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skin
08-14-2008, 08:08 PM
So, I have come out of 35 years of retirement to play again. I've been practicing a little and playing in local yokel weekly 10 ball ring games and nine ball tournaments for the last 3 weeks. Been creeping up closer to the "money" each week.

A couple of days ago I was in a 10 ball ring game with a guy who claimed back in his day (a mere 10 years ago) he placed 5th in the nation in an amateur tournament. Believable. He was a strong player. He won the ring and went to the final match.

But...I probably could have had him at several times during the session if only I would have turned loose the old shark, the killer gambler, within. But instead I deliberately kept the shark in his cage, I guess because I don't know anymore how to control where it will take me now than I did way back when I stopped playing because of it.

And I lost when I probably shouldn't have.

I figure I am not going to get to my playing goals without that killer monster within. I haven't figured out yet how to harness it and make it do my will instead of its.

This is why I have decided to buy a table and set it up in my garage. Call it a shark tank for training/taming the hustler within.

Does anybody else deal with this kind of thing? The closest way I can come to describing it is how Fast Eddie in The Hustler felt/acted in that bar on the docks, after which he got his thumbs broken.


skin

1Time
08-15-2008, 12:08 AM
If playing for money in a less than safe environment, there should be an element of hustling to your game like not exposing the entirety of your killer instict and game, lest you risk suffering unforseen consequences. The best way that I know of to get better at this and develop the killer instinct is by gambling in that very same environment. Of course practicing in a safe environment like at home will help your game and perhaps bring out your killer instinct, but that won't help you learn to moderate it while gambling in a less than safe environment.

MAC
08-15-2008, 10:52 AM
I know what you mean sometimes I may have an off night in league just because the peson Im playing is less skilled than I am and I dont seem to focus like I should be.However on the same night after my match if someone lays some money down Im lights out and usually run 6 or 7 balls after the break. It really ticks me off thinking about all the rackless night patches I should have had.

skin
08-15-2008, 02:15 PM
I guess what I am trying to say, 1Time and MAC, is that when I used to gamble the fire in my belly came from playing very personally against my opponent. My mind was aggressive. The balls and shots meant nothing. I wanted to drill HIM personally. That was the goal. It wasn't pretty usually, but I could find dead stroke easily in that frame of mind.

Now that I don't gamble anymore, I find I am playing the balls and the shots without much thought of my opponent except I try to keep it all friendly (none of the little intimidations and comments that tend to rattle a guy). And as a result I am having a hard time playing really well and finding dead stroke.

When the shark is loosed, the game for me becomes like a raw, primitive struggle for survival and domination. It is very organic. When the shark is kept in its cage, the game is more like doing math problems. It feels very sterile in a way.

So I'm thinking that by getting a table I can work privately on achieving the natural results I get from being in that shark mindset but without all of the personal and anti-social negatives.

Gee, I never figured to be into all of this when I decided to pick my cue back up a month ago. What a great game pool is! You can always get better but you constantly have to hunt for new ways to do it.

Deeman3
08-15-2008, 02:32 PM
O.K. I am now officially frightened to post a response.

skin
08-15-2008, 02:51 PM
Well Deeman, compare Ty Cobb with Gentleman Joe Dimaggio. Cobb apparently needed all of that personal aggression to play his best game. DiMaggio apparently didn't.

The specifics of what we need individually to play our best game of pool if all else is controlled, I think, depends on personality.

av84fun
08-15-2008, 02:56 PM
There are certainly plenty of examples where top players have had a "killer instinct."

I have a video of a match played by Jimmy Mataya when he said he wants to RUIN his opponent...to break his spirit...to make him want to quit the game..etc.

I believe that Allison Fisher has an entirely different mindset. She doesn't want her opponents to win...not even a single game...but her path to making that happen, IMHO...is having an enormous amount of personal pride...in herself.

I think she wants to be "proud" of EVERY shot she makes. Pool is not a contact sport so we never actually "compete" with our opponents. Rather, we play the rack as it lays and our best friend...and arch enemy...is ourselves.

Either the Mataya or Fisher mindset can and have worked. It's merely a matter of motivation. For my part, I prefer to attempt to follow in Allison's footsteps and ATTEMPT to fully and completely dedicate myself...100%...to EVERY shot.

Rather than think about "breaking my opponent's spirit" by pocketing the next shot, I want to pocket it so as not to break my own spirit.

Regards,
Jim

JoeW
08-15-2008, 03:00 PM
I think that first you need to consider why you play pool.

There is no more difficult adversary than yourself. To do better than you did the last time is the most difficult of challenges.

If you measure yourself by others you will always come up short for always there will be greater and lesser persons than you.

To take the money from someone who cannot afford to lose and thus loses because of their anxieties is mean.

To take the money from someone who does not need it and thus does not care is meaningless.

To bet small sums to make the game interesting and thus pull the best game from each person is fun, under the right circumstances, with the right people.

skin
08-15-2008, 03:00 PM
Jim, that is an excellent reply. You describe exactly the place (your goal) I want to get to without sacrificing any in performance. Thanks for something to think about.

-skin

Deeman3
08-15-2008, 03:06 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Well Deeman, compare Ty Cobb with Gentleman Joe Dimaggio. Cobb apparently needed all of that personal aggression to play his best game. DiMaggio apparently didn't.

The specifics of what we need individually to play our best game of pool if all else is controlled, I think, depends on personality. </div></div>

<span style="color: #FF0000">This stuff is way over my head, I think. You had me just about to release the personal shark in me but I just couldn't seem to get my fins out of the way to shoot.....

Sorry, JK /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif Wolf, I could not help myself.</span>

MAC
08-15-2008, 03:35 PM
I say the hell with em if you have to unleash "The Shark" to play your best let him out of the cage! If your opponent doesnt like it tell em to take up tennis or bingo.

Rail Rat
08-17-2008, 01:21 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

Does anybody else deal with this kind of thing? The closest way I can come to describing it is how Fast Eddie in The Hustler felt/acted in that bar on the docks, after which he got his thumbs broken.
skin </div></div>

You probably should have referred to the scene in "The Color of Money" for an analogy... its where Eddy decides he's going to play pool again and takes on the local players at a bowling alley. He's doing good until he gets clipped by a roady disguised as a mental patient.

That scene where he sits in dispair on the outside stairs is the classic scenerio all us old timers have gone through when we have to face reality. BTDT!

Of course Eddy promised he'd be back by the end of the movie, never happened dammit, but theres hope through practice. I got my own table 2 years ago and now I think in many ways I'm a better player (I know more shots, understand the game more) but I'll never have that edge that is required to totally focus, I even have trouble remembering where I put my cue case.

But all in all its still fun and thats all that matters.
-brad aka. rat

PRQL8R
08-17-2008, 07:29 PM
Joe... For my money (relatively small amounts just to keep it interesting) you've got it perfectly right.

Sharks and their attitude about destroying their opponents and that sort of pissing contest just doesn't interest me. For me part of the enjoyment of the game is having respect for those I come up against. Players who are more interested in flogging their egos rather than their game are a waste of my time.

I play this game because it seems I have some degree of talent at it and it brings a great deal of pleasure to my life. Probably the best thing I ever did for my game was stop taking it too seriously. It's the primay factor that I believe has made my game very consistent. I still can miss shots or lose games but I never have the feeling... win or lose that I've played poorly. The balls roll good and bad for everyone... in the end it always evens out so is never worth getting upset about.

Mostly the players who seem to think of themselves as sharks generally end up being just shark bait themselves. They're usually so up tight about having to win that it takes only the slightest thing to go wrong, for their game to fall apart. I certainly don't think it's a way you can derive any real enjoyment from the game. just my 2 cents ...Bob

wolfdancer
08-17-2008, 07:58 PM
Dee, it all goes back to why we play the game, any game. I'd like to think I play for the satisfaction of being able to do something skillfully...and winning is just the end result. The focus might just be on winning itself, but here are many unsatisfactory ways to win in pool...the other guy scratches on the last ball/ you get a super lucky roll,etc. Folks play the game for many reasons though...a "Bob Cratchit" type might want to win to restore his self esteem...or a "Bucktooth" might want to win...just to get your money, while getting under your skin.
I know that you only play the game in an altruistic style for it's fairness value.

Deeman3
08-18-2008, 07:52 AM
/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Scott Lee
08-18-2008, 09:41 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1Time</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If playing for money in a less than safe environment, there should be an element of hustling to your game like not exposing the entirety of your killer instict and game, lest you risk suffering unforseen consequences. </div></div>

Wow...this statement sure will do a lot to progress the sport! Thanks 1Time...and people wonder why pool will never be big time. It's comments like these that help keep pool on the shady side of the masses perception. If you're going to gamble, then have the balls to go out and show your speed. "Hustling" (hiding your speed, to get your opponent to bet...or be more) is not only unethical, it's downright detrimental to the overall sport.

Scott Lee

1Time
08-18-2008, 09:58 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Scott Lee</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1Time</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If playing for money in a less than safe environment, there should be an element of hustling to your game like not exposing the entirety of your killer instict and game, lest you risk suffering unforseen consequences. </div></div>

Wow...this statement sure will do a lot to progress the sport! Thanks 1Time...and people wonder why pool will never be big time. It's comments like these that help keep pool on the shady side of the masses perception. If you're going to gamble, then have the balls to go out and show your speed. "Hustling" (hiding your speed, to get your opponent to bet...or be more) is not only unethical, it's downright detrimental to the overall sport.

Scott Lee </div></div>
But of course I'm sure you do realize the point of this thread was not for the betterment of the sport. While my post was on topic, yours was not.

If for example the topic is how to kill whales and I post about how to do so, it makes no sense to then claim "hey, that's doesn't have anything to do with whale conservation". Well, no kidding; the topic was how to kill whales.

I think a thread discussing the betterment of pool would be great. It was dicussed pretty well in the Pearl thread. You start one and I'm sure many will post to it, including me.

PRQL8R
08-18-2008, 10:35 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">But of course I'm sure you do realize the point of this thread was not for the betterment of the sport. While my post was on topic, yours was not.
</div></div>

Pardon??? Since when should anyone expect to post an opinion where only those in agreement need reply? I always thought the best part of this forum was the free and hopefully respectfull interchange of ideas. Certainly as soon as anyone should put forward a specific topic and opinion it should be open to debate. For someone to say they favor capital punishment will obviously bring forth those who oppose it.

You apparently see yourself as a shark ready to pounce on the unwary... very macho stuff. I see myself as a player, I've accumulated a lot of knowledge I'm very willing to share but realize there is always a lot for me still to learn. I always play to win but it's not part of my game to try and crush someone's spirit in the process. With me you'll always see my full speed and if you're able to better me in any match I'll be quick to shake your hand... even if we've got a few bucks on the outcome. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif I seem to make a lot lasting pool playing friendships this way. How's that sharkin' thing working out for you? ...Bob

skin
08-18-2008, 10:52 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rail Rat</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

Does anybody else deal with this kind of thing? The closest way I can come to describing it is how Fast Eddie in The Hustler felt/acted in that bar on the docks, after which he got his thumbs broken.
skin </div></div>

You probably should have referred to the scene in "The Color of Money" for an analogy... its where Eddy decides he's going to play pool again and takes on the local players at a bowling alley. He's doing good until he gets clipped by a roady disguised as a mental patient.

That scene where he sits in dispair on the outside stairs is the classic scenerio all us old timers have gone through when we have to face reality. BTDT!

Of course Eddy promised he'd be back by the end of the movie, never happened dammit, but theres hope through practice. I got my own table 2 years ago and now I think in many ways I'm a better player (I know more shots, understand the game more) but I'll never have that edge that is required to totally focus, I even have trouble remembering where I put my cue case.

But all in all its still fun and thats all that matters.
-brad aka. rat </div></div>

Brad:

Have a look at this video of Rempe playing Parica in 2001 and notice what happens to Rempe after he goes down 3-1.

Rempe v. Parica (http://propoolvideo.com/content/view/50/27/)

The "killer" rises up - you can detect it in his face, his stance, his bridge, how he moves at/to the table, and most of all in how he plays, as if with a repitilian focus. Like a cold-blooded reptile moving upon its prey.

Yet, he acts like a complete gentleman who is under total control of himself. Nothing outward is directed at Parica or anywhere else. Rempe is the master of the shark (the killer competitor) within, not the other way around. It's beautiful.

-skin

btw: it was unfortunate that I used the term "shark" in my original posts. I am not refering to "sharking", although the shark within take a player there. What I actually meant by "shark within" is that almost reptilian, ferociously competitive mental side that finishes off the opponent without choking and without mercy when the opportunity arises. It can be so powerful a force in player, that it can take over his better judgment and make winning at all costs the only thing that matters. Everybody has seen that in lots of sports. It's ugly when it shows itself on the outside and that is why I said I need to keep it caged until I learn to truly control it. I do think it is the key, all else aside, to becoming an extremely skilled and competitive player.

Rail Rat
08-18-2008, 10:58 AM
Prol8r and others:

Its the aggressive, competitive side of pool which gives it its excitment. Thats really why people watch any sport, to see one player pitted against another and how they will perform in combat. That's the bottom line. Yes you can be friendly, polite (and you should be) but you must beleive you can beat your opponent or you might as well give up.

If anyone gets into the gambling side of pool then they can only blame themselves if they don't like the arena. If you see someone who is preying on lesser players, who's fault is it that If they found somone else to play them? They made their choice to gamble.

I don't like loud mouth people who have a lot of bravado. But thats not what Skin was talking about. He was saying he needs to get his in killer instints back... Its a atitude that says I'm going to win!

Yes we all will lose and we should be good sports about it and except it. But when we know why we lost, we work on our weakness and if its atitude we work on that.
-brad

1Time
08-18-2008, 11:59 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: PRQL8R</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Pardon??? Since when should anyone expect to post an opinion where only those in agreement need reply?</div></div>Here, let me explain it for you. People state their opinions. Some people agree and some don't. And you don't get to decide otherwise.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: PRQL8R</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I always thought the best part of this forum was the free and hopefully respectfull interchange of ideas. Certainly as soon as anyone should put forward a specific topic and opinion it should be open to debate. For someone to say they favor capital punishment will obviously bring forth those who oppose it. </div></div>Then, if you don't want to appear to appear hypocritical, you should support my free and respectful expression of my opinions instead of trying to stiffle them.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: PRQL8R</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You apparently see yourself as a shark ready to pounce on the unwary... very macho stuff. I see myself as a player, I've accumulated a lot of knowledge I'm very willing to share but realize there is always a lot for me still to learn. I always play to win but it's not part of my game to try and crush someone's spirit in the process. With me you'll always see my full speed and if you're able to better me in any match I'll be quick to shake your hand... even if we've got a few bucks on the outcome. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif I seem to make a lot lasting pool playing friendships this way. How's that sharkin' thing working out for you? ...Bob </div></div>You've made false assumptions and claims about me here. So with you being an upstanding type of player, does that mean you will apologize?

Rail Rat
08-18-2008, 12:20 PM
Brad:
Have a look at this video of Rempe playing Parica in 2001 and notice what happens to Rempe after he goes down 3-1.

Rempe v. Parica (http://propoolvideo.com/content/view/50/27/)

The "killer" rises up - you can detect it in his face, his stance, his bridge, how he moves at/to the table, and most of all in how he plays, as if with a repitilian focus. Like a cold-blooded reptile moving upon its prey.

Yet, he acts like a complete gentleman who is under total control of himself. Nothing outward is directed at Parica or anywhere else. Rempe is the master of the shark (the killer competitor) within, not the other way around. It's beautiful.

-skin

__________________________________________________ ________

I see you found my favorite site Skin. What a good match! It illustrates perfectly the need to keep your confidence up and belive in yourself no matter what.

I also like to watch these players to work on my stroke. I was struggling a while back then I noticed the "set" they were using before drawing back on their final stroke. I've been playing for years and I can't believe i forgot to do that! Back on stroke now. brad

wolfdancer
08-18-2008, 02:32 PM
Scott's post might not be on point, but I think I know where he's coming from. Many feel that the reason the sport doesn't grow is because of this "shark" image.
The first few pool rooms that I went to, I almost spent more time waving off the sharks, then getting to practice...and some even were insulted that I wouldn't gamble with them....guess I was interfering with their livelihood.
That same attitude was prevalent here when I first found the site...if you didn't post that you play for money, you weren't sh*t.
I understand what the poster meant though, about psyching himself up...it's like that old saying that if you are playing your Grandmother a race to 11, you want to try and beat her 11 zip....(and get her pension check in the process)...

PRQL8R
08-18-2008, 03:17 PM
You stated your opinion, I stated mine... Other's get to make their own choice. I don't see where you're intrpreting that I'm somehow making the choice. <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Originally Posted By: PRQL8RPardon??? Since when should anyone expect to post an opinion where only those in agreement need reply?</div></div> <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Here, let me explain it for you. People state their opinions. Some people agree and some don't. And you don't get to decide otherwise.
</div></div> <span style="color: #33CCFF"> seems to me we're saying the same thing.</span>

Why should you feel stiffled by my differing opinion... I don't feel stiffled by yours.

This internet medium of posting is often a difficult method for communication with very little flexibility for the nuances of speech... often very easy to misinterpret the real meanining behind the message.

False assumptions & claims?... I did say "apparently" and that's what your post led me to believe. So you actually don't favor concealing your speed or in any way deceiving your opponents?... then we're not really so far apart.

I did disagree with what I "interpeted" as the nature of your opinion but certainly you as I have every right to make it. If you feel offended that was not my intent... my intent was to put forth a differing opinion. ...and now I am totally unsure where you stand relative to sharking... which does not mean to imply I think you're some sort of evil person.

No doubt you may find things to disagree with my future opinions... I'll try not to take it personally /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif ...Bob

Deeman3
08-18-2008, 03:40 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: wolfdancer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">..it's like that old saying that if you are playing your Grandmother a race to 11, you want to try and beat her 11 zip....(and get her pension check in the process)...
</div></div>

<span style="color: #FF0000">You just miss Granny because she could give you three balls and the break. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif </span>

JoeW
08-18-2008, 06:02 PM
I guess I do not understand the term "shark." I had taken it to mean the the consumption of "fish" or those who are lured into believing they can win when they have no real chance against such overwhelming ability.

If by shark, you mean the "animal within" or the visceral reaction to threat of losing then we have different definitions of the term. I thought the latter referred to what is known as "heart" in the pool playing sub-culture or the ability to pull from the depths of one's being in the face of a powerful opponent.

Sharking is a developed or acquired style while heart is something with which one is born. Thanks for the URL King James has always had a lot of heart. I very much doubt that he is a shark.

skin
08-18-2008, 07:12 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I guess I do not understand the term "shark." I had taken it to mean the the consumption of "fish" or those who are lured into believing they can win when they have no real chance against such overwhelming ability.

If by shark, you mean the "animal within" or the visceral reaction to threat of losing then we have different definitions of the term. I thought the latter referred to what is known as "heart" in the pool playing sub-culture or the ability to pull from the depths of one's being in the face of a powerful opponent.

Sharking is a developed or acquired style while heart is something with which one is born. Thanks for the URL King James has always had a lot of heart. I very much doubt that he is a shark. </div></div>

I can accept that, JoeW.

As I wrote above, I used the word shark in an unfortunate way. It was during my gambling days a long time ago that I discovered something almost predatory within - cold and aggressive like a shark - that could put me into dead stroke if I let it loose. But it can have a negative side, as I wrote also, because it wants to destroy the opponent personally and win at any cost.

Back then, the words shark and hustler basically only meant a guy who is very good and makes his living playing the game for money. The main negative was that those words, in common usage, denoted a man of low character, a gambler, a n'er do well.

Anyway, I just want to figure out how to control that "force" for myself to see if I can use it to get to my playing goals without the negatives. For a number of reasons, I think it is essential to playing at a very high level consistently. I also think it is the "lizard brain" at work. It has no mind of its own; it is all primitive instinct.

I meant nothing negative about Rempe. He looks to me like a man who has control of that force and can use it for positive results. To my eyes, the video showed that. It is why I posted the link.

Fast Eddie also showed he could access that force within in that harbor bar. But, he didn't just want to win, he wanted to destroy his opponent and have his opponent know he had been destroyed.

"I dont' rattle kid, but just for that I am going to beat you flat...That's ten! Now punk, you two-bit punk, come on, pay up, a hundred bucks. You quitting, friend?" -the negative side I am talking about.

Thanks for your thoughts.

-skin

Rail Rat
08-18-2008, 08:27 PM
Yeah, but thats the greatest line in the movie and the most exciting scene!

skin
08-18-2008, 08:36 PM
That was the most exciting scene alright, but for me the best line in the movie was during the last scene when after Fats told Eddie to just shoot pool, Eddie said, "I am shooting pool, Fats. When I miss, you can shoot."

One of the best movies ever made, in my book.

JoeW
08-19-2008, 06:04 AM
The primitive side of our personalities is closer to the surface than many realize. It is suppressed by conscious thought. To draw upon this side during war military people have learned to pull it from the personality with shouts and yelling. This overrides one’s ability to think through the consequences of their acts and thus engage in risky behavior as we have all seen in war movies. The Scots use bag pipes others use drums or chant some simple aggressive phrase.

The US Marines use repetitive drilling wherein each man is in complete lockstep with his neighbor to drive thoughts out and learn to respond on command. All thoughts must be driven from the brain in order to engage in total destruction and annihilation.

If you wanted to bring this type of determination to the fore and yet have some control of it during a pool match one way to do it is with complete concentration on the shot and intentionally excluding any verbal thoughts. Using a repeated phrase, music that drives thoughts from your mind and a repetitive thought such as “Win, Win, Win” would also help bring out the animal.

It is interesting to note that with training one can learn to quickly elicit this emotional determination. Your statement that you had it but lost it is probably based on a lack of practice. I suspect that if you go back to that time in your life you would be able to remember what it was that you did that set up this visceral reaction.

JoeW
08-19-2008, 06:10 AM
I suspect that what you are looking for is the shift in personality that will destroy the table -- not the opponent. The young often confuse these things and with age the distinctions become clear and more difficult to control because of the realizations. To learn to do one with out the other is a fine line to walk. I would agree that world class champions such as Jim Rempe have this ability.

In addition this type of behavior requires a great deal of energy. Most of us could not go back and do the things we did in our youth because we no longer see the need for such intense output to accomplish a goal. I think that we come to value our minds over our bodies.

wolfdancer
08-19-2008, 06:53 AM
lol !!!
Well Granny didn't play, but I remember my Uncle Joe playing my cousin and I on a 6 ft table, for a nickle a game....big money back then....and he robbed us.