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Cotton
06-04-2008, 11:17 AM
Catching a sandbagger can be tough. We've got a really good APA league where I play and for the most part the handicaps are right in line. A new player joined a team just after the start of this session that's drawing a lot of ire from folks.
He's the rare player that nobody seems to know or heard of. He just sort of showed up out of nowhere. Like all new players he started off as a 4 in eight ball and 9 ball. He apparently didn't play well during his first week or either just got beat to death and was dropped to a 2 in 9 ball and a 3 in eight ball. After blasted two guys at that handicapped he was bumped back up to 4s in both. Last night his team was playing and I was just watching as my team was off this week. As a 4 in eight ball he was matched up against a six in eight ball. I overheard his team captain telling him, "I need you to win this one." He put the hammer down and beat the guy, but was carefull about it. He had some obvious "easy outs", but instead chose a much harder route ended up not getting out during that turn and racked up some innings. They were obvious safety shots, but the guy he was playing always seem to be hooked.
I talked to the guy after the game and he was very nice even though he doesn't talk much before, during or after the game. He told me he wasn't much of an 8 or 9 ball player that he liked one pocket. Now I know guys have off weeks and being consistent can be a struggle at times. But if you've been around pool a while you can watch a guys stroke and how he hits balls and learn a lot. He hits to hit them like a freaking machine at key times and then at other times he'll leave you scratching your head going, "What they heck did he do that for?"
I'm don't want to punish the guy if he's truly this inconsistent, afterall he seems nice enough. On the other hand I don't want a sandbagger throwing off to keep his handicap low.
I talked briefly with his team captain. His captain said he honestly doesn't know the guy very well, and isn't 100 perecent sure how well he plays. Just wondering what your thoughts were?

Deeman3
06-04-2008, 12:20 PM
As he is an unknown, there is not much way to know. Even if you see him shoot jam up pool once or twice, he may be a choaker or just, as you said, inconsistent.

I think this is just part of putting up with league play and,in most cases, people won't be sandbagging but just not playing up to thier potential very often.

Cotton
06-04-2008, 12:34 PM
That's kind of where I stand right now Deeman. Wait and see. He's not much of a talker, in fact, when he's there he doesn't talk to anybody. Not even his teammates. He shoots and stands in a corner. His captain told me he hasn't really said two words to anybody in the three or four weeks he's played. He just shows up, plays his matches and leaves.

cycopath
06-04-2008, 01:51 PM
Just tell everyone to keep score correctly, primarily keeping up with defensive shots, and his skill level will adjust to whatever it should be.

Cotton
06-04-2008, 01:55 PM
Most of our folks do a good job keeping up with defensive shots. But the scorekeeper last night said it was hard to tell if he was playing a defensive shot, or missing and getting a leave. I'm sure you are right, only time will tell.

Fran Crimi
06-05-2008, 08:42 AM
I think your suspicions are right.

Here are a few tells, IMO:

He says he prefers one pocket. Well, nobody gets into pool and then just prefers one pocket. You grow into one pocket. Can you imagine anyone who can't play position and is a poor ball-pocketer enjoying playing one pocket? You'd have to be a massochist.

The captain claims he doesn't know the guy at all but tells him "I need you to win this one." Right. Sure. He doesn't know him.

Always leaving his opponent safe and being an experienced one pocket player go together very well.

I think you're right on the mark.

Fran

JJFSTAR
06-05-2008, 08:54 AM
Cotton he's sandbagging, there aren’t one pocket players who need to think and blow easy 8 ball outs.

Cotton
06-05-2008, 09:11 AM
Those were my first impressions too Fran and Star, but I'm one of those that wants to give the benefit of the doubt. At the same time we really try hard in our league to nip sandbaggin the bud and it very rarely comes up anymore.
The guy seems nice enough and he's got the prettiest stroke I've seen. When he's hitting the ball it makes you want say to yourself, "Gosh, I hope I look that smooth when I'm playing..LOL"

We've got league games tonight, so we'll see how it goes. I don't play against his team, but since we're slotted at different times I'll get a chance to watch him play.

The other odd things is nobody ever sees him at the pool hall unless it's league night. Even the guys I know that practice at home come and hit balls every now and then. He just shows up on league night, doesn't warm up or hit balls between matches. Maybe it's just me being paranoid and weird...

Billy_Bob
06-05-2008, 09:29 AM
I've noticed players get accused of sandbagging when the *win*.

However those who would be sandbagging would be doing so by losing intentionally. Yet no one ever complains when their opponent loses!

bluey2king
06-05-2008, 09:45 AM
Good Point Billy Bob..!
I mark a shot defense if I feel that they did not try to pocket a ball. I have seen Sandbaggers make these very nice shots for their runout, and miss a shot that leaves their ball in good shape and or moves their opponets ball to bad shape. Thats a defense!
I have seen this same player go to his score keeper and ask how many innings. He is trying to keep the innings high then he turns it on. He does this against lower level players 3's and 4s. It is so disgusting! And lots of time other low level players are scoring and dont really see whats going on. It makes me sick. He team never makes the playoffs...hhaha
Players have left his team and formed up with others and they too play this kind of B.S.
All I can say is educate you lower players help teach them what to look for.

TCIndepMo
06-06-2008, 12:17 AM
Sounds like a sandbagger. And a very good one.

If you don't say much you don't have to deny much later on.
Sounds like the captain knows all he needs to know about the guy!
He likes one pocket but "just plays, wins and leaves"?
A four that "can put the hammer down" and beat a six?

He and his captain think they have found a crack in the APA system and are trying to sneak this guy through.

Please notify your LO of your concerns.
PLEASE TELL YOUR LO.
The good APA LOs are crying out for meaningful feedback from knowledgeable players.
If you remain quiet the sandbagger wins. And I don't mean a few pool games.
PLEASE pass on the info to your LO.

I am an APA LO. Help us to police this problem!

Cotton
06-06-2008, 12:32 PM
Here's an update... We had league play last night and even though my team wasn't playing against this guy's team we were at different time slots. I made it a point to watch this guy play and his team captain. This a double jep. league so we play eight and nine ball. His team captain played him first. He's a 4 and was matched up against 5. First game he made the eight on the break (i never get that lucky). Second he broke and didn't make a ball. The other guy ran 4 balls and play a great safety. He (the possible sandbagger) made a nice kick, but left the guy a tough shot. The other guy (not the possible bagger) made the tough cut shot and got out. To make a long story somewhat shorter the alleged bagger won the match 3-2. They both played pretty good and I kept up with the innings. There were 11 of them and I counted safety shots.
In 9 ball he was matched up against a 2. Nothing spectacular happened. He also won this match, but it was pretty close. He did miss some pretty easy 3 and 4 ball outs in nine ball, including a 3 ball out where he had ball in hand and nothting was touching a rail. I'm checking with some of the teams that have played him and get their info before the next handicap meeting on Monday.

Deeman3
06-06-2008, 12:35 PM
Sorry, I misunderstood this post. Catching a "Bagger" had much to do with watching who your college roommate sneaked in with at 3:00a.m. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Bambu
06-06-2008, 02:20 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cycopath</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Just tell everyone to keep score correctly, primarily keeping up with defensive shots, and his skill level will adjust to whatever it should be.</div></div>

I agree, the ratings take time to fall in place. Its pretty tough to stay in playoff position if your sandbagger loses on purpose to keep his rating down. Most teams dont have the depth to do it.

SKennedy
06-06-2008, 03:45 PM
I agree with Fran. I'm very skeptical of any SL-4 APA player who "prefers" one pocket to 8-ball or 9-ball.
As most stated, time will tell.

sack316
06-06-2008, 06:52 PM
I would be a little skeptical too if he prefers one pocket. But to give an alternate view here, his age/experience could be a factor as well. I know several old timers around here that I can pretty well take in a shooting game such as nine ball, but they will crush me in a game of one pocket just because of their better strategy, patience, and "table vision" (may be the wrong term there). One in particular I know I'd probably have to spot him a ball in 9-ball or give him a game or 2 in 8-ball... but I won't play him one pocket for anything less than a 9-6 spot, and that would be if I'm feeling frisky lol.

So I dunno, overall I'd be skeptical of him too as I said, but I would still allow room for the possibility that maybe he's just not solid at those particular games.

Sack

JJFSTAR
06-08-2008, 11:41 AM
Great point Sack I didn’t consider that this may be an older guy. So Cotton what is this guy’s demographic? If he’s 70 he may not be a sandbagger but if he’s 30 he is.

JoeW
06-08-2008, 01:16 PM
I knew a fellow back in the early 90s who had a 9’ table at home and played with others at his house on a regular basis. He was an APA 5. He and I stopped at a local pool hall one night to play some 9-Ball. I asked if he wanted to play for $25.00 race to 9. He said no because I did not stand a chance (I was also an APA 5 at the time). We started to play and he ran four racks before I got a shot. I was amazed and asked why he did not play at a higher handicap in APA. He told me, and I believe him, that when it came to leagues and team play he would get nervous and miss shots. When he was alone or with a friend he played a lot better. I knew this fellow pretty well and without going into detail, I do not think he was lying. He just wasn’t that sort of person.

There is more than one possible reason for a guy to be quiet and not say much during team play.

eb_in_nc
06-09-2008, 06:42 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I knew a fellow back in the early 90s who had a 9’ table at home and played with others at his house on a regular basis. He was an APA 5. He and I stopped at a local pool hall one night to play some 9-Ball. I asked if he wanted to play for $25.00 race to 9. He said no because I did not stand a chance (I was also an APA 5 at the time). We started to play and he ran four racks before I got a shot. I was amazed and asked why he did not play at a higher handicap in APA. He told me, and I believe him, that when it came to leagues and team play he would get nervous and miss shots. When he was alone or with a friend he played a lot better. I knew this fellow pretty well and without going into detail, I do not think he was lying. He just wasn’t that sort of person.

There is more than one possible reason for a guy to be quiet and not say much during team play. </div></div>

I can relate to this guy's explanation to you Joe and I agree, but after some time you would think he would be able to get over his phobia about playing in the APA and would come into his own. I think all of us probably are more comfortable shooting outside our APA matches in general, but it seems this guy had an extreme case of nerves which severely impaired his ability to focus. I wonder, did he win the race to 9 and would the $25 bet have made him nervous as well? Perhaps that's why he declined?

Cotton
06-09-2008, 07:54 AM
The guy is in his early 30s. He's a fairly average looking, good and dresses really well. Plays with a "plain jane" cue, not sure who made it, but I don't think it's of the mass produced variety. We've got another round of league action Tuesday and my team is going up against his and I'm going to make sure I'm keep the score of his matches, so I should have more info then.

JoeW
06-09-2008, 10:01 AM
The fellow I was talking about was a real estate agent (selling big time commercial accounts) and the kind of person who was enjoyable to be around. I think that he would have beat me regardless of the money as we were reasonably good friends and he knew that his image was not a factor when we played. I don't remember the score but it was somethig like 9-2 - he won. I don't know what his problem was, never asked or tried to figure it out. He said that team play made him nervous and that he would lose his stroke. Professional psychologists do not advertise or offer their services. The general rule is that you have to ask for help.

Over the next few years I observed him on my team and in a few tournaments. He never did play much above a 5 handicap in public. On a few occassions he did well but never won a tournament. I was able to beat him in 8-Ball league tournaments when many other people were present. As I remember he did eventually move up to a 6 handicap and then I lost track of him. From what I saw of him in the hall he was an "A" player under the right circumstances.

There is a form of neurosis that involves panic attacks when a person has to lead a group of people or speak in public. These "normal" people are afraid of losing control and then looking stupid. They have an unreasonable fear that something beyond their control will make them look bad and hence do things like throw up before a presentation and do everything they can to avoid these types of social situations.

I have worked with a few of these "executives" in very large corporations in the past and find that having them simply go places like K-Mart where the world is chaos helps them learn that they do not have to be in control and can live in a socially messy world without feeling responsible.

Men and women in leadership positions with this type of neurosis are often anxious in any chaotic soocial situation and this is where they can learn to over come their fears. As I remember it took me three weeks to convince the executive patient of mine to just step inside the door at K-Mart as he detested the social atmosphere.

For the average person with mild anxiety I tell them to begin a public presentation with, "An expert is a guy from out of town with slides. I am not from out of town and I don't have any slides." In the case of playing pool I routinely tell my friends that they can set up any shot they want on a pool table and I can miss it. Laughter helps.

The fellow that Cotton is talking about may be a shark but then too he may be learning to play in competition. One way to find out is to simply ask him if he has played in leagues before and if league play presents a particular challenge for him. Then listen closely. Many times the answer is right in front of us if we just ask.

Before anyone asks, I am retired and no longer work with patients.

JoeW
06-09-2008, 10:27 AM
One of the things I like about playing pool is the way it equalizes everyone. In my professional environment I was the expert and had few difficuties controlling situations in my area of expertise.

When playing pool I am no better, in fact much worse, than many people I play with. It is level playing field and I am just as nervous about looking like a jerk as the next guy. For me this is, and always has been, a lot of fun.

Like many people with an area of expertise I get sick of it because I know how much we don't know and all the BS is tiresome. When playing pool I am just one of the guys and take it on the chin like eveyone else. I have learned over the years that I am not alone in this preference for a level playing field. Currently I know several millionaires and other highly successful people who hang out the same places I do because it is fun to just be one of the guys.

eb_in_nc
06-10-2008, 07:45 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">One of the things I like about playing pool is the way it equalizes everyone. In my professional environment I was the expert and had few difficuties controlling situations in my area of expertise.

When playing pool I am no better, in fact much worse, than many people I play with. It is level playing field and I am just as nervous about looking like a jerk as the next guy. For me this is, and always has been, a lot of fun.

Like many people with an area of expertise I get sick of it because I know how much we don't know and all the BS is tiresome. When playing pool I am just one of the guys and take it on the chin like eveyone else. I have learned over the years that I am not alone in this preference for a level playing field. Currently I know several millionaires and other highly successful people who hang out the same places I do because it is fun to just be one of the guys.
</div></div>

I'm with you Joe. I love the diversity of people with whom I play each week. No one talks about work and no one cares what someone else does, we all just want to hang out and shoot pool. That in my mind is a great thing besides winning my match!!

Cotton
06-10-2008, 01:34 PM
We're playing the team of the suspected bagger tonight. I'll make a detailed post about it either later tonight or in the morning. It should be a good match. Their team hasn't lost yet and we're in second.

Cotton
06-11-2008, 07:45 AM
We played the alleged bagger last night and I'm pretty sure he's a bagger. His captain didn't play him in eight ball. I think the reason he didn't play him is they won their first three eight ball matches and didn't feel like he needed to use him. But,he did play him in nine ball.
He played the last match of nine ball and we play our best player (an SL-8) and this guy played as a SL-4. It was a very unique match and I had the pleasure of keeping score. The alleged bagger won the match 31 to 35. Our poor guy must have shot 15 kick shots. The alleged bagger even played a safety with ball in hand and his object ball was wide open in the middle of the table, but there were a few other balls clustered and it would have been a difficult run out.
Neither player made any long run outs. Four balls was a long run for either one. Our guy did have one hot streak where he was able to run four balls and follow it up with a break and run.
But after watching the match I've come to this conclusion. Either the alleged bagger is: (1) A great defensive player and not very good at all offensively or (2) He's doing one fine job of sandbagging.
Despite the defensive plays (which I marked) he was able to get the innings up. He made several two-way shots where he looked like he was attempting to make a ball but missed and came up with a leave out of it.
I asked our our (the SL-8) about it after the match. His quote was, "I think the guy plays better than I do." And our guy isn't the type to get sore over a loss. He's the most level headed guy on the team.
I'm definately going to take this up with the LO.

Deeman3
06-11-2008, 08:03 AM
Cotton,

I guess there is nothing you can do if this is, indeed, the case. It is one of the many reasons that I do not like handicaped pool. It is difficult to do among a group of players who do not know each other's game very well and leaves room for hard feelings and as I have said earlier, prevents improvements among many players. The desire to beat a markably better player can be a powerful driver to do the things needed to get better. A simple adjustment that "evens" players takes much of that away.

Oh, well, you still have your health and that cover girl looks to fall back on. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

KellyStick
06-16-2008, 11:33 AM
Billy Bob. I always reserve the right to complain. When I get a win from a sandbagger that is almost the worst situation. It so cheapens the GAME in my eyes. I play APA one night per week and I don't want to waste any of my matches playing a pointless GAME against someone who fully intends to lose.

There is another 6 that's been telling me he's been wanting to play against me for weeks. He got his chance last Thursday. Now that was a good match with competition and intent to win on both our parts. If that had been a sandbagger determined to lose it would have been a waste of my time. I have had other players make comments to me about the fun they had playing me because I try to win every single match. This makes the game fun.

On the other hand losing to a sandbagger is annoying but I look at that as a challenge. To beat a sandbagger that is trying to win is even more enjoyable.

New2Pool
06-16-2008, 01:59 PM
So what happens if two sandbaggers play each other and they are each determined to "lose"? Do the better player come out ahead (with the loss) or does the lack of skill of the other player make it where the are comfortable missing more shots? Either way it seems like it would be painful to watch.