PDA

View Full Version : My Valley Forge results (long)



GregN
03-21-2006, 08:19 AM
I mentioned in an earlier post that I won a spot on my local TAP league's Rally in the Valley "Dream Team." What an experience that was! I've just been playing league for 9 months, and put a table in my basement a year ago (now decorated with a "beautiful" pool tie, thank you SPetty!). This was my first major tournament. I also entered into the TAP singles tournament for 2-3 skill-level players.

Our team consisted of one of each skill level from 2 (me) to 7. I learned a lot about the shortcomings of handicap systems in this event -- shortcomings you all have discussed in other threads in the year since I've been mostly lurking here. It was obvious that in many cases they only loosely represent the skill of a player because of flaws in the system, mistakes or cheating in score keeping, or just plain old sand-bagging.

I was undoubtedly the beneficiary of a flaw in the system this time. I established a 3 skill level shortly after starting in the league and fell to a 2 when I lost 4 matches in a row last fall. Since then I've played a LOT of pool outside of the league but my team this session plays me very seldom because I'm new to it and a 2. As a result, my skill level has come up considerably, but my rating hasn't.

As it turned out, this wasn't a factor in the team play in Valley Forge, as I was only called on once in the 5 matches my team played, and that was in a sudden-death match with a 5. I didn't even come close. However, in the singles tournament for 2 and 3 skill levels, I advanced from the round-robin (winning two matches against skill-level 3 players 2-0, and losing one 0-3) to the main tournament and made it one round there before getting knocked out 3-1 by a "3" that played great position and had a beautiful stroke. I made it far enough (9-16th) to win $120, so I'm not griping. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif Add that to my share of the team winnings and I ended up with almost enough to pay for the OB-1 shaft I got for my McDermott cue while I was there (also on the advice of posters here -- I figured I might as well do it now before I figure out how to adjust for deflection / squirt).

Anyway, it was a great experience, but one that left a big question in my mind about the ability to handicap pool players effectively. I am undoubtedly better than my skill-level reflects, even though I never tried to sandbag. There were a few people booted for sandbagging but they were the most egregious cases (TAP sys it will boot anyone that plays 2 skill-levels better than their handicap as calculated using their proprietary formula on tournament score-sheets. One of those was a "4" that broke and ran 3 racks in a row /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif ) It seems to me that the winners of any bracket other than the "7" singles are usually going to be the best cheaters -- almost by design. I don't know of any way to fix this, so all I can do is resolve to get good enough that I don't rely on a handicap system. In the meanwhile, I'll have to live with it and consider it part of the cost of learning this great game /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Don't misunderstand me, I love playing in TAP! The league does what it can to prevent sand-bagging, I think it's just impossible to fix this problem.

dg-in-centralpa
03-21-2006, 08:49 AM
Personally, I hate playing in a handicap league. I do play in one, and there is sandbagging to some degree but not like TAP or APA. Our league was a Valley League, but we drop our affiliation with Valley. If you want to test your skills with no sandbagging, play in the open amatuer tournament.

DG

SPetty
03-21-2006, 03:53 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote GregN:</font><hr> I've just been playing league for 9 months, and put a table in my basement a year ago (now decorated with a "beautiful" pool tie, thank you SPetty!). This was my first major tournament. I also entered into the TAP singles tournament for 2-3 skill-level players.<hr /></blockquote> /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Glad you like the tie, and thanks again for the magazines.<blockquote><font class="small">Quote GregN:</font><hr>As it turned out, this wasn't a factor in the team play in Valley Forge, as I was only called on once in the 5 matches my team played, and that was in a sudden-death match with a 5. <hr /></blockquote>They didn't even let you play? Don't they know how good you've become?<blockquote><font class="small">Quote GregN:</font><hr>However, in the singles tournament for 2 and 3 skill levels, I advanced from the round-robin (winning two matches against skill-level 3 players 2-0, and losing one 0-3) to the main tournament and made it one round there before getting knocked out 3-1 by a "3" that played great position and had a beautiful stroke.<hr /></blockquote>That's awesome! Congratulations!<blockquote><font class="small">Quote GregN:</font><hr>I made it far enough (9-16th) to win $120, so I'm not griping. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif Add that to my share of the team winnings and I ended up with almost enough to pay for the OB-1 shaft I got for my McDermott cue while I was there (also on the advice of posters here -- I figured I might as well do it now before I figure out how to adjust for deflection / squirt).<hr /></blockquote>I hope you like your OB-1 shaft as much as I like mine! You reason of getting it before learning to adjust for deflection / squirt is why I started out using the Predator shaft. I believe the OB-1 is hands down tons better than the Predator, so you got to skip that first part! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Thanks for the report.

GregN
03-23-2006, 09:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr>They didn't even let you play? Don't they know how good you've become?<hr /></blockquote>

I'm pretty good for a "2" but not "good". /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif Part of it is my not getting so nervous in matches (I used the firefighter image to help with that). Once I settle down, I play a reasonable game. On Sunday we played on a practice table for a few hours while waiting for our flight out. The "5" I was playing racked almost as much as I did. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Granted, I got some good rolls and he was having an off day, but it sure made me feel good!

Stretch
03-23-2006, 11:31 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote GregN:</font><hr> I mentioned in an earlier post that I won a spot on my local TAP league's Rally in the Valley "Dream Team." What an experience that was! I've just been playing league for 9 months, and put a table in my basement a year ago (now decorated with a "beautiful" pool tie, thank you SPetty!). This was my first major tournament. I also entered into the TAP singles tournament for 2-3 skill-level players.

Our team consisted of one of each skill level from 2 (me) to 7. I learned a lot about the shortcomings of handicap systems in this event -- shortcomings you all have discussed in other threads in the year since I've been mostly lurking here. It was obvious that in many cases they only loosely represent the skill of a player because of flaws in the system, mistakes or cheating in score keeping, or just plain old sand-bagging.

I was undoubtedly the beneficiary of a flaw in the system this time. I established a 3 skill level shortly after starting in the league and fell to a 2 when I lost 4 matches in a row last fall. Since then I've played a LOT of pool outside of the league but my team this session plays me very seldom because I'm new to it and a 2. As a result, my skill level has come up considerably, but my rating hasn't.

As it turned out, this wasn't a factor in the team play in Valley Forge, as I was only called on once in the 5 matches my team played, and that was in a sudden-death match with a 5. I didn't even come close. However, in the singles tournament for 2 and 3 skill levels, I advanced from the round-robin (winning two matches against skill-level 3 players 2-0, and losing one 0-3) to the main tournament and made it one round there before getting knocked out 3-1 by a "3" that played great position and had a beautiful stroke. I made it far enough (9-16th) to win $120, so I'm not griping. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif Add that to my share of the team winnings and I ended up with almost enough to pay for the OB-1 shaft I got for my McDermott cue while I was there (also on the advice of posters here -- I figured I might as well do it now before I figure out how to adjust for deflection / squirt).

Anyway, it was a great experience, but one that left a big question in my mind about the ability to handicap pool players effectively. I am undoubtedly better than my skill-level reflects, even though I never tried to sandbag. There were a few people booted for sandbagging but they were the most egregious cases (TAP sys it will boot anyone that plays 2 skill-levels better than their handicap as calculated using their proprietary formula on tournament score-sheets. One of those was a "4" that broke and ran 3 racks in a row /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif ) It seems to me that the winners of any bracket other than the "7" singles are usually going to be the best cheaters -- almost by design. I don't know of any way to fix this, so all I can do is resolve to get good enough that I don't rely on a handicap system. In the meanwhile, I'll have to live with it and consider it part of the cost of learning this great game /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Don't misunderstand me, I love playing in TAP! The league does what it can to prevent sand-bagging, I think it's just impossible to fix this problem. <hr /></blockquote>

Hi Greg, sounds like you had a blast at that event. Boy anytime you can come away from those things in the money is job well done /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I understand your predicament with the handycrap issue. My own runin with this plague is through the Vegas League i threw in on half way through the schedule (just under the wire). It's set up to send 2 teams to the bca championships in Vegas. The overall winner gets a spot. The reamaining teams play off for the second spot. Well the number 1 team has already locked it and there's 3 more weeks of play. Now every team has players dumping to lower thier handycaps for the playoffs. It's stupid cause now the next 3 weeks don't mean a thing. So what am i going to do? Clean up on everyone dogging shots watch my average go through the roof then have to play that level in the playoffs? i don't think so. St.

GregN
03-23-2006, 12:40 PM
Hi Stretch,

I did have a great time there! The handicap issues I observed really didn't detract from the fun -- it just surprised me as to how obvious the flaws are.

Ideally, the way to win in this type of system is to constantly improve. The good news for me is that I have a LOT of room for improvement /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif , so I just need to continue to learn as fast as I can so my skill stays ahead of my handicap. I would love to attend a "pool school" near me sometime, or find a good, reasonably priced instructor in or near Columbia, Missouri. Anyone have a suggestion?

Snapshot9
03-23-2006, 01:07 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote GregN:</font><hr> Hi Stretch,

I did have a great time there! The handicap issues I observed really didn't detract from the fun -- it just surprised me as to how obvious the flaws are.

Ideally, the way to win in this type of system is to constantly improve. The good news for me is that I have a LOT of room for improvement /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif , so I just need to continue to learn as fast as I can so my skill stays ahead of my handicap. I would love to attend a "pool school" near me sometime, or find a good, reasonably priced instructor in or near Columbia, Missouri. Anyone have a suggestion? <hr /></blockquote>

Get ahold of Chuck Raulston in St. Louis. I think he instructs and is a pro at one of the St. Louis billiard
rooms. He would be able to get you going with someone.
He posts on here from time to time.