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MAC
06-24-2008, 08:06 AM
I struck up a conversation last night with one of the better players in our league to pick his brain and get some free knowledge. I wanted to know when he started playing pool.

Basically he started around the age of seventeen and would constantly lose to his friends. So he started playing everyday, this is where it got interesting and to the point of this thread.
He would gamble with people he knew would beat him just so he could get better.He felt the only way to get better was to play for money with people he had little or no chance beating.He said if nothing was on the line you wouldnt focus and concentrate as much.

I was wondering if any of you have gone through the same thing at some point or another to improve your game? To me it sounds silly, I agree that to become better you must play people who are more skilled than you are, but to put money out there... I just dont know about that.

DeadCrab
06-24-2008, 09:17 AM
I don't gamble on pool, or anything else anymore, but over the years I have pushed many tens of thousands of dollars through the windows at thoroughbred horse tracks. So, I know a little about betting.

I can't imagine placing a bet that I couldn't win. It is totally contrary to the purpose of making a bet to do so. For the most part, gamblers don't have gambling problems, they have losing problems. Betting, knowing you are going to lose, strikes me as a ready-made gambling problem.

The money would be much better spent on lessons and practice. That is the most logical road to improvement.

Billy_Bob
06-24-2008, 09:56 AM
People play quite differently when playing for money. Even for just one U.S, dollar* (as in one hundred pennies).

They suddenly play quite serious! Try it and notice the difference. Just make it very clear what exactly you are playing for. Like $1 and not $100.

Also define the rules before play. If playing in a bar for a drink, make them specify exactly what drink or beer you are playing for in advance.

*Note there are slang terms like the following...
$1 = Jellybean
$5 = Fin
$10 = Sawbuck
$20 = Double sawbuck
$100 = Buck, C Note
$500 = Nickel
$1000 = Dime

Rail Rat
06-24-2008, 10:12 AM
I used to look at playing better players for money as great learning experience. I would play the club pro snooker player at 5 bucks a game with a point spot.... he charges 35 dollars an hour for instruction... I think I got a good deal.

I would use whatever way I could to play the best. For instance if a snooker hustler let me win the first couple of games to sucker me in, then try to jack up the bet, I would tell him, "nope... you dug yourself in this hole, now dig your self out." Of course when we were even I would quit and make him split table, but I got some great playing time in.

When you play better players than you it makes you keener and more agressive when you play others who are the about the same as you.

bsmutz
06-24-2008, 10:51 AM
I think where you are and who you're gambling with can make a big difference as well. Some people just can't take losing no matter how small the wager is. If someone seems to be prone to outbursts and intimidating behavior, I'd find someone/somewhere else.

MAC
06-24-2008, 11:00 AM
That is a good way of looking at it, lessons are not cheap but if you can play for 5 or ten a game you can get some good knowledge at a reasonable price.

DeadCrab
06-24-2008, 11:26 AM
Why take advice from someone who has a vested interest in your continuing to lose?

An instructor wants you to improve. Someone you gamble with wants you to continue being a fish.

MAC
06-24-2008, 12:43 PM
I'm not saying go down to the local pool hall and challenge the best player to play $20 or $50 rack or anything crazy. Number one rule in betting is never gamble any more than you can afford to lose. I see your point I just dont know which would be a better route to being a player player.

Prof_Frinck
06-24-2008, 12:59 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: MAC</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> That is a good way of looking at it, lessons are not cheap but if you can play for 5 or ten a game you can get some good knowledge at a reasonable price. </div></div>

But some REALLY good players wont play that cheap. A very good and pretty famous hustler from Florida, Carolinas, etc. came to NY and I didn't know his full speed but knew he was very good. I played him and got beat, lost a decent amount but I figure when do I ever get a chance to play pro-caliber players?

Deeman3
06-24-2008, 01:59 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: MAC</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I struck up a conversation last night with one of the better players in our league to pick his brain and get some free knowledge. I wanted to know when he started playing pool.

Basically he started around the age of seventeen and would constantly lose to his friends. So he started playing everyday, this is where it got interesting and to the point of this thread.
He would gamble with people he knew would beat him just so he could get better.He felt the only way to get better was to play for money with people he had little or no chance beating.He said if nothing was on the line you wouldnt focus and concentrate as much.

I was wondering if any of you have gone through the same thing at some point or another to improve your game? To me it sounds silly, I agree that to become better you must play people who are more skilled than you are, but to put money out there... I just dont know about that. </div></div>

<span style="color: #FF0000"> I think almost everyone who plays well goes through this. It used to be the only way to learn. IMO</span>

Rail Rat
06-24-2008, 03:52 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DeadCrab</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

Why take advice from someone who has a vested interest in your continuing to lose?

An instructor wants you to improve. Someone you gamble with wants you to continue being a fish. </div></div>

Not neccessarily true. What you want to learn from them is how to keep your nerves and play your best game. You can only do that by playing them, and thats the best way you improve.

Not saying don't get an instructor, but at some point you gotta fly on your own.

Deeman3
06-25-2008, 07:07 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Billy_Bob</div><div class="ubbcode-body">People play quite differently when playing for money. Even for just one U.S, dollar* (as in one hundred pennies).

They suddenly play quite serious! Try it and notice the difference. Just make it very clear what exactly you are playing for. Like $1 and not $100.

</div></div> <span style="color: #FF0000">

Billy Bob,

You make a real good point here. I think it is the focus gambling gives you that just playing will not, for most folks. Putting something on the line that menas something to you can make you focus more intently on the contest and, thusly, your skill appreciation over time, unless, of course, it even with cash, becomes boring to you.

Now, if you just play for the action and don't care about the money nor the outcome, it probably has little value. </span>

Bambu
06-25-2008, 08:21 AM
I dont think the money itself has much to do with improving. Play a better player, and those who pay attention will improve. The problem with that is the more advanced players, also want to play better players. So in general, nobody wants to be bothered playing worse players. Thats where the money comes in. Many times, its the only incentive to get the better match your game needs. But its really not about the money. Money games improve tournament/nerve skills....but not your game itself.
I gambled for years as a C class player, and didnt improve a whole lot. I actually made more money back then, but it was only because I knew my limits, and made the right games for myself. Good money player, but still a C. As a player, I didnt get much better because every time I played I HAD to win. In an environment like that, there is no time to try new things, so you are forced into to relying on what you DO know. So even if you learn some new shots during a big money match, you wont be trying them right then and there. You can learn the same or better shots as a spectator. Actually making those same shots consistently is a different story.
Get your own table and play with someone who is your equal or better, and you will both have a better environment to improve by trying new things. It is there where you can swallow your pride, and try the shots you dont know, or just arent good at(yet). Eventually, you will make shots which seem impossible now.

Fran Crimi
06-25-2008, 09:27 AM
Pressure is something you put on yourself based on the level of importance you place on what you are doing. No one can put pressure on you. That's something we do to ourselves.

Someone once told me that it's important to practice under pressure situations. My reply was that I disagree. I think we should practice putting less importance on things, thus less pressure on ourselves.

One of the best I've ever seen at that was Efren Reyes. You would never think he was playing for thousands when he gambled. He was so nonchalant about it. I think he really felt that way. While his opponents were falling apart against him, he was relaxed and smiling all the way to the bank.

Fran

Rail Rat
06-25-2008, 09:48 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran Crimi</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Pressure is something you put on yourself based on the level of importance you place on what you are doing. No one can put pressure on you. That's something we do to ourselves.

Someone once told me that it's important to practice under pressure situations. My reply was that I disagree. I think we should practice putting less importance on things, thus less pressure on ourselves.

One of the best I've ever seen at that was Efren Reyes. You would never think he was playing for thousands when he gambled. He was so nonchalant about it. I think he really felt that way. While his opponents were falling apart against him, he was relaxed and smiling all the way to the bank.

Fran </div></div>

Hi Fran, yes I certainly agree. What I was saying in my earlier reply was that playing better players is how you learn to put your practice to the test. At some point you have to know you can do that. To me it's not the money that I worried about so much as how I play, if you just work on that the money is easier.


Brad