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View Full Version : Shoud I play in tournaments?



04-20-2003, 09:25 PM
Every Sunday I go to the poolhall, pay the $10 entry fee, win a match or two and go home or I might stick around and watch a little. Everyone says I need competition to get better, but I don't feel like its helping at all, even when I watch the top players. I have my own table so it's not like I'm even getting any extra table time. I'm thinking about quitting going there altogether and saving some money. Any thoughts?

Popcorn
04-20-2003, 09:40 PM
I know you don't want to feel like a sucker, but the thing you will get out of it the most, is you will begin to lose your fear of better players. Even though they may beat you, you learn you can still get on the board against them. The first time you beat one of those local champs, the feeling will be worth all the loses. It may not seem you are learning anything specifically, but the overall experience is good for you. It will add to you becoming a better player.

snipershot
04-20-2003, 10:54 PM
Of course you should play in tournaments, it will only make you better in the long run and you won't win any matches if you stay at home and play by yourself. Eventually you will beat the top players and become a top player yourself, it just takes some time and patience.

q4summit
04-21-2003, 01:42 AM
If you want to become a better play period, you need to spend the 10 dollars. Just make sure you practice on the side, continue to play, the matches at the tournament will help. League play will help you as well.

Cheers!
Marc

DSAPOLIS
04-21-2003, 02:36 AM
First of all, half of what "everybody says" is not true. Competition will not make you a better player, your preparation for competition, combined with applying your knowlege effectively, makes you a better player. Usually, it's not the best player that wins the tournament. Usually it is the guy that dealt with the conditions of competition the best. In tournament pool, anything can happen. The draw couldbe kind to you, other players could underestimate your abilities, or you could have the ball roll your way all night long. That happens sometimes. If you go into the tournament expecting not to win, you won't. If you go into the competition and just focus on taking advantage of the opportunities that are placed before you, you'll have a better attitude. Learn how to break the tournament down one match at a time, or one game at a time, or one shot at a time. Don't be intimidated by other players. They miss shots too. Play the table, not your opponent. That may sound "over simplified", but it works. Remember anything can happen, bad or GOOD. If you avoid playing, you'll never find that out.

A long time ago I was notched on the hill against a very good player. He was on the seven ball, and I'm waiting for him to bury me and close out the match. He pockets the seven ball and my head drops to the floor. I look up to the table and watch the cue ball bounce off a rail, nick the side of the 8 ball and dribble into the side pocket. Who'd of thought that would happen? This player (a top pro) could go weeks without making a mistake like that. That just goes to show that anytime you rack the balls and have two guys that WANT to win bad enough, anything can happen. What happens if you enter the tournament and you get waxed? You lose, and go back to the drawing board to see if you did something wrong, or if he did something right. Identify your weakness, and do something about it. Staying home won't help you, nor will watching from the sidelines. A long time ago I overheard a great player say, "The spectator chair is the most comfortable chair in the room.....but the electric chair provides the greatest educational value."

04-21-2003, 06:29 AM
yes, do continue to play.

Fear of better players? think of it like this your not actually playing against someone, but playing against the lay out of the table, true the other person, may be capable of figuring out the table much quicker than you are.

9 Ball Girl
04-21-2003, 08:46 AM
You should keep playing! This is a Fran post from some time ago that explains it best, IMO:

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>Great topic. I think you're right, that it takes awhile to imbed new habits into your brain. But if you decide to hold off on competition until you feel you're ready, you're turning competition into a final exam rather than take pop quizzes along the way to gauge your progress. Remember how it was in school...how much stress there was in a final exam as opposed to a quiz?

If you don't meet your expectations when you finally do compete, after all that practicing...the let-down is extraordinary. But if you pace yourself as you go along, and use competition to gauge your progress, I don't think it's as painful a process, and it doesn't turn competition into the be-all, end-all.<hr /></blockquote>

04-21-2003, 02:01 PM
I may have accidentally implied this in my post, but many of you make it sound like I have a problem in tournaments or playing against better people which isn't the case at all. I play in tournaments just like I would at home. I seem to be hitting the right shots and making the right choices, its just a matter of pocketing balls.

Rod
04-21-2003, 02:14 PM
[ QUOTE ]
I seem to be hitting the right shots and making the right choices, its just a matter of pocketing balls.
<hr /></blockquote>

It's always something, isn't it? /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Play in tournaments, it builds your competitive edge. Playing at home does little in that area unless you set and reach realistic goals. Also be realistic in tournaments, it takes time to acquire the knowledge of how to win against different players. Might be it takes more time and effort than your willing to give?

Rod

04-21-2003, 02:19 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> Might be it takes more time and effort than your willing to give?

Rod <hr /></blockquote>
I put all the time I can into pool and always try my best. I would go in a heartbeat if the tournaments were free, its just that spending $520/year on pool tournaments is a lot of money for a high school student.

Rod
04-21-2003, 02:39 PM
Ok now I understand your situation. Heck my first car cost 1/2 of what you would spend there. In this light I'd say other things are much more important. You could however go say once a month just to test your progress. I never had the luxury of a home table, but if I had you can bet more time would be spent there rather than paying time at a pool room. I would have went anyway but not as often.

Rod

Sid_Vicious
04-21-2003, 08:14 PM
Did you say you had a table there you were already on, possibly paying time on already? Why? The tournaments I play in gives free warmup time, and I factor this in the cost of the ten. Get there and use that time, do not pay for your time on the other table and I believe the money will become a wash...sid

04-21-2003, 08:17 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> Did you say you had a table there you were already on, possibly paying time on already? Why? The tournaments I play in gives free warmup time, and I factor this in the cost of the ten. Get there and use that time, do not pay for your time on the other table and I believe the money will become a wash...sid <hr /></blockquote>
No, no I meant I had a table at home, yeah there's free warmup and stuff at the tournament.

Sid_Vicious
04-21-2003, 08:46 PM
Only way you'll know if you can compete, is to compete. You are getting the chance to play good players in tournaments, DO IT. I enjoy hittin' with the best, everyone screws up and winning one of those matches is great! Most of those types of players won't give you any cheaper chance to play them except for an open tournament..sid

TomBrooklyn
04-21-2003, 10:43 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 9 ball junior:</font><hr>Everyone says I need competition to get better, but I don't feel like its helping at all, even when I watch the top players. Any thoughts? <hr /></blockquote>What are you trying to get better for if it's not to best an opponent? You will get better practicing at home. You will get better playing in tournaments, you will get better playing in pick up games at the pool hall and with your friends on your home table. You will get better getting instruction. The more you play and the more you practice and the more you learn, the better you will get.

Tournaments put a level of pressure on you that you will not get practicing or even playing in pick-up games for fun. There can be no doubt it will help your game if you are focusing. It is not the only way to get better though.

pooljunkie73
04-22-2003, 01:17 AM
it's almost impossible to improve your mental game on the practice table.the mental game is probably 90% of pool.it only comes with trial by fire. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif and that only comes with playing better players.

CarolNYC
04-22-2003, 03:38 AM
Hi There,
"Don't be intimidated by other players. They miss shots too. Play the table, not your opponent!"(quoted)
Yes, if you can financially afford it ,play tournament!Your still young so you definitely have that "I want to win" competative attitude!You say your having trouble POCKETING balls-at home for two weeks straight-roll all 15 balls out on the table-take BIH on first shot and start pocketing the balls WITHOUT the cueball touching a rail(finesse)-dont get frustrated,its going to be hard but you'll see you'll be able to do it 9 out of 10 times and you'll game will improve incredibly!:)I learned this from Jim Rempes tape"How to run 100 balls"and straight pool ,to me,is THE GAME of all games!
Good luck!
Carol:)

Fred Agnir
04-22-2003, 06:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 9 ball junior:</font><hr>I seem to be hitting the right shots and making the right choices, its just a matter of pocketing balls. <hr /></blockquote>At the risk of pissing off yet another poster , let me suggest that "it's just a matter of pocketing balls" can be directly related to "making the right choices." Maybe you're not really making the right choices for your game.

This is sort of the reverse (but very related) to other players who say "I can make every shot, but I just can't get position." They're directly related. One is nearly nothing without the other. Therefore, they really can't "make every shot."

Back to your original, competition in of itself doesn't make you a better player. You have to learn from your mistakes and examine what other people did to beat you. It's not as simple as playing a tournament every week, never coming in the money, going home, wait 'til next week. That is, to quote my previously quoted quote, "when you lose, don't lose the lesson." It's the basis of the whole 'play better players' argument. Losing to them means nothing if the loss doesn't strengthen your game.

Fred

Deeman
04-22-2003, 06:30 AM
Back to your original, competition in of itself doesn't make you a better player. You have to learn from your mistakes and examine what other people did to beat you. It's not as simple as playing a tournament every week, never coming in the money, going home, wait 'til next week. That is, to quote my previously quoted quote, "when you lose, don't lose the lesson." It's the basis of the whole 'play better players' argument. Losing to them means nothing if the loss doesn't strengthen your game.

Fred <hr /></blockquote>



Tap! Tap! Tap!

04-22-2003, 06:47 AM
if getting better is what you want, here is what i did.
first i learned how to storke the cue, then i learned about the cue ball, and the clock system, after that i worked on some many techniques and variations of those shots and last i never took any shot for granted now matter how sweet it looked, never EVER hit the cue ball and jump right up, wait untill the object ball falls, then go to the next shot, think each shot throught, and only stroke from the elbow down with out choking the cue with your hand, basically re-cover your basics or just go to someone in your poolhall who is really good and ask them to take the time to teach you. having someone watch you shoot, helps they can see what you can't about your body, shot, grip, stance etc.... but i say and i'll say again, NEVER EVER LOOK AT ANY SHOT LIKE IT'S SWEET. EVERRRRRRRR........

bluewolf
04-22-2003, 07:08 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TomBrooklyn:</font><hr>
Tournaments put a level of pressure on you that you will not get practicing or even playing in pick-up games for fun. There can be no doubt it will help your game if you are focusing. It is not the only way to get better though. <hr /></blockquote>

I play league because I get to compete. There is one thing I had to get past, which was not a problem when I competed in tournaments. In league it was this 'oh what if I let my team down' thing I had to overcome. In open tournaments, there was no body to let down. If I won or lost, the only one that this affected was me.

Yeah, any competition is slightly more pressure than pick up games. At first the pressure really got to me and I played very bad and lost almost all of my matches. Once a person gets past all of that, I think that competition can be very invigorating.

Laura

04-22-2003, 07:16 AM
laura, is right, but to add to what she said, forget about the rest of the room and show yourself what you can do, this guy i shoot one pocket with said he never watches the other shooter shoot, because he does'nt want to get intimated, i tired it once, did'nt work for me, but you need to be able to conqueror your fear.

man am tired, i can barelyy spell..

Popcorn
04-22-2003, 07:24 AM
Quote
"Everyone says I need competition to get better, but I don't feel like its helping at all, even when I watch the top players. I have my own table so it's not like I'm even getting any extra table time. I'm thinking about quitting going there altogether"

I went back and read your original post. Let me get this right, do you honestly think the better players have nothing to teach you? You can just play in a vacuum at home and become a better player? Pool is so much more then just pocketing balls.

DSAPOLIS
04-22-2003, 07:31 AM
I'm with Popcorn on this. You aksed your original question and got a lot of good feedback by many different people. It sounds to me like you have already made your choice. If that is the case, why ask the question?

Sid_Vicious
04-22-2003, 09:11 AM
I watch, and to many opponents it is pressure to have the other player training their eyes on you as you wind down to the game ball. Of course you have the other type who enjoys showing off, and eats up the "audience" and catches fire. You just have to roll with it and adapt,,,if the guy likes an audience then add-on your daydreaming face a little more. Otherwise I'll watch intently and wait for a busted shot late in the run after the intensity gets to'em..sid

04-22-2003, 02:11 PM
Thanks for all the good posts, and Fred don't be shy about pissing me off, if you think it will help, please go ahead!<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Quote
I went back and read your original post. Let me get this right, do you honestly think the better players have nothing to teach you? You can just play in a vacuum at home and become a better player? Pool is so much more then just pocketing balls.<hr /></blockquote>
I know better players have millions of things to teach me, but when I'm playing in a tournament, I'm not a student to the local hotshot, I'm just another guy in the draw. If he were giving me a lesson or some pointers or something then of course that'd help.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DSAPOLIS:</font><hr> It sounds to me like you have already made your choice. If that is the case, why ask the question? <hr /></blockquote>
no, I haven't made my choice and that's why I'm coming to the board for advice.

Popcorn
04-22-2003, 04:00 PM
Don't you think you can come into the money even once and a while? You plan on losing every time you play? That's what it sounds like. If you need motivation, then play for the money. At a lot of tournaments, if you hear the players talking. You will find out they are playing for the money as much as anything else. They look at the board and know if they win this match it is worth say $400. to them and they advance. I will admit, that is what I do. I don't like to just play the match. I like to know where in the money it puts me and what the match is worth. For me, it makes me play better, gives me motivation. A lot of players pay their entry fee and develop the attitude it is now free, there is nothing more it can cost them. That is not true, when you lose it cost you, because you could have won something. You should willingly pay your entry fee, with the goal of winning the tournament, that's is why you play. It is up to you, I don't know your personal goals are, but if you want to be a player, you will at some point have to compete. I have known top money players that played bad in tournaments, some who would even dog it, I am talking guys that had no problem betting thousands. It is not the easiest thing to do, just because you have not done well, don't worry about it, you have plenty of company. Just play and stop worrying about the ten bucks, you might even make money. It is up to you, but that is my advice.

Quote
"I know better players have millions of things to teach me, but when I'm playing in a tournament, I'm not a student to the local hotshot, I'm just another guy in the draw. If he were giving me a lesson or some pointers or something then of course that'd help."

I have to also take exception to this quote from you. You are learning even if you don't realize it. You could not make yourself not learn.

04-22-2003, 04:33 PM
Thanks again for the encouragement, popcorn. Yeah, becoming a better player is much more important to me than $10 a week so I'm gonna keep it up, and hopefully I will get in the money rounds. I appreciate the advice from everyone.

UWPoolGod
04-22-2003, 04:55 PM
Yeah when I get into the money rounds, I tell myself I am playing a set for the diffence in whatever the places happen to be. IF 3rd is $100, and 4th is $50...you're playing a race to 5 for $50. A little more motivation than just the race

Fred Agnir
04-23-2003, 07:26 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote 9 ball junior:</font><hr> I know better players have millions of things to teach me, but when I'm playing in a tournament, I'm not a student to the local hotshot, I'm just another guy in the draw. If he were giving me a lesson or some pointers or something then of course that'd help.<hr /></blockquote>Some time ago, someone posed the question, "what do you do or think about when you're in the chair and your opponent is shooting?" Me, I watch. I watch intently. I watch the patterns, the choices. I think what I'd do, where he might play safe, where he actually plays safe. I watch his cadence, his rhythm, his chalking. And then when he misses, he can watch me.

Fred &lt;~~~ at least for one shot

glupidio
04-23-2003, 04:51 PM
You know when I was in high school I found myself in your position, almost to the letter. I probably spent a solid year getting crushed in the first 30 minutes at the local tournaments, and boy that took a toll on my confidence. I even quit for a while a couple times along the way for exactly the same reasons you mentioned.

So between events I started taking a lot of extra time practicing drills and working on a consistent stroke. I read every book I could get my hands on and surrounded myself with better players at every opportunity. I paid particular attention to their shot selections, patterns, and where they were hitting the cue ball on each shot. After a while I found myself doing better and lasting longer against the regulars. With determination and practice it wasn't long before I starting winning some hefty payouts and consistently placing in the top three. I'll never forget my first 1st place win, and neither will you.

Simply said, don't give up. Just because those guys are more focused on winning than teaching doesn't mean you can't learn something from them at every match.

-Glupidio

Aboo
04-24-2003, 03:07 PM
I'm not a high-school student anymore, but I'm in the same place you are sir. I LOVE tournaments, the feeling you get when you win a match is one the best things about pool /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I have placed "in the money" in one 8-ball tournament (5th out of 34) I won 20 bucks LOL. 10 on the entry fee and probably 25 in quarters playing. So I actually still came up short, but I placed in the money /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I'll never forget it, and every time the next tourny starts, I'm champing at the bit to do it again. It's more addicting than liquor or cigarretes ever were! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
Pay the 10 bucks, it's a hell of a lot cheaper than a lot of other forms of entertainment out there.