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View Full Version : The Infectious "Playing Down Levels"



Sid_Vicious
08-03-2002, 08:14 AM
Ok some of you may say you ALWAYS play hard no matter if it's Grandma or Grady you are playing but I don't fully believe that to be true. Maybe there are a few who can shut out the emotions of pouncing on everyone no matter who they are, still I think the norm is to sluff off and change your speed when there's less competitive skill against you. Take a situation where you are playing against the boss, or in a family reunion(the spouses) or literally against Grandma. Now be honest, "Do you beat Grandma's or The Girfriend's or the girlfriend's Dad's brains out for the accomplishment of winning and playing your best?" Human nature tells me no you don't. Is it just me or do others deteriorate in talent dramatically when shooting against
several levels beneath their skills? What if anything can you do to head that loss of talent off at the pass???sid

Kato
08-03-2002, 09:32 AM
I goof around, act like I'm some great player (well to them I am), spin whitey like crazy. I tell myself that it's a perfect time to try new things but it just isn't so. Then again, I've never had the most well developed killer instinct out there.

Kato~~~mean, but not really all that mean.

Tom_In_Cincy
08-03-2002, 09:46 AM
Sid,

Good question.. When I play for "funsies" with a lessor skilled player, I tend to see an opponent that is looking to see what type of game they can play against me. I don't want them to come away from the table thinking "Ya I beat him a couple of games out of 10, but he wasn't really into the game, he was just banging them around"

I always play at my best tournament level. To do otherwise is not pleasurable to me. I can't bang them around, this is counter-productive for me.

But, I have to admit.. I have been beaten by some lessor skilled players, by luck and by them playing some of their best games ever. This is not a bad thing for me. I know I can't win them all, and I can accept that.. And, I can also accept that a lessor skilled player can step up and play good enough to beat me, even for funsies.

08-03-2002, 10:11 AM
A long time ago, when I first started playing for money, I learned quickly that if you stomp on a lesser skilled player right out of the gate; they quit. So, if you want to keep a guy at the table and hopefully win more money, you have to play down to their level. It's not so much a matter of trying to deceive them as much as it is keeping them playing. Later, when I stopped gambling at pool, this approach continued because it had becomed ingrained. The desire to keep players at the table and not run them off is still there. If your playing a long session with someone it's not really an issue but in tournament play it can be a problem where coming out strong is essential. Anybody who has played for awhile learns this same lesson. You just need to be conscious of the phenomena and adjust during tournament play. When playing friends or family members, if you still have that unrelenting,killer,competitive attitude while playing, you've got some serious self esteem issues to deal with, IMO.

Wally_in_Cincy
08-03-2002, 10:15 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> Sid,

Good question.. When I play for "funsies" with a lessor skilled player, I tend to see an opponent that is looking to see what type of game they can play against me. I don't want them to come away from the table thinking "Ya I beat him a couple of games out of 10, but he wasn't really into the game, he was just banging them around"

I always play at my best tournament level. To do otherwise is not pleasurable to me. I can't bang them around, this is counter-productive for me<hr></blockquote>

Having been on the receiving end of this a few times I can unequivocally say Tom is not bull$hitting /ccboard/images/icons/laugh.gif

Tom_In_Cincy
08-03-2002, 10:24 AM
Wally, If I remember correctly, each time we played, you were shooting better and better. I enjoy our times at the table and look forward to the next time. Maybe we can play on the 9 footers and experience some 9 ball. Or, if you like some 14.1

Wally_in_Cincy
08-03-2002, 10:36 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> Ok some of you may say you ALWAYS play hard no matter if it's Grandma or Grady you are playing but I don't fully believe that to be true. Maybe there are a few who can shut out the emotions of pouncing on everyone no matter who they are, still I think the norm is to sluff off and change your speed when there's less competitive skill against you. Take a situation where you are playing against the boss, or in a family reunion(the spouses) or literally against Grandma. Now be honest, "Do you beat Grandma's or The Girfriend's or the girlfriend's Dad's brains out for the accomplishment of winning and playing your best?" Human nature tells me no you don't. Is it just me or do others deteriorate in talent dramatically when shooting against
several levels beneath their skills? What if anything can you do to head that loss of talent off at the pass???sid <hr></blockquote>

There's a big difference between playing lessor players at the pool hall or tavern and playing at a family reunion or company function. In the latter you have no choice but to play down a level. You can show your true speed by letting the other person stay in the game until you're down to the money ball and then execute a table length bank or something. It's ok to show off a little bit but it's not polite to beat somebody's brains out just because you can.

In the former situation the other person comes to the pool hall expecting a good game and shouldn't get mad at you if you are just a better player.

08-03-2002, 10:42 AM
That might not necessarily be the way to go, Wally. I've found that people, especially friends and relatives really do appreciate it when you can do something well. You may not see that reaction from them right then and there, but you can be assured they will be off bragging about you to someone else, saying how their cousin, grandson, or brother-in-law can shoot the lights out.

I think it's all in your attitude while doing it. You don't have to act like you're out to get them. Smile, laugh and have fun and then shoot the lights out while you're at it. They'll love it.

Fran

Wally_in_Cincy
08-03-2002, 11:02 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Fran Crimi:</font><hr> That might not necessarily be the way to go, Wally. I've found that people, especially friends and relatives really do appreciate it when you can do something well. You may not see that reaction from them right then and there, but you can be assured they will be off bragging about you to someone else, saying how their cousin, grandson, or brother-in-law can shoot the lights out.

I think it's all in your attitude while doing it. You don't have to act like you're out to get them. Smile, laugh and have fun and then shoot the lights out while you're at it. They'll love it.

Fran <hr></blockquote>

That's a good point. I have an uncle who was one the premier geetar pickers in Nashville for years. We would always cajole him into playing for us at family get-togethers and I was never offended that he played guitar a WHOLE LOT BETTER than me /ccboard/images/icons/laugh.gif

Your situation is a lot like that. You're a pro for pete's sake /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif. They expect you to beat their brains out /ccboard/images/icons/laugh.gif.

My daughter came to our league match the other night and watched me make a table length kick on the money ball. She now thinks I'm a pool god LOL. Little does she know /ccboard/images/icons/tongue.gif

I don't know. I'm ambivalent for now I guess. I'll have to think this one through,

Yours truly,

Indecisive Wally,

SPetty
08-03-2002, 04:32 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> What if anything can you do to head that loss of talent off at the pass???<hr></blockquote>Hi Sid,

Why? Why must you head off playing for funsies and crush Grandma with no mercy as though she was/were Grady? It's a given that you'll probably win a lot of games playing for fun at the family reunion or company party. Why must it be made into a super competition from your perspective? Your funsies game is still way above most non-pool-players. Is funsies just no fun any more? And, the few games you lose will certainly make someone feel good!

It's not a "deterioration of talent", it's just having a little fun. I see nothing wrong with that.

08-03-2002, 11:31 PM
This is kind of related to the topic. I was playing this guy I know at the ph for fun who I am maybe 3 balls better than. It was getting boring, you know goofing around, talking trash, until he said something to the effect of "you're not ready to play good players/play in tournaments." I said "when will I be ready?" He said "when you can beat me 5 games of 8 ball in a row." I broke and ran the first two and would have had the third but the cue skipped after my last stripe and I got hooked on the 8. My point is I never would have played that well if I didn't have this short term goal in front of me, even though I should be able to beat him 20 games in a row. I think it was in Byrne's Mcgoorty where he says something like if you're playing your grandmother to 50 and you have her 47-3, try not to let her get 5, or something similar. My .02.

Rod
08-04-2002, 03:04 AM
Quote Sid, What if anything can you do to head that loss of talent off at the pass???sid

I don't even try Sid. If it is a fun game then I just have fun. Sure I may play good but not my best. My family and friends know how I play. When they win a game it sure makes them happy! I get a laugh myself seeing how excited they get. Usually I'd rather let them do most of the playing.

Now Granny is another story. When she was alive she took quarters from me betting on the World Series. I was just a little pup, no more than 3 feet tall, I swear! Granny had a big smile when she got the doe! When she lost that smile faded a little. She was ruthless I'll tell you. Heck I wouldn't even give her weight, I never got any. ha!

Scott Lee
08-04-2002, 09:32 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: daveb:</font><hr> A long time ago, when I first started playing for money, I learned quickly that if you stomp on a lesser skilled player right out of the gate; they quit. So, if you want to keep a guy at the table and hopefully win more money, you have to play down to their level. It's not so much a matter of trying to deceive them as much as it is keeping them playing. <hr></blockquote>

I was taught something similar, only we called it Win 3-Lose 1. That usually kept them playing for long periods.

Scott Lee

jjinfla
08-04-2002, 08:12 PM
What if Grandma or the girlfriend happens to be Fran, Jean, Lorry, Karen, Allison? Then it's time to slink away.

At the Patriot cup in Tampa I think it was Robles who played a fan who had the winning ticket and a chance to win an extra $25.00 if he beat Robles. The kid got two tries in the game and won and no one will ever know if Tony let up and missed twice intentionally.

Do I let up when I play weaker players? Hell yeah. But sometimes the more I let up, the more relaxed I become, the harder it is to miss. To me, taking someone's last dollar is not an accomplishment I would be proud of. Nor would losing my last dollar to someone I know is much better than I am. That would just be stupid. Jake

08-04-2002, 10:10 PM
only the best can play consistantly well. that's why they're the best.