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SpiderMan
08-12-2002, 01:11 PM
I'm a decent recreational player, APA SL7, and I work hard on improving. Perhaps because I'm getting better, or perhaps because I rack well, a local pro has been inviting me to practice with him. We have been playing straight pool and 9-ball.

For each game, we have a handicap system. For straight pool, it's balls on the wire, for 9-ball it's games on the wire. If one of us ever gets two matches ahead, we adjust the handicap for the next match.

This has worked out very well in straight pool, as nearly all of our matches are closely contested and the spot just barely moves back and forth.

My question is about nine-ball handicapping. He's a ton better than me, strings multiple racks together every time we play, while my lifetime high is 3 B&Rs. We play races where winner breaks, and my handicap is games on the wire. It seems like our win/loss (and therefore handicapping) is going to fluctuate all over the place.

My feeling is that we would be better off seeking a balls-per-game (and both race to the same number of games) rather than a games-per-set handicap. Eventually this handicap would seek a level where we'd have about an equal probability of running out.

BTW, I currently get 8 games on the wire in a race to 15, but it's a crapshoot. I'll either win close or he'll get far ahead early and clobber me. I think we would have tight matches with less scatter in the results if we made the races even and I got the last 3 or 4.

How about it? When one player is a lot better than the other, what produces a more consistently tense matchup? Balls per game or games per set? His stated goal is to continually adjust the handicaps to keep all matches tight.

SpiderMan

Eric.
08-12-2002, 01:20 PM
Hey Spidey,

I think the ball spot handicap is best. The object of the spot is to give the lesser player a chance to win EACH GAME. If the pro is giving games on the wire, I feel it's a bit of a suckers bet because he can still control the table/individual game and therefore, the match. You still have to run 9 balls/control the table longer vs. having to run say, 7 balls. One twist to tweek the spot further would be to give your spot "wild" or called. JMO.

Eric >gets the 6 from Ray Charles

08-12-2002, 01:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: SpiderMan:</font><hr> I'm a decent recreational player, APA SL7, and I work hard on improving. Perhaps because I'm getting better, or perhaps because I rack well, a local pro has been inviting me to practice with him. We have been playing straight pool and 9-ball.

For each game, we have a handicap system. For straight pool, it's balls on the wire, for 9-ball it's games on the wire. If one of us ever gets two matches ahead, we adjust the handicap for the next match.

This has worked out very well in straight pool, as nearly all of our matches are closely contested and the spot just barely moves back and forth.

My question is about nine-ball handicapping. He's a ton better than me, strings multiple racks together every time we play, while my lifetime high is 3 B&amp;Rs. We play races where winner breaks, and my handicap is games on the wire. It seems like our win/loss (and therefore handicapping) is going to fluctuate all over the place.

My feeling is that we would be better off seeking a balls-per-game (and both race to the same number of games) rather than a games-per-set handicap. Eventually this handicap would seek a level where we'd have about an equal probability of running out.

BTW, I currently get 8 games on the wire in a race to 15, but it's a crapshoot. I'll either win close or he'll get far ahead early and clobber me. I think we would have tight matches with less scatter in the results if we made the races even and I got the last 3 or 4.

How about it? When one player is a lot better than the other, what produces a more consistently tense matchup? Balls per game or games per set? His stated goal is to continually adjust the handicaps to keep all matches tight.

SpiderMan <hr></blockquote>

very good POOL RELATED QUESTION.

if it's for money then i'd go for balls. maybe the wild 7-out and loser breaks. something like that.

for practice then i think you're hurting yourself by taking short racks. you'll get used to that then feel extra pressure when you get out there and have to shoot the whole 9.

what about safeties?? put him on "best effort" and you can safe all you want. you might try that as a variable to see how it works out. maybe mix it up with proposition stuff like - he has to bank everything on his hill game.

overall, i suspect the principal, for practice, should be to make it harder on him, not easier on you.

dan

Barbara
08-12-2002, 01:58 PM
Spiderman,

I'm against getting balls in a handicapped match. In fact, I don't play in handicapped tournies. The reason being is that your opponent will start hiding you from your money ball(s) probably, 2 3, balls away and will not give you his real game because of this.

Barbara

08-12-2002, 02:00 PM
Spiderman, have you considered taking all the breaks? This guarantees you a chance in every rack. While you may not use it to break and run as often as he does, it will prevent him from stringing racks on you.

One thing you should offer when arranging this spot is to have the loser of the game rack the next one. Just because he's giving you the breaks doesn't mean he should rack all the time /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Also, I agree with HDJ that - for your development - taking ball spots is not a good idea. It instills the wrong kind of practice, as it'll have you looking to tie up later balls and other such nonproductive moves.

- Steve

SpiderMan
08-12-2002, 02:35 PM
It isn't for money, it's for hard-fought practice. In straight pool, where he gives me 120 on the wire, I will do everything in my power to win two straight so that he'll only give me 118 in the next matchup. My goal (for now) is to beat him up until he can only give me 100.

I doubt he'd go for something like giving up the breaks, because he's wanting realistic practice also. We just need to make it "even" in such a way that "even" can be adjusted to keep it competitive.

SpiderMan

08-12-2002, 02:49 PM
Spiderman, what are you racing to in straight pool? 150? If he is giving you that much weight in 14.1, why is your 9-ball game (8 on 15) so much more even?

- Steve

SpiderMan
08-12-2002, 03:19 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Steve_Lipsky:</font><hr> Spiderman, what are you racing to in straight pool? 150? If he is giving you that much weight in 14.1, why is your 9-ball game (8 on 15) so much more even? - Steve <hr></blockquote>

I don't really think our 9-ball games ARE that even. We just haven't played that much nineball yet, and I don't think we've found a good way of handicapping it. We are currently "even on sets" in both games, but there's a lot of history in the straight-pool handicap. I think the 9-ball handicap, if we kept it as a games-on-wire spot, would eventually settle out to something like 11 or 12 on the wire and very little practice for me to try to run from the break.

In straight pool, he will usually get 100 or more of his points in two innings, so that runs his score up and forces the handicap. Although once I did get on a roll with my safeties and beat him 150-24 (with 120 on the wire) because he never got a long run going. That's extremely rare, and a good reason why we don't adjust handicaps until one of us gets two ahead. I couldn't repeat the performance, so the handicap stayed the same.

Our last two sets of nineball cosisted of a 15-14 victory for me (with 8 on the wire) and a 15-0 victory for him (ouch!). It just doesn't seem consistent this way, therefore my inquiry.

I think a nineball game is "long" enough for him to control and dominate almost every game, if he is "on". Therefore my opportunities to win are pretty random, games on the wire aren't that meaningful, and of course I'm not the shotmaker he is so I often hand it back. Balls on the wire in an even 9-ball game race would at least let me practice my break now and then.

SpiderMan

SpiderMan
08-12-2002, 03:22 PM
Eric,

I was thinking the same thing.

SpiderMan

Alfie
08-12-2002, 03:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Steve_Lipsky:</font><hr> Spiderman, have you considered taking all the breaks? This guarantees you a chance in every rack. While you may not use it to break and run as often as he does, it will prevent him from stringing racks on you. <hr></blockquote> or try alternating breaks

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Steve_Lipsky:</font><hr> Also, I agree with HDJ that - for your development - taking ball spots is not a good idea. It instills the wrong kind of practice [...] <hr></blockquote> This is true if you are strictly a tournament player; however, if you sometimes gamble using ball spots...

Tom_In_Cincy
08-12-2002, 04:59 PM
Games on the wire.. balls per game, will skew the game. You have a greater chance on combo attempts with more game balls than normal.. emphasise NORMAL games.

I always like games on the wire, the better player has to come from behind and therefore it is more intense right form the very start. You have the advantage and will be intent on keeping it by being more intense also. Standard game rules. No balls per game.. is my recommendation.

Bob_in_Cincy
08-16-2002, 10:09 AM
Tom,

So you're gonna give 13 in a race to 15. Right ?

Bob

Tom_In_Cincy
08-16-2002, 06:03 PM
For Bob in Cincy.. yes.. you can have 13 games on the wire to 15.. but the odds and cash have to be high enough to make you nervous.. LOL

Vagabond
08-16-2002, 06:54 PM
Howdy Spiderman,
In What city u live?
I am wondering about the motives of that pro--Did he invite u as a sparring partner? or invited u to rob u of your hard earned money?If he invited u for buisiness (to rob u) purpose , games on the wire will only add new ward robe to pro`s girl friend.If your motive is to improve your game by playing with a pro, do not ask for spotting a ball-like break and 7 etc.No chance to beat a pro with the spots like that.I do not have knowledge about the APA`s handicap system and I assume that hand cap 7 is an `A` player.If u are from Dallas are u talking about Jr.Harris?( I thought u might be from Texas) If u tell me the name of that player I will tell u the spot to negotiate for( unless he is my buddy) cheers
Vagabond

Harold Acosta
08-17-2002, 07:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: SpiderMan:</font><hr> I'm a decent recreational player, APA SL7, and I work hard on improving. Perhaps because I'm getting better, or perhaps because I rack well, a local pro has been inviting me to practice with him. We have been playing straight pool and 9-ball.

For each game, we have a handicap system. For straight pool, it's balls on the wire, for 9-ball it's games on the wire. If one of us ever gets two matches ahead, we adjust the handicap for the next match.

This has worked out very well in straight pool, as nearly all of our matches are closely contested and the spot just barely moves back and forth.

My question is about nine-ball handicapping. He's a ton better than me, strings multiple racks together every time we play, while my lifetime high is 3 B&amp;Rs. We play races where winner breaks, and my handicap is games on the wire. It seems like our win/loss (and therefore handicapping) is going to fluctuate all over the place.

My feeling is that we would be better off seeking a balls-per-game (and both race to the same number of games) rather than a games-per-set handicap. Eventually this handicap would seek a level where we'd have about an equal probability of running out.

BTW, I currently get 8 games on the wire in a race to 15, but it's a crapshoot. I'll either win close or he'll get far ahead early and clobber me. I think we would have tight matches with less scatter in the results if we made the races even and I got the last 3 or 4.

How about it? When one player is a lot better than the other, what produces a more consistently tense matchup? Balls per game or games per set? His stated goal is to continually adjust the handicaps to keep all matches tight.

SpiderMan <hr></blockquote>

SpiderMan, I practice with three of the best 20 players in PR since we happen to live in the same area. I'm the lesser skilled of the the group. They are obviusly great players and we all benefit (mostly me) from these sessions.

We start the first set with races to 7 or 9 for the 9 ball. Whomever wins the set, gives the losing playing the 8 ball for the next set. If the losing player wins this set, we go back to the 9, if not he gets the 7. We keep going down 1 ball until we reach the 6 ball. At that point, the match ends, and another player comes up. Sometimes the sessions go by quickly, sometimes, we keep going back and forth.

What we have come up with this game is that both players knows what would be their handicap against each other.

This is what I have learned with these sets. None of the three players would give me the 6 ball. With two of the players, I win sets at the 7 ball and sometimes the 8 ball but I am not consistent against them. Therefore, sometimes they give me the 7 or 8 depending on how they feel that day. With one of the players I win the 6 ball sets but not the 7. So, when they need practice, and I'm around all we got to do is squable a little with the handicap.

We play for fun and beers and we both pay for the table time.

This idea was given to us by a player who came from NY. Let's say he's the 5th player in the group altough he is almost retired since he has some vision problems. He's a pretty good player also and I'm about even with this guy but sometimes he could beat the crap out of me, taking me all the way back to the 6 ball.

Resuming everything, it could take only 4 sets to win the match (9,8,7,6 balls) or it could go on for quite a while (9,8,9,8,7,8,9,8,7,6) for example. Hope you get the picture!