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View Full Version : How much "loser" do you have in you?



BillPorter
07-21-2003, 11:35 AM
About 40 years ago, when I was playing pool in Dallas, a friend of mine and I came up with a theory about gambling on pool. It seemed to us that just about everyone had a certain amount of "winner" within them and a certain amount of "loser." By "winner," I mean those tendencies and characteristics that increase the odds of winning a match. Things like heart, determination, confidence, killer instinct, ability to focus, etc. The "loser" part would include self-defeating tendencies, choking, giving up, no killer instinct, low confidence, etc. If a player could be characterized as 90% loser and 10% winner, they would almost always find a way to lose, even if they had better physical skills and pool knowledge than their opponent. On the other hand, a player with very little loser in them might tough it out and win a match against an opponent with superior skills and knowledge. We elaborated on the theory at length, and I won't bore you with all the details, but consider this: Some opponents seem to bring out the loser in you, even if you are usually a "winner." Against those certain players, you just never seem to find a way to win. I guess it helped us to believe we understood how some match-ups seem to always go the same way. Take Ralf and Busta for example. Until recently, Ralf just couldn't seem to win playing Bustamante. What do you think?

Kato
07-21-2003, 11:56 AM
I hate to say this but I've got a lot of "loser" in me. Not sure the percentage of this. When things go my way I've got a great deal of "winner" in me. However, when things go wrong and then the pressure gets ratcheted up I'll burn myself. Mostly the "loser" in me refuses to relax and this hurts my "winner" side. I'm WAY to hard on myself when things go wrong.

Kato

Vicki
07-21-2003, 01:42 PM
I think you are over-simplifying things a bit. There are too many extenuating factors to break it down this way. For example, who you're playing (your Souquet/Bustamante reference), where you're playing (home room or foreign), first match of the tournament or finals, who's watching, video taping, etc... Those percentages would change depending on the environment.

I do think that it's possible to have an overall habit of winning or losing. Some of the best advice I got when I first started playing was to go for the 9 when ever reasonable, especially with ball-in-hand, even if you are just practicing. You can develop a habit of winning that way. This was taught to me by someone who might have been, at the time anyway, the world's biggest natural born loser. I also think it's possible to go from being a habitual loser to a habitual winner and vice-versa. That guy who taught me seemed to make a pretty good recovery from being a loser and lord knows I've gone back and forth over the years.

I guess my "Habit of winning/losing" is basically the same as "How much loser do you have in you." I just don't know if it's fair or accurate to quantify it with percentages.

It would make an interesting study.

Vicki

Ward
07-21-2003, 02:07 PM
Bill

I agree with you. There are some people who just won't win, I think it's easier to lose.I don'tknow if it's pressure,or what but there are people won't win or maybe don't know how to win.

Later

Scott Lee
07-21-2003, 02:47 PM
Bill...That is an interesting question! Although I don't believe "winning" can be taught, I DO believe that all of the underlying factors responsible for consistency and confidence CAN be taught to ANYONE...which would raise the overall 'winner' percentage for most players.

Scott

BillPorter
07-21-2003, 02:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr> Bill...That is an interesting question! Although I don't believe "winning" can be taught, I DO believe that all of the underlying factors responsible for consistency and confidence CAN be taught to ANYONE...which would raise the overall 'winner' percentage for most players.

Scott <hr /></blockquote>

I have to agree that most of the factors underlying confidence and consistency can be taught. At least those underlying consistency, and then, with consistency, confidence goes up. But I think I have seen a few "pathological" cases, people who may have been punishing themselves by getting beaten out of their last dollar on the pool table.

bolo
07-21-2003, 03:06 PM
It may be a conditioned thing. Good players expect to win and will hang in there. Players that lose all the time may expect to lose and once they begin to lose pull up when they in fact may have won if they stuck in there. You need to make an honest assessment of the game. If the guy never misses and you are playing your top game and losing, I would get out of there. But if the guy is nothing and the games are just going his way, consider staying in there and see what happens. I am not sure there are winners and losers as much as players that can't asses the game and just have no idea what to do and when to do it. This may sound crazy, but I think I know what kind of game I have very soon into the match. I win often when I am the only guy in the place that thinks I will win. There is a real sense about it that can't be described and I am usually right.

tateuts
07-21-2003, 03:47 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BillPorter:</font><hr> It seemed to us that just about everyone had a certain amount of "winner" within them and a certain amount of "loser." By "winner," I mean those tendencies and characteristics that increase the odds of winning a match. Things like heart, determination, confidence, killer instinct, ability to focus, etc. The "loser" part would include self-defeating tendencies, choking, giving up, no killer instinct, low confidence, etc. <hr /></blockquote>

I guess I would argue that things like "heart, determination, and killer instinct" are not the qualities needed to win. You could be as determined as hell, have all guttiness and killer instinct in the world, and miss every single shot. I would put it more like "executing to your potential, in control of your emotions, and concentrating on the task at hand" as what you need to do to win.

The other qualities are actually distracting.

Chris

SPetty
07-21-2003, 06:27 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> I would put it more like "executing to your potential, in control of your emotions, and concentrating on the task at hand" as what you need to do to win. <hr /></blockquote>Wow! I like that! Nice post.

Scott Lee
07-21-2003, 06:52 PM
ditto...tap, tap, tap! This presumes that you already have the correct fundamental mechanics necessary to get the job done!

Scott Lee

Brian in VA
07-22-2003, 03:11 PM
Chris,
I agree entirely and want to add one thing. Refusing to give up until the last ball drops can mean the difference in a very close match. I call it the "bulldog factor." I've got a friend who is not the greatest player but he absolutely refuses to lose. Actually looking over your post again, it's a combination of the three things you described but with an attitude.
Kell

tateuts
07-22-2003, 05:51 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Brian in VA:</font><hr> Chris,
I agree entirely and want to add one thing. Refusing to give up until the last ball drops can mean the difference in a very close match. I call it the "bulldog factor." <hr /></blockquote>

In golf they call it "grinding". Look what it did for young Ben Curtis who won the British Open this weekend by one stroke. That stroke was a long par putt he absolutely refused to miss on the 18th hole. What a bulldog!

Chris

BillPorter
07-22-2003, 06:54 PM
I guess the "bulldog" factor and "grinding" are pretty close to "determination" in my original post. These factors are not physical skills but a mind set or attitude that contributes in a substantial way to winning a match IMHO.