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BRussell
07-23-2007, 11:52 AM
I've been interested in trying to quantify pool playing success/ability. The measures I've seen usually involve balls per game, which I suppose makes sense in the BCA 8-ball league I'm in, but that's so dependent on who you're playing. If you're up against a good player, you're going to make less balls. The length of your run in a rotation game is probably a better individual measure, but the reality is that it's not always good pool to try to run out. You want to play safeties too.

What about "mistakes per game" as a measure of individual ability. Kind of like ERA for a pitcher in baseball. It could be something to keep track of during individual practice time to motivate improvement, or it could be used as a measure of ability: Play 10 games alone and keep track of your "MPG."

Here are possible mistakes that should count against you:
Missed shot
Safety attempt leaves open shot
Missed hit when responding to a safety

It gets a bit subjective when you try to decide if a safety should be a mistake, or whether a kick shot was a mistake. But I think some basic standards could be agreed upon.

It could be used as a measure of individual skill by having someone play 10 games of 9-ball, finishing each game, and keeping track of MPG. Perhaps something like this for 9-ball:

C player: 2 mistakes per game
B player: 1 mistake per game
A player: <1 mistake per game

That might be a bit strict, especially for the B and C players.

Any thoughts? And does anyone have any links to similar systems?

Chopstick
07-23-2007, 12:30 PM
Mistakes win games too. It's only a mistake if you opponent can use it against you.

okinawa77
07-23-2007, 12:50 PM
In order to include safety shots in the MPG or EPG, I think that if you do not perform the shot in the manner you intended, then it should also count as a mistake or error. Because in safety play, cue ball position can make or break a game. I also think, if you do not pocket a ball cleanly without touching the edges of the pocket, then it should also count as an error....unless utilizing the left or right side of the pocket is your intent. When I practice, I analyze everything on every stroke in order to improve myself and get familiar with the table. Learning to analyze the feedback from the balls' reactions to the table and each other will enable you to improve your game very quickly.

Perhaps a deeper level of metrics can be utilized for advanced players. Like MPS or EPS (Mistakes/Errors Per Stroke/Shot).

"A problem well stated is a problem half solved."
-Charles Kettering

1Time
07-23-2007, 02:07 PM
If the reward/loss only has a monetary value (cash, prizes), the measure of playing pool is how much players win or lose.

If the reward/loss is only in titles (winner, loser, 1st place, last place), the measure of playing pool is the value placed on those titles.

If the reward/loss is both, the measure of playing pool is both of the above.

If neither is the reward/loss, then it becomes more valuable to constuct more arbitrary measures of playing pool, like when practicing.

TRex
07-23-2007, 02:07 PM
I would like to suggest that you are assuming that absolute perfection is atainable and concieveably a player can ascend to the point where they never miss regardless of the shot. Wouldn't that be a lot of fun. Seriously there are uncontrollable varibles that frequently can't be determined, ie humidity, chalk chips that weren't there a shot ago, and on and on. However, you are right the player that makes the fewest "mistakes" usually wins.

sack316
07-23-2007, 02:28 PM
Seems to me a system such as this would really have to be so deep it would be almost impossible to accurately track.

For example, I would include myself getting out of line as a mistake. But perhaps I manage to make a great shot to get back in line.

Or I am attempting to get out of an excellent safety... if it's practically impossible to get out of, should it count against someone? Or even if the object ball is hit, but I leave the table wide open anyway. Or simple a missed shot that is attempted in an attempt to run out but has no consequence if it is missed (two way shot).

An idea like this sounds really good in theory, but I think there are just too many nuances to the game to be able to use it effectively. Perhaps it's something you could do for yourself to make an accurate picture in your own mind, but it would be hard to compare your results with others as often times the smaller successes/failures are in the eye of the beholder. What I would judge as a mistake for myself may be defined totally different by you. Like I said, it's not a bad idea--- I just think it would be too hard to put into practice.

Sack

Deeman3
07-23-2007, 02:32 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TRex:</font><hr> I would like to suggest that you are assuming that absolute perfection is atainable and concieveably a player can ascend to the point where they never miss regardless of the shot. Wouldn't that be a lot of fun. Seriously there are uncontrollable varibles that frequently can't be determined, ie humidity, chalk chips that weren't there a shot ago, and on and on. However, you are right the player that makes the fewest "mistakes" usually wins. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> I'm sorta in your court here.

"I was calculating the tangent l;ine of the next shot while trying to run through my MPG divided by my NMPG (Near Miss Per Game) and that other guy just ran out on me!" I think we can learn from every single mistake we make if we are paying attention but trying to quantify every stat in the game seems, maybe, fruitless and at best mental clutter. Statistical analysis may provide some level of historical insight but probably does not lend itself to that much improvement. Root cause analysis determines improvement, not data. Joltin Joe probably didn't know, when he complained about playing night games that his batting average was substantially higher in those very games. In my totaly unimportant opinion, knowing how many chances you'll give a guy or how many he will give you won't really change the outcome unless your calculator falls on the table and moves an object ball. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif</font color>

Dagwood
07-23-2007, 02:35 PM
You might want to get a hold of someone at Accustats videos and ask them how they figure out their match statistics in regards to safety play, kicks, ect.... it's already an established system, and using that as a springboard may make the process a little easier. Why do the work if it's already been done for you?

Dags

Bob_Jewett
07-23-2007, 02:56 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BRussell:</font><hr> I've been interested in trying to quantify pool playing success/ability. ... Any thoughts? And does anyone have any links to similar systems? <hr /></blockquote>
As mentioned above, Pat Fleming of Accu-Stats has already worked on such a system for about 25 years. Accu-stats has an 800-number. http://www.accu-stats.com/

BigRigTom
07-23-2007, 05:17 PM
<font color="red">" I've been interested in trying to quantify pool playing success/ability. The measures I've seen usually involve balls per game, which I suppose makes sense in the BCA 8-ball league I'm in, but that's so dependent on who you're playing. If you're up against a good player, you're going to make less balls. The length of your run in a rotation game is probably a better individual measure, but the reality is that it's not always good pool to try to run out. You want to play safeties too.

What about "mistakes per game" as a measure of individual ability. "</font color>

Pool playing success should be a measure of the successes <font color="red"> NOT THE MISTAKES! </font color>
Even then it is VERY subjective but there are many factors in the game that can be agreed to by most people that are postive results of various actions and obvious intents. Use those agreed upon factors and leave the judgement calls up to the refs....and we can all continue to blame &amp; hate the refs like we do in any other sport.

bsmutz
07-23-2007, 05:51 PM
Using Tom's logic, why not KISS? Only record those shots that you consider perfect (you know, the ones that Allen Hopkins would say "perfect" if he were commentating your play) against all shots taken for a given number of games/practice sessions. Work on increasing the percentage of "perfect" shots.

Bob_Jewett
07-23-2007, 06:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Bob_Jewett:</font><hr> ... As mentioned above, Pat Fleming of Accu-Stats has already worked on such a system for about 25 years. ... <hr /></blockquote>
Here is a 6-page instruction sheet for how the Accu-stats system works.
http://www.accu-stats.com/AS-inst.pdf
It has documented the performance in tournaments of many of the top players including Strickland, Reyes, Sigel, Mathews, etc.

Qtec
07-23-2007, 09:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> Mistakes win games too. It's only a mistake if you opponent can use it against you. <hr /></blockquote>

Sorry Chop but thats wrong.
If you try to make a ball and you miss- thats a mistake, If you make a ball but don't get the envisaged position- thats a mistake.
Its got nothing to do with the other player.

You can't measure your game on winning or losing. At the top level you can play great, never miss a ball and still lose!

I would say at the top amateur lever, guys that can play, if you miss 10 balls in 9ball in a race to 11, you can't expect to win.

Q



Q

Chopstick
07-24-2007, 09:32 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> Mistakes win games too. It's only a mistake if you opponent can use it against you. <hr /></blockquote>

Sorry Chop but thats wrong.
If you try to make a ball and you miss- thats a mistake, If you make a ball but don't get the envisaged position- thats a mistake.
Its got nothing to do with the other player.

You can't measure your game on winning or losing. At the top level you can play great, never miss a ball and still lose!

I would say at the top amateur lever, guys that can play, if you miss 10 balls in 9ball in a race to 11, you can't expect to win.

Q



Q <hr /></blockquote>

A player misses a ball and gets an air tight safety. As a result he gets ball in hand on the ball he just missed. He is now in a better position to run out than he was in the first place. This happens all the time in all levels of play.

The difference is at higher levels of play a player will calculate the odds and penalty of missing a ball and play shots that will minimize the effect of a mistake.

I miss balls every match I play. I frequently play opponents who do not miss a ball in the entire match against me. I still win.

There is more to playing the game than making balls and getting shape.

BigRigTom
07-24-2007, 01:06 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> Mistakes win games too. It's only a mistake if you opponent can use it against you. <hr /></blockquote>

Sorry Chop but thats wrong.
If you try to make a ball and you miss- thats a mistake, If you make a ball but don't get the envisaged position- thats a mistake.
Its got nothing to do with the other player.

You can't measure your game on winning or losing. At the top level you can play great, never miss a ball and still lose!

I would say at the top amateur lever, guys that can play, if you miss 10 balls in 9ball in a race to 11, you can't expect to win.

Q



Q <hr /></blockquote>

A player misses a ball and gets an air tight safety. As a result he gets ball in hand on the ball he just missed. He is now in a better position to run out than he was in the first place. This happens all the time in all levels of play.

The difference is at higher levels of play a player will calculate the odds and penalty of missing a ball and play shots that will minimize the effect of a mistake.

I miss balls every match I play. I frequently play opponents who do not miss a ball in the entire match against me. I still win.

There is more to playing the game than making balls and getting shape. <hr /></blockquote>

I agree with everything chopstick just said.
I have been beating players who are better than me all my pool playing life.
Being a good shot is not always going to get you the win, being a smart player will not always get the win, being lucky will not always get the win, playing good defense will not always get the win....etc...etc...etc.
You have to get it all together at once and then STILL hope the pool gods will smile on you in that match.

That's why we all love this game!

1Time
07-24-2007, 11:07 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 1Time:</font><hr> If the reward/loss only has a monetary value (cash, prizes), the measure of playing pool is how much players win or lose.

If the reward/loss is only in titles (winner, loser, 1st place, last place), the measure of playing pool is the value placed on those titles.

If the reward/loss is both, the measure of playing pool is both of the above.

If neither is the reward/loss, then it becomes more valuable to constuct more arbitrary measures of playing pool, like when practicing. <hr /></blockquote>

I'll now add my conclusion to my previous post. When the dust settles, stats don't mean squat.

Qtec
07-25-2007, 08:06 PM
[ QUOTE ]
A player misses a ball <font color="blue">thats a mistake. </font color>and gets an air tight safety. <font color="blue"> Luck </font color>As a result he gets ball in hand on the ball he just missed. He is now in a better position to run out than he was in the first place. This happens all the time in all levels of play.<font color="blue">Luck is a part of the game. </font color>

The difference is at higher levels of play a player will calculate the odds and penalty of missing a ball and play shots that will minimize the effect of a mistake.<font color="blue">Impossible to do is straight pool and negative play in 9 ball. In 8ball it is a consideration. </font color>

I miss balls every match I play. <font color="blue"> Everyone does. </font color>I frequently play opponents who do not miss a ball in the entire match against me. I still win.<font color="blue"> They can only miss if they get a shot. </font color>

There is more to playing the game than making balls and getting shape. <hr /></blockquote> <font color="blue"> </font color> /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

To me its simple, if the shot I envisage doesn't come out exactly as planned then I made a mistake.

Q