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View Full Version : how long has everyone played?



sack316
12-06-2002, 01:45 AM
just curious about how long most of you have played and about what level it has gotten you to. for example the 9's in my leagues have played for about 17 years or more,and honestly I don't think anyone around here can touch them. I've played here and there for probably 12 years or so, but only seriously and regularly for about 6 months or so, and am a strong 4 to weak 5 (of course when its not league and there is no pressure I see myself as a 6 /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif ) Anyway, just trying to guage how many years of blood sweat and tears I may expect to put in before I may get to be on a high level. Pool is the one game I've noticed that nobody seems to simply be a "natural".

12-06-2002, 01:49 AM
I'm 14 now and started playing when I was 8...playing for 6 years.

Popcorn
12-06-2002, 03:11 AM
For someone who doesn't play on leagues, how do I relate numbers like 4s and 9s. How are these numbers arrived at and how do they relate to the real world? Could a 9 for instance play a pro? Just curious.

Ludba
12-06-2002, 03:57 AM
I've been playing seriously for a little over a year. I didn't play very much at all before I got serious into it. I'm a 5 in eight-ball, 4 in nine-ball.

Brent
12-06-2002, 05:24 AM
I have played on and off for about 3 years but seriously started playing 4 months ago when I bought my cue. That makes me a n00b /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif compared to 99% of all u here.

Brent (progressing every day)

Perk
12-06-2002, 07:00 AM
<--started at 14 (now 26)...didnt get serious till bout 4 years ago after I got out of USMC. Tournaments around Michigan, I get in as a B+/A player depending on who is running the tourneys....I am real close to being an "A" player across the board.

As far as the level of play that these ratings represent? When certain pro's show up at these tourneys, they usually play as "A+ or A++" depending on where the tourney is.

The best way to move up ratings as far as "speed"/"Tourney" play is concerned? Keep playing alot of pool against the "best" competition you can afford. If you can get some one into a fun game, do it. If it costs ya a small fee, do it. Also, if you are willing to to shoot for 5 hours at 5.00/hr, what would hurt for a lesson? 25.00/50.00 an hour?

Just my thoughts!

Fred Agnir
12-06-2002, 08:28 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote sack316:</font><hr> just curious about how long most of you have played and about what level it has gotten you to. for example the 9's in my leagues have played for about 17 years or more,and honestly I don't think anyone around here can touch them. I've played here and there for probably 12 years or so, but only seriously and regularly for about 6 months or so, and am a strong 4 to weak 5 (of course when its not league and there is no pressure I see myself as a 6 /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif ) Anyway, just trying to guage how many years of blood sweat and tears I may expect to put in before I may get to be on a high level. Pool is the one game I've noticed that nobody seems to simply be a "natural". <hr /></blockquote>
I'd like to address the way you framed your question. It seems that you are contending that years = skill. That's just not true.

I guarantee you that the true 9's in your area have a higher degree of "natural skill" than the rest of the league. I'm really quite amazed that you would say that "Pool is the one game I've noticed that nobody seems to simply be a 'natural.' " I would think that whether it was 17 years or 5 years of playing, they'd still be the top shooters.

The question has been asked many times before. How many years does it take to gain proficiency? There is no answer. Some people are good right from the get-go. Some will play at a low level for 50+ years. "Effort to improve" might be a better variable, though quite subjective. Improvement doesn't come from time alone.

Fred

9 Ball Girl
12-06-2002, 09:45 AM
I had been playing on and off since I was 17 so my skills would go up and down. I got serious in December 2000 when I started playing competitively (I'll be 29 next week). My handicaps differ depending where I play:

Thursday night 9 ball tourney I'm a 7 out of possible 9
Tuesday night 8 ball league I was an 8 out of a possible 10
BCA league I was a 5
APA league I'm a 3 (Ha! I keep getting accused of sandbagging for this one. Matter of fact, the LO told me last week that he's hearing too much about me and he's going to have to raise me. Ha!)

houseman
12-06-2002, 11:31 AM
I have played since I was 10 yrs old, and consider myself a serious amateur, my best in 9 ball is a 4 rack run, and a high run of 55 in straight pool, with a lot of 30 and 40 ball runs
on a good day. All I need is the dedication and consistancy to be much better,but at 54 and the eye site not as good any more
im here to stay at my present level. IMOP natural ability has to be there to be a great player.

stickman
12-06-2002, 11:57 AM
Years played is not a real good measure of one's ability IMHO. I think that natural ability plays a much bigger role than you might think. I was at a tournament about a week ago, and watched a 12 year old mop up the place. He has been playing for two years, and beat some fellows that probably have been playing thiryfive years or more. You might also consider that two people of equal skill could both play the same number of years and yet have vastly different skill levels. One might play weekly in a social type envirionment and the other seriously on a daily basis. The serious, daily player will exhibit a much greater degree of proficiency in this instance. I have seen players with a great degree of natural ability and desire become very good in a year.

I've played off and on for 35 years. During that time there have been periods of serious and social play, and my exhibited skill has varied accordingly. I have played seriously for the last 5 years, and my highest level attained is an APA SL5. Like you, I think I often play better outside of league.

12-06-2002, 12:07 PM
I originally started playing about 12 years ago. I've taken a number of years off and have now been back into it for a couple of months. When I played in a league some 5 or so years ago, I think I averaged around a 6, though I don't believe I'm back to that point yet. I do think that the league ratings can be kind of subjective though.

12-06-2002, 12:11 PM
It's been so long I can't even remember exactly how ratings were figured. In our local VNEA league I think it was kind of like grading on a curve, so-to-speak; like your winning average vs. the averages of others in the league. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Kato
12-06-2002, 12:15 PM
I've been playing for about 8 years now. When I quit playing APA I was an SL6 but that was 3 years ago. I may now be an SL7. When I played a modified version of BCA I was a 9 and I'm probably a little better now. Put me in a 9-ball tournament against the best locals and I'm probably a 6 or 7 out of 13. I've probably peaked because I'm not a natural and I don't have the desire and energy to put in the effort. Get me on a bad day and I'll never make more than 2 balls in a row. Get me on a good day and I'll run 3 racks.

Kato

Mike H
12-06-2002, 01:32 PM
I'm 26, I've been playing 19 years, only the last 7 or 8 have been serious (long practice sessions, matching up tough). Although I've never played in a league, I've been known to play some pretty good 9-ball and one-pocket, and my high run in 14.1 is 131 (with several 80's and 90's and a few 100's before and since). I would suspect I might be a SL-5 or 6 in the APA LOL While I believe it's important to have experience (in being around the game for years), I think it's at least equally, if not more, important to put plenty of effort into your game to see improvement. There is no substitute for quality practice, and poor practice is worse than no practice at all. It's worth your (or anyone else's) time to see an instructor so you can learn what you need to work on and how to approach it.

Regards,
Mike

SpiderMan
12-06-2002, 03:15 PM
Sack,

It's a lot easier to talk about how long someone has played than to quantify their "level", because there's no one dominant rating system. I'll try to give several comparisions.

I started playing when I was about 20, but just banging balls every week or two. I didn't take pool seriously until I joined a league and had regular weekly competition. That was about 12 years ago. For the past 6 or 7 of those years I've been pretty serious (for a recreational player), shooting at least twice a week and more often three times.

I don't think I have the natural talent (or the time) to become a champion, but I am glad that I am still visibly improving.

My "APA Skill Level" is 7, and I'm still winning about 90% of my 8-ball matches at that handicap. Last fall season I won 100%. The Dallas/FT Worth APA is not exceptionally top-heavy, so I'd probably fare worse in a tougher market.

My Fargo average on 9-foot tables is about 130. I started playing straight pool this year, and my high run in competition is 30 on a tight 9-foot table. I'll get better at straight pool, I'm sure. My best game is 8-ball.

Two years ago I was also rated a 7 on the Arizona statewide system, though I'd like to go see Rod again to try for an 8. The Arizona system has more "headroom" than APA, with ratings going all the way up to 10-2 (essentially a 12). I think Roger Griffis was a 10-2 in Arizona. He'd still be a 7 in APA because of their "grade inflation", though he'd beat me like a red-headed stepchild.



SpiderMan

Rod
12-06-2002, 04:04 PM
Fred,
I like your answer.

Karatemom
12-06-2002, 04:39 PM
I played recreationally for about a year in 1991, then quit for 10 years. I started back up again this past May. I started out being a 3 in tourneys, and have since moved up to a 5. However, I agree with Fred in that time does not make a player, talent does. My coach/teacher/hubby has been playing for 30+ years and has a natural talent I've never witnessed.

Heide ~ an extremely lucky woman

silverbullet
12-06-2002, 04:55 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Mike H:</font><hr> I'm 26, I've been playing 19 years, only the last 7 or 8 have been serious (long practice sessions, matching up tough). Although I've never played in a league, I've been known to play some pretty good 9-ball and one-pocket, and my high run in 14.1 is 131 (with several 80's and 90's and a few 100's before and since). I would suspect I might be a SL-5 or 6 in the APA LOL While I believe it's important to have experience (in being around the game for years), I think it's at least equally, if not more, important to put plenty of effort into your game to see improvement. There is no substitute for quality practice, and poor practice is worse than no practice at all. It's worth your (or anyone else's) time to see an instructor so you can learn what you need to work on and how to approach it.

Regards,
Mike <hr /></blockquote>

131 sounds like a lot. as for how long for me, who knows.
as far as quality, who knows. all i know is i like pool and i like to take lessons.

Laura

Tom_In_Cincy
12-06-2002, 06:18 PM
On and off for 34 years. Seriously for the last 20.

If there were good qualified instructors in the 80s my game would have evolved much quicker. I had to learn by trial and error for a very long time.

My APA experience is limited to the mid 1980s and a few session in the mid 1990s. Both times I was a SL7

My BCA 8 ball rating was a 9, but there were weeks during the sessions that I was a 10.

sack316
12-06-2002, 06:30 PM
I appreciate all the responses.To clarify, I wasn't saying that years played equals skill points, it was just my observation that those at the top tier were those who have played seriosly for quite some time. Forgive my ignorance on rankings, the only system I know is APA (which still boggles me, I sucked one week and moved up from a 5 to a 6, then I squashed a dude next week and moved back down to a 5).Obviously practice makes you better, and I just wanted an idea from others on how long it has taken for hard work to hit paydirt.
And about how I've never seen anyone just naturally be great, I should have clarified.For example, personally I just am a natural shot maker, I can make some great shots.But my control is something that I lag behind in, which leaves me in the middle of the pack because as good as I can be at tough shots, its hard to bank or ride rails through an entire rack. Thats why I say I don't think anyone can be a natural. You can naturally throw a baseball 90+ mph, or naturally have soft hands to be a great wide reciever, but I honestly don't see anybody naturally just grabbing a stick and honing all the tools to be a great poolplayer

Scott Lee
12-06-2002, 10:13 PM
Playing for 31 years...started playing with the "pros" after 4 years, playing several hours a day, EVERY day!...
Been teaching professionally for 22 yrs.

Scott Lee

12-07-2002, 08:20 AM
I started playing for fun about 11 years ago( I am 29 now ), got interested in occasional tournaments after 2 years, and have been playing very serious for the last 4 years or so. Depending on where I play I am AA or AAA. Not sure what would my APA level would be as it is not a commonly used system in Canada, but someone once told me I would be a 7 or 8. I am more an 8 and 9 ball player. The most racks I have ran in a row is 8 ( 3 of those were 9's on the break though ). Not much of a 14.1 player but the last few weeks I have been playing it a bit more and reading about it. Still have a hard time getting my position for a good break on the last ball, but I am getting there slowly. Highest run 75.Only problem is right now I am working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and there is not much pool going on here except playing by my own on the table at the coumpound I am staying at. Going home to Canada on vacation next week and will try to play some tournaments, but after a year away not sure what it will be like but I know for sure I will enjoy it!