becoming an expert player.

The statement your friend made is simply not true. The one thing that gambling can help, is to teach someone to keep their nerve, and come with the shot when they get the chance. That's not really something that can be taught by an instructor. However, learning how to be able to "trust" your stroke helps build confidence to achieve this feeling...and that CAN be taught! jmo

Scott Lee

Buzzsaw
02-22-2006, 01:24 PM
Thanks to all of you for the sanity check. If I am gambling, and I don't consider playing my friends for a beer or two gambling, I would have a tendancy to pick and choose my opponents, but if I am playing in a tournament I have no choice who I play. To me that's pressure. If I am gambling I can always bow out but in a tournament you probably wouldn't do that.

c.holtz009
02-22-2006, 02:03 PM
I actually believe that playing for money can hurt your game. If you have a bad day, and lose a bunch of cash, there goes one of the most important things you can bring to the table - CONFIDENCE.

Gerry
02-22-2006, 02:14 PM
The way I see it looking back.

1.To get better you have to play better players....
2.Better players don't need or want to GIVE away knowledge...
3.So they play you for small stakes to make it worth their while...one hand washes the other.
4.Everyone who has gone thru this tell the new guys/girls to gamble to get better, and the wheel goes round...

Gerry

tateuts
02-22-2006, 03:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Buzzsaw:</font><hr> I've got a friend of mine that says "the only way a person will ever be any good at pool is to play for money". Personally, I think he is full of sh!t. What are your thoughts? <hr /></blockquote>

Gambling is a personal question. Once you are used to it, it's not all that much fun playing pool for no stakes.

I think what playing for money does is it helps to build the nerves it takes to bring more of your game to the table in any competition, qualified by several IF's...

IF you are playing equally skilled or better competition, or you are giving fair weight to lesser skilled opponents.

IF you are willing to practice a lot more than you gamble.

IF you learn from your losses why you lost, what and how you dogged, what you need to work on.

IF you can gamble recreational money you can afford to lose.

Being a sucker doesn't help your game, but stiff competition sure does. To face better and better competition, you pretty much have to enter tournaments or gamble. Better players want to wager something or the game doesn't have much meaning. It doesn't have to be for high stakes. $5 or $10 9 ball is a great game builder.

Chris

Scott_The_Shot
02-22-2006, 10:13 PM
Gambling with gamblers in a pool game= bad. Gambling with a Money player, one who respects the game of pool and has a passion for it... HUGE Difference.
Last time I gambled, with a "gambler" I booked a decent winner. A week later My Lincoln was mysteriously burned to the ground (at a different pool Hall). Fade That......

lukeinva
02-23-2006, 09:03 AM
I asked someone to gamble once and they said "dont you ever just play for fun?" I looked at him and said "I sure do thats why I play leagues 3 mights a week!"

When people talk about gambling to get better I dont think they realize they are actually talking about playing better players that will gamble. Of course every hall has a fish or 2 that just throws money away because they think they can win but, gambling is a way to get the really good players to play you. Ask them for spots, I did. If they arent trying to hustle you they will give you a fair one if they are trying to hustle you, then you dont want to play them!

ryushen21
02-23-2006, 01:23 PM
I think that the gambling side of thing in pool is double edged sword with a very fine edge. It can either build up confidence and strengthen your mental game or it can completely destroy it.

I took a big hit (for a college student) about a year and a half ago against a new guy. I wasn't playing bad but i was playing what i should and this guy was getting lucky rolls. And i couldn't stop myself from trying to win myself out of it. I didn't want to play pool for a while after that, money or no money, because my confidence was destroyed.

But i eventually got back into the game and got to a better level than i have ever played at through practice and drills. And now i don't mind playing the occasional money game. Most of the time i play with friends for dinner or something like that.

My problem with the whole gambling aspect is that it is getting to the point of being invasive. People that want to gamble will always find people to gamble with. But it seems as of late that just walking into a pool hall with my case buts a big bullseye on me. I may just be there to shoot with some friends or shoot alone. But the money players always come up and ask me to play. Repeated times after i have said no. That's annoying as all hell.

But that is just my expereience with it. Like i said earlier, I think that gambling has potential to help players but at the same time equal potential to destroy them.

Buzzsaw
02-24-2006, 07:24 AM
I guess my next question would be, if you're going to spend the money playing better players does it make more sense to spend the money on lessons from a legitimate trainer? The competition certainly helps if it's a fair game. How many of those players that meet you at the door try to make a fair game out of it?

supergreenman
02-24-2006, 08:22 AM
Fair Game? who ever said you were going to get a fair game from anyone(providing of course they follow the rules). The object of the game is to win. Given that players are going to do everything they can to beat you. That's where the learning experience comes in.

To answer your first question, I'd say both, take the lessons and play better players. Pool is a lifetime pastime, nobody said you had to go from a beginner to a pro skill level over night.

James

Bob_Jewett
02-24-2006, 10:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Buzzsaw:</font><hr> I guess my next question would be, if you're going to spend the money playing better players does it make more sense to spend the money on lessons from a legitimate trainer? ... <hr /></blockquote>
The majority of players and the vast majority of beginning players have problems that can be helped with instruction. Simply playing a lot may fix those problems or it may groove bad habits into your game. Whether a particular trainer can help you depends on you and the trainer. Lessons cost about $50/hour. If the trainer is any good, you will learn far more in that hour than you will from losing $50 to a top player who never misses.

Buzzsaw
02-24-2006, 12:07 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote supergreenman:</font><hr> Fair Game? who ever said you were going to get a fair game from anyone(providing of course they follow the rules). The object of the game is to win. Given that players are going to do everything they can to beat you. That's where the learning experience comes in.
<hr /></blockquote>
That's exactly my point. So what are you learning by gambling with someone that is kicking your butt and won't let you at the table? If your a beginner, are you learning how to play pool or how not to lose money?

supergreenman
02-24-2006, 12:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Buzzsaw:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote supergreenman:</font><hr> Fair Game? who ever said you were going to get a fair game from anyone(providing of course they follow the rules). The object of the game is to win. Given that players are going to do everything they can to beat you. That's where the learning experience comes in.
<hr /></blockquote>
That's exactly my point. So what are you learning by gambling with someone that is kicking your butt and won't let you at the table? If your a beginner, are you learning how to play pool or how not to lose money? <hr /></blockquote>
Well, if you're not learning anything, you shouldn't be gambling. That being said, there is a lot to learn from watching a good player run a table patterns and cluster management, speed, the list goes on. So, if you're there to learn then watch and learn if you're there to lose, don't gamble.

James

Fran Crimi
02-24-2006, 07:21 PM
Well, it depends on what your friend's definition of "any good" is. Get a list from him of players that are "any good" and try to think of any other players who are comprable to that speed who never gambled. Then you'll have your answer. If the answer is no one, then maybe that's why he said that. Also, you can always try to be the first one.

There's always a first for everything. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Fran

Buzzsaw
02-25-2006, 10:54 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> Well, it depends on what your friend's definition of "any good" is. Get a list from him of players that are "any good" and try to think of any other players who are comprable to that speed who never gambled. Then you'll have your answer. If the answer is no one, then maybe that's why he said that. Also, you can always try to be the first one.

There's always a first for everything. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Fran <hr /></blockquote>
We live in the Mid West and have had a large number of really good players come through here and/or live here. I do not have a problem with gambling I do it all the time. My problem was with the statement only.

catscradle
02-25-2006, 12:56 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Buzzsaw:</font><hr> I've got a friend of mine that says "the only way a person will ever be any good at pool is to play for money". Personally, I think he is full of sh!t. What are your thoughts? <hr /></blockquote>
I agree with you. If somebody likes to gamble that's their business, but in no way is it a requirement to getting better.

Sid_Vicious
02-25-2006, 01:11 PM
Wagering, if even for a dime(Jefferson), will make you focus more during casual, regular combat sessions. Anyone who gambles at all, say while in casinos on slots, etc, and who do not gamble on their pool skills, are inconsistent in the brainwork IMPO....sid

HALHOULE
02-26-2006, 07:43 AM
MOSCONI WAS UNDER CONTRACT WITH BRUNSWICK AND HE WAS NOT ALLOWED ANY GAMBLING, OR HE WOULD LOSE HIS $300 per day exhibiton fee.

HALHOULE
02-26-2006, 07:47 AM
playing better players gets your ass glued to a chair while that better player runs out.

Fran Crimi
02-26-2006, 07:51 AM
Then make a list of great players who never gambled and show it to your friend.

Fran

Sid_Vicious
02-26-2006, 09:11 AM
I agree. If you play better players, far in depth beyond your game, you learn to lose. In fact, it gets to be a mindset that you are SUPPOSED to lose, and that's bad. If you by any chance have a stronger player who will do it, take a spot of a ball(8 in 9-ball) and then add another(7-8-9)if you lose the set. Then after the spot is deep enough that you win, take a ball away. This way your opponent is tested and you get to win eventually. best of both talent worlds. Most won't play like this though,,,pool players are quite egotistical, men anyway, and only money-spots will get their adjustments and their game...sid

Bumps
02-27-2006, 05:20 AM
Hal,
Willie said many times that he played for money. He did not hustle. From his own lips. May have been after he signed with Brunswick, but I doubt it.

KWILSON
02-27-2006, 08:21 AM
i have been playing pool since i was 16. Got my first money game for $1. I can say this about gambling once you become experienced. You will realize that the good players will very rarely play on their own money. That's because they don't have any. Gambling 9 times outta 10 leads to depression and mood swings. It will cause you to make bad decisions about life. Things like theft,
selling/using drugs, anything to make easy money so you will not feel pressure when in action. So whatever you do don't get to involved with the gambling it only leads to a bad life. Tournaments are they way to go!!

Duckie
02-27-2006, 04:22 PM
Like anything, if you can not control yourself you are gonna have problems.

In tournament play, it would take a long time for me to play against the likes of Ian Costello, but if I play him for cheap sets, I can almost play him anytime. The key, as with any gambling, is knowing how much you can lose at a time, then walk away.

Ian and I recently played for cheap sets, 5 games per set for 10 bucks. We played 4 sets, 40 bucks, 20 games. To me, thats better then paying for lessons, but then again, I gots a firm grasp of the basics, but am very weak in pressure play. No lessons will help with that. We played heads up and I actually got at least three games won in every set, talk about a little confidence boost.

In the USPPA 9 ball, it would have been 1 set for 5 games, then have to wait till next week. Not the quickest way to get better.

tateuts
02-27-2006, 08:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Buzzsaw:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote supergreenman:</font><hr> Fair Game? who ever said you were going to get a fair game from anyone(providing of course they follow the rules). The object of the game is to win. Given that players are going to do everything they can to beat you. That's where the learning experience comes in.
<hr /></blockquote>
That's exactly my point. So what are you learning by gambling with someone that is kicking your butt and won't let you at the table? If your a beginner, are you learning how to play pool or how not to lose money? <hr /></blockquote>

Ha, this brings back good memories.

So, you have a couple of decent players hanging around, offering up weight, talking about playing. When do you play them for some cheap sets?

Once you think you're good enough to win , that's the time. I can almost guarantee you that you won't win first time out, but you never know.

Sounds strange to say but, in a pool room, nobody is going to respect you or your game until you knock off one of those guys. When and if it happens to you, you will never be the same pool player again.

Chris

runout1961
02-28-2006, 02:15 AM
Hey John, I mean BUZZSAW. Maybe that "friend" of yours is hustling YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best Regards, Runout1961

Buzzsaw
02-28-2006, 07:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote runout1961:</font><hr> Hey John, I mean BUZZSAW. Maybe that "friend" of yours is hustling YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best Regards, Runout1961 <hr /></blockquote>

Sorry runout you have the wrong person. While I've been hustled before it's been a while and definitely not by this guy.

I agree with the reasons you are giving to a point. I do believe it helps some people with pressure situations and it makes some people concentrate more. However, you know the old saying "what is one mans trash is another mans treasure". Some people play poorly but gambling doesn't affect them. Does that make them a better player than someone that plays a lot but chokes when $$ are put on the table. I've beaten a lot of people that play much better than me by just raising the bet.

tateuts
02-28-2006, 12:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Buzzsaw:</font><hr> I've beaten a lot of people that play much better than me by just raising the bet. <hr /></blockquote>

I don't buy this. The stakes matter if the skill level is similar and the mental toughness factor (or stupidity factor, whichever you prefer to call it) kicks in, but if you raise the bet against people that play a lot better than you, chances are then they'll play WAY WAY better than you.

Chris

sidepocketsam
02-28-2006, 02:01 PM
Sorry folks, but I'm part of the club that believes gambling is one major step to improving your play. It's certainly not the only step and maybe not the most important step but there comes a point in the process that you will not improve if you don't put that added spice/pressure of gambling into the mix.

I certainly don't recommend it early in the process. But at some point, with all your practice and all your league nights and all your tournys, you are going to reach a ceiling to your game. It's time to gamble. And while I don't recommend you gamble a significant part of your life away, I do recommend that you find a point where it stings a little to lose. That's going to improve your game. I also recommend that you gamble against people that are better than you but within reach of winning, and also people that are below your skills by the same amount(hey, you gotta make your money back and they need to learn too).

Gambling against a better player will test your game, gambling against a lessor player will test your character and killer instinct.

Gambling is also a different excersize that strengthens an area that other games with pressure don't. It strengthens your mental endurance. With tourny's and league night, your'e usually not constantly at the table playing under pressure for long spans, but with gambling you are.

They all can only help your game if you want to keep improving.

Buzzsaw
02-28-2006, 02:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Buzzsaw:</font><hr> I've beaten a lot of people that play much better than me by just raising the bet. <hr /></blockquote>

I don't buy this. The stakes matter if the skill level is similar and the mental toughness factor (or stupidity factor, whichever you prefer to call it) kicks in, but if you raise the bet against people that play a lot better than you, chances are then they'll play WAY WAY better than you.

Chris <hr /></blockquote>

I met a gentleman a number of years ago (too many to think about) in California (around Seal Beach) that went by the name 50 cent Johnny. I never did know his real name. For 50 cents the guy was a world beater anything over that and he fell flat on his face. You could side bet on him and he still played lights out but with his own money he just couldn't play the same. As far as a pure player he could hold his own against a lot of players.

DickLeonard
02-28-2006, 02:39 PM
Duckie this lesson is from Dickie. The next time you play for money eye the layout and where you want to land the concentrate on your breathing. Slowly inhale then slowly exhale, slowly inhale then exhale, slowly inhale then exhale, then shoot. You will find that when you concentrate on breathing you will perform much better than when random thoughts are racing thru your head[like am I going to make this shot]####

Duckie
03-01-2006, 01:49 PM
There is so much truth in what you write. I noticed when I do as you say, I play very well, but once the mind starts to wonder, like last night in my 8 ball tournament, I start thinking too much, wanting to win instead of playing the table, I started playing badly.

Now the trick is to regain my composure while sitting in the chair.

I think the reason I did play so well up to that point was playing some cheap sets and playing straight pool. I've learn so much about safety play from straight pool. I won several games last night because of the my safety play.

One game, I had four balls on the table, the other person was on the 8 ball, but after my shot, I left him so snooker that he scrathed trying to just hit the 8, while all I was going for was ball in hand.

Also, in one game, all the balls were like in a cluster at one of the table, so I would move one of my balls at a time out of the mess, but leave so good a safe that the other person could not make a shot. Then when the time was right, I had all easy shots on my balls and a run out.

Buzzsaw
03-02-2006, 07:45 AM
Most people put a lot of weight in running racks but there is something very satisfying about out thinking your opponent. I love a chess match like you were describing.

Duckie
03-02-2006, 11:43 AM
Last night in the straight pool league, I started the match going three points down. Not a very good start. It started going down hill from there. So while sitting in the chair......I decided I had two options......give up or fight like hell to get back. I chose the later.

I just hunkered down and made runs and safes. Slowly the point gap decreased, the guy I was playing was getting somewhat frustrated at my safes. Long story short, it got down to being even and we both needed three points to win.

I had two balls to go, but I chose the wrong shot sequence and ended up losing by one point. But I felt that I won a personal victory in that I did not give up and played with heart.

RedHell
03-04-2006, 10:16 AM
Playing will make a better player...

Gambling will make a better gambler...

Playing tournements will make a better tournement player...

That's it and that's all !