View Full Version : Why do you play down (or up)?

02-12-2003, 07:27 PM
I've heard alot of people talk about it, and I've experienced it myself. When I'm playing someone that doesn't know how to shoot, I nearly get my butt kicked (or at least, miss alot of shots I normally make and it turns into a pool marathon). But when I play very high rated people, I can usually keep right up with them. Very weird. I guess it goes with the old saying that pool is 99% mental.

02-12-2003, 08:36 PM
I do the same thing when I play my wife. I try to keep my game up, meaning I don't deliberately dump, but maybe subconsciencely I am.

02-12-2003, 09:20 PM
I do the same thing.

I also noticed something on a related note last weekend. A buddy has been coming over to my house every Sunday for a couple hours to play. He's a decent player, I believe he's an APA SL5, but I generally beat him in our races. Last week I had been showing my wife how to play. We're talking raw beginner here -- 14 years of marriage and she just now agrees to try (I've been playing for 25 years, but we've only had our own table since Christmas). So anyway, I'm showing her the basics and shooting some 8-ball with her, for 2 or 3 days last week. I just half-way played, not trying hard, focusing more on her game than mine, and thus blowing lots of shots I would normally make. Then Sunday comes, my buddy comes over, and for some reason I couldn't get outta that mode -- I just kept blowing the easy ones. It took me several racks to come out of the slump, and while I did beat him at 8-ball (his best game) 5-2, I lost the 9-ball race (my game) 7-6 after fighting tooth and nail from being behind 4-1.

Coincidence? I dunno. It felt like I had dumbed myself down during the week, and had a heck of a time pulling myself back up to my normal level.


02-12-2003, 09:38 PM
I know people talk about having two modes of play, competition and for fun. I always thought that could be detrimental to your game overall, just because of that reason you just described.

02-13-2003, 12:51 PM
I will fully admit that I play down at times, and the reasoning for which is dependent upon the situation:

1. I'm out with friends or co-workers that enjoy the game, but don't play at the competitive level. They want to have a good time, and it just isn't much fun if all you are doing is watching someone else run racks on you.
2. I'm playing a stranger at a pool hall, and I'm checking to see how much of his game that he is willing to show. (chances are he is doing the exact same thing I am doing)
3. When warming up with teammates on league night, I am evaluating how they play certain situations or how "on" they are that particular evening. I would rather see how they play in traffic rather than simply going for the out.

This might be detrimental to some, but I see no harm as long as you are able to be focussed when required.

02-13-2003, 12:59 PM
Everyone seems to say almost the same thing....but have ya ever thought of it in reverse?

"You seem to play well against the really good players?" Maybe its the good players playin down to you!

Kinda like an old hustle!

02-13-2003, 03:04 PM
It's interesting really. Last night in league we played an all female team. Now they aren't slouches BUT top to bottom we are better. In my second match I dogged a straight in diagonal 8 ball shot then got outmoved in a safety battle with her having 4 balls on the table. I got outmoved, outplayed, outsmarted, and outexecuted by someone not even close to my level. I can't believe I didn't take it seriously but upon thinking about it I'd say that I did let down and play down to a lesser player. Doesn't just happen with women though, it happens to me constantly.

Kato~~~doesn't beat the good, doesn't beat the bad, but I've never lost one match to myself. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif