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Bluewolf
04-15-2003, 10:28 PM
Blackjack had good points and what I hear is to not put oneself in 'a box'. My rate of learning may be different than some recommend but I just think in a non'linear way.

I see the whole table and automatically chose the 3 balls I want to get first and think about how to get my cb to the next ball and from there to the next one. Then i see my last balls I want to shoot to get on the eight. I see that I need to get my balls,the beginning ones in shape for the next ones.

I calculate what is an 80% shot, a 50% shot and a 20% or less shot,so that I can tell when it would be better to safe or leave them long and hard. I am trying to learn how to go from one end of the table to the other end so that I will not have as many long hard cuts, since that is a big weakness I have. I see safes, I just see them.In a match,it is kind of weird, I end of making them up as I go along.

I cannot help it. I just see it.

At the same time, I spend the majority of time on potting balls with centerball to be sure I am getting more accurate.

I know that some of the things I see, others have told me not to do but it just comes naturally. So that is a sort of conflict within my mind.

I see the shot and the next ball I need to get shape on and ask myself how to do this. I ask what the action on the rail will be with various types of hits. I do not always get it right but I ask the questions in my mind.

I see sl3,sl4 and even sl5 who even though they are better shooters, many know little about safes and shape.

Eventually my shooting will get better. I just think that a person cannot get to be a real good player without cb control. I am hoping that when I become better at shooting, I will have a rudiment of these other things giving me the edge.

I hear people say just use centerball and I do practice that a lot but I find it hard to not do things I am sort of okay at.

Is it bad for me to start getting an awarenes of shape?

Laura

jjinfla
04-16-2003, 04:53 AM
Just keep in mind that getting the best shape means absolutely nothing and is completely worthless if you don't make the ball you are shooting at.

Bluewolf
04-16-2003, 07:35 AM
Originally posted by jjinfla
Just keep in mind that getting the best shape means absolutely nothing and is completely worthless if you don't make the ball you are shooting at.

Thanks Jake. The way I do practice is mainly using centerball and knocking in the balls and I have drills.

Every once in awhile, like once a week, I play shape only, just to learn the concepts.

When in a match I use mostly centerball and some draw for the tangent line. I try to pay attention to my ball speed too so that I do not end up at the wrong end of the table.

The reason I do not use much shape in matches is because I am not good at it yet. In playing people that are a little better shooters, I recognize that I need to shoot good.

I practice at home a little shape for later when I am better. When learning a new thing, I tend to not use it in a match unless I am proficient.

I am shooting better. I am pretty bad on long cuts and on 80-90% cuts. Even though these things may be tough, I am gradually getting better on the long cuts, just not good enough to be consistent. There are sl3 and sl4 who do the long cuts better than me, that is why I practice them.

Thanks

Laura

1-P
04-16-2003, 08:20 AM
Laura,

I am confused about your use of the word shape. Shape is simply a synonym for position. Good or bad, you get shape on every shot and should play for good shape /position on every shot.

It sounds like you are using shape to mean english or sidespin.

You also say you only practice shape once a week, when I would think you would want to practice it on every shot you make. No exceptions.

Please clarify because I never knew there were regional differences in the definition of shape as it applies to pool.

1-P

Blackjack
04-16-2003, 09:06 AM
Shape also refers to the relation of the shot (angle) to get "shape" on the next ball. In games of rotation such as 9 ball, angles are very important as the cue has to travel farther than in games such as 8 ball and straight pool. Many beginners make the mistake of trying to get "exact" or "straight" in position. Getting the proper angle on the next shot while remaiing in your comfort zone as it relates to shotmaking is sometimes hard to master. Also, some days you can, and some days you can't. That is why I cringe at the "sl4" and "sl3" and "sl7" labels that you refer to. Some days I can't hit the braod side of the barn, and other days my shotmaking and position is flawless. Rating systems such as the APA are inaccurate and do not accurately measure your progress. Playing position also varies from table to table as each table's cloth and rail speed is unique. All of these factors need to be taken into consideration, and the player has to know how to accurately judge rail and cloth speed (as well as pocket speed) and adjust his shotmaking and position play accordingly. It is not automatic, and it requires the "proper knowledge", By that, I am saying that you should be getting knowledge from qualified instructors. Some people get bad advice in this area bad inherit bad habits from fellow players who mean well, but are not qualified to teach in the proper way. I can teach you teh basics of position play, say the horizontal plane and the vertical plane, but if your stroke or stance needs work, you'll probably still get the same results as before, or compensate with bad habits.

I evaluated a student recently during their league night. This person was paying me good money to evaluate certain aspects of their game in a competitive envoronment. When we started to discuss his stance, players from both teams started to add their two cents to the mix, which is great, but every one of them had flawed information. There is a lot of flawed information floating around bar leagues as well as "B" and "C" level tournaments. I have stated before, Laura, in many of my writings, that you should be watching some of the female players, not the men, and especially not your husband. What works for your husband in the area of mechanics and the fundamentals may not necessarily work for you. A few years ago, I was working with Jennifer Chen. She was trying to emulate the stance of Allison Fisher, a stance that did not stabilize her body effectively. It works great for Allison, because it is Allison's body that is being balanced in that position. For Jennifer, the breeze could have knocked her over. It didn't work. Adjustments were made, but in the end she returned back to what was natural for her. It's the same thing with just about every area of your game. Players shoot differently, stand differently, sight differently, play position differently, etc, etc. as our eyes see uniquely, and our bodies balance and move uniquely. An instructor is qualified to teach these things to you. An excellent example is my brother. He loves working on cars. He's not a certified mechanic, but he can do certain things. If I wanted to save money, just have him look at my car and do what he can do. It may work fine for a while, but sooner or later I'll have my car in the shop with a mechanic telling me I should have brought it to him first, and I would have saved myself a lot of time and money. It's the same with your game.

Kerry
04-16-2003, 11:35 AM
Dave,
I agree with everything you say, except for this statement:

"Rating systems such as the APA are inaccurate and do not accurately measure your progress"

Could you back this up with an explanation? I started playing in the APA. I started as a 3. I am now a "B" player and play as a strong 7. I think that as my game improved, my skill level went up accordingly. When I was a 6, for example, I had skills that clearly separated me from the 5's, and lacked skills that clearly separated me from the 7's. The skill level is based on win % and innings per game, primarily. Safeties subtract from the total innings, so basically innings are treated as "misses". Someone who can consistently win games in 3 innings is surely better than someone who requires 6 innings, no? Now I understand that you can conceal innings by pushing balls around and configuring the table for a runout, but my experience tells me that the vast majority of people play to do their best and win the game as quickly as possible.

So anyway, I'd be very curious to hear your explanation.

Kerry

Rickw
04-16-2003, 12:58 PM
I don't mean to steal David's thunder, but I inerpreted him to say that on any given day, you might be an Sl-2 or an Sl-8 depending on the day and how you're hitting them. I think this hold true for most of us. I do think that, in spite of this, there certainly is a difference between lower-rated players and higher-rated players. To that extent, the rating system does provide for a means of handicapping players' abilities.

I agree with David too that a qualified instructor provides more of a benefit than any advice you might get from other less qualified people. On the other hand, I don't think you should discount everything people tell you, especially when you are attempting to improve your game (which should be always). I've been playing a long time now and I'm still working on improving my basics.

Bluewolf
04-16-2003, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by 1-P
Laura,

I am confused about your use of the word shape. Shape is simply a synonym for position. Good or bad, you get shape on every shot and should play for good shape /position on every shot.

It sounds like you are using shape to mean english or sidespin.

You also say you only practice shape once a week, when I would think you would want to practice it on every shot you make. No exceptions.

Please clarify because I never knew there were regional differences in the definition of shape as it applies to pool.

1-P

Position or cueball control. After the break, I look at the table. I look at the ball I want to get right before the eight. I look at the first three balls I want to get in, getting good position going from one to the other. Then there are the three middle balls. So I want to get good shape on the 4th after potting the third. This is the ideal.

At my level, I pot no more than 3 and then hide. I let my opponent get more balls off than I have. Since sl4s do not usually run out plus I am tying them up this works up to that level.The more balls that they have off the table and the more that I have still on there, the more they are putty. I have more places to hide and without so much clutter, I have a better chance of getting good shape on my balls. And the better I get at ball speed control and reading the rails, the less I leave myself long.

So I am trying to learn more about reading the table, even though I read it already [very imperfectly], I do not always see the right order.Sometimes I choose the wrong safe too. and I learn and i learn.

I have the luxury of a table at home so once a week set up a shape game. Here is the ball, the pocket and how do I need to hit it to get shape on the next ball. I do not focus a lot on this because I need to focus more on becoming a better shooter. I figure that if I work a little on this consistently then when I am a higher ranked player, I will be better at it then others at my level.

So this is not so much for the matches I am in now except ball speed control and using the action of the rails because my current opponents are horrible in shape. This is something for a future long term goal.

Laura

Bluewolf
04-16-2003, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by Blackjack

I evaluated a student recently during their league night. This person was paying me good money to evaluate certain aspects of their game in a competitive envoronment. When we started to discuss his stance, players from both teams started to add their two cents to the mix, which is great, but every one of them had flawed information. There is a lot of flawed information floating around bar leagues as well as "B" and "C" level tournaments. I have stated before, Laura, in many of my writings, that you should be watching some of the female players, not the men, and especially not your husband. What works for your husband in the area of mechanics and the fundamentals may not necessarily work for you. A few years ago, I was working with Jennifer Chen. She was trying to emulate the stance of Allison Fisher, a stance that did not stabilize her body effectively. It works great for Allison, because it is Allison's body that is being balanced in that position. For Jennifer, the breeze could have knocked her over. [/B]

My husband tried to bludgeon me with his 'truths' about pool. It did not work. I insisted that my stance was different and being low worked well. After scotts last lesson, he said my fundamentals were very good. My husband was trying to teach me all these hard english shots when I was a beginner. I got mad and said leave me alone, I want to learn centerball first. I do not do position like he does. In my mind why bounce around all those rails if you can do a simple stop with a soft stroke. Why go two rails if you can get the same shape with one rail? I do listen to my instructors but also do what is natural and within my skill limitations.

English? I have been told not to do that. I do it anyway in a few cases but mostly when I am practicing shape rather than a match.

I set up this simple shape drill with one ball and the cb. It is a very easy cheat the pocket to the corner. Using very soft, what happens with ie top,oe top,ie bottom, oe top, and then a little harder shot same thing. This was just a drill for my beginning awareness.

Anyway, even though we play some together, I stand like I stand, address like I address, keep things as simple as I can. I do not try to copy him or anyone else. I do not know anyone who has a stance just like mine but it works for me and scott said it was good.

Laura

Bluewolf
04-16-2003, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by Kerry
Dave,
I agree with everything you say, except for this statement:

"Rating systems such as the APA are inaccurate and do not accurately measure your progress"

The skill level is based on win % and innings per game, primarily. Safeties subtract from the total innings, so basically innings are treated as "misses". Someone who can consistently win games in 3 innings is surely better than someone who requires 6 innings, no? Now I understand that you can conceal innings by pushing balls around and configuring the table for a runout, but my experience tells me that the vast majority of people play to do their best and win the game as quickly as possible.

So anyway, I'd be very curious to hear your explanation.

Kerry

I do not think the ratings are accurate. I am a sl2. I beat the two sl4s I played. They shot a teeny bit better but I am a big time defensive player and can mess up any players head if they rattle. I can also beat many of the threes. I do not think my sl2 rating means anything. All that it says is two things. I lost matches when I first played so even though I play higher, I stay a two until I hit that majic number. I safe 3-5 times a game unless I am playing a two. Then I do not need to. My safes are not counted, thus high innings.

Most in our league do not count safes. I visited another strictor league tues night which claims to count safes. We were watching 2 sl3 play. I saw 2 safes, the captain was distracted so they were not counted. This is not a perfect system. It is just a league. It is okay up to a b player wanting competition experience but it is far from perfect. I agree with David, rather what I think he is saying, that this can put a person in a sl4 box, etc. I see this in most of the players. they think they are a four so are not supposed to know how to do this or that. I am the renegade that goes against the flow, refusing to stay in whatever box the apa puts me in.

Laura

Kerry
04-16-2003, 02:20 PM
Laura,
you wrote:

"I do not think the ratings are accurate. I am a sl2. I beat the two sl4s I played. They shot a teeny bit better but I am a big time defensive player and can mess up any players head if they rattle. I can also beat many of the threes. I do not think my sl2 rating means anything. All that it says is two things. I lost matches when I first played so even though I play higher, I stay a two until I hit that majic number. I safe 3-5 times a game unless I am playing a two. Then I do not need to. My safes are not counted, thus high innings.

Most in our league do not count safes."

This says nothing about how the APA handicap system works. What it says is how you and your team cheat and work around the APA system. Let me just point some things out:

1) Maybe you had a good night when you played the 4's or maybe they had a bad night. Look at the performance for the whole season, since they don't play against you every week. Also, any player that gets "rattled" just because their opponent played a safe is not a very experienced player.
2) If you don't count safeties, you are a sandbagger. Whether it is intentional or not doesn't matter. It is because of this weekness of character that the handicap system doesn't work better. Kind of like the "locks are for honest people" idea. Basically, this is cheating. Don't say the system doesn't work just because you don't follow it and would prefer to be a "renengade". Maybe you are supposed to be a 3, but just conceal yourself enough to be a 2. If everyone was honest about their game, the system would work quite well. It is only the minority of people who lack the self confidence to show their true game that ruin it for the rest of us. Though this is the same with most aspects of society, so why should the APA be any different?
3) Your handicap consists of your best 10 of your last 20 matches. Nothing magical happens when you hit 21 matches except that your first match is no longer in your last 20. However, if you have 10 matches on your record that are better than your first match, then this really wont matter anyway.

Laura, I believe you would improve faster if you were honest with your league. Besides, there is no feeling greater than when you are playing a match against a low ranked player who thinks they are better than they really are, and they have one nice run and win a game, and giggle among their friends..and the friends try to taunt you with remarks like "ha ha ha...some 3, huh?", knowing full well their friend should be ranked higher--and then you procede to beat the piss out of the guy, run everything in site, and shut him out the rest of the match. It's a beautiful wake up call to the dishonest sandbagger. (This is the true story of how I made it to the last regional qualifier, playing against a 3 who won the first game in 1 inning. I doubt that guy will ever be better than he was then, so he will forever have to make it by cheating)

Kerry

jjinfla
04-16-2003, 07:04 PM
At the 2&3 SL shots that look like safes are really in all likelyhood just plain old misses that turn into a good safe. They should not be marked as safes. And you can't blame BW for not marking safes because the score keeper (usually the Captain) from each team is the one who marks the safes. BW should be concentrating on the game and not the scoresheet. And they both don't have to mark safes, either score keeper can mark a shot as a safe. But in reality most people just don't bother to mark safes. Especially against a SL 2 or 3. As to how the APA really decides how the SL is determined is a pretty well kept secret. There are all kind of suppositions as to what can raise or lower ones SL but you will never see it in print. Evidently it is a computer generated number taking in a variety of factors that the LO enters into the computer. Such as innings, wins over a better player, winning a match, safes, etc. But how many, or which, games are sampled by the computer, is unknown. does it only sample your last 10 winning matches? Or your last 10 matches with the lowest innings? Or your last 10 matches? Or does it sample all of the matches entered into the computer? As far as the computer goes it doesn't care. so I guess only the computer programmer knows. But no matter what the SL of the winner is the loser will always say it is too low. LOL Jake

Koop
04-16-2003, 07:50 PM
Originally posted by Bluewolf
I do not think the ratings are accurate. I am a sl2. I beat the two sl4s I played. They shot a teeny bit better but I am a big time defensive player and can mess up any players head if they rattle. I can also beat many of the threes. I do not think my sl2 rating means anything. All that it says is two things. I lost matches when I first played so even though I play higher, I stay a two until I hit that majic number. I safe 3-5 times a game unless I am playing a two. Then I do not need to. My safes are not counted, thus high innings.

Most in our league do not count safes. I visited another strictor league tues night which claims to count safes. We were watching 2 sl3 play. I saw 2 safes, the captain was distracted so they were not counted. This is not a perfect system. It is just a league. It is okay up to a b player wanting competition experience but it is far from perfect. I agree with David, rather what I think he is saying, that this can put a person in a sl4 box, etc. I see this in most of the players. they think they are a four so are not supposed to know how to do this or that. I am the renegade that goes against the flow, refusing to stay in whatever box the apa puts me in.

Laura



Nice post Kerry and you hit the nail on the head. I was playing in the APA and then everyone decided to start an in house league that absolutely sucks. The handicapping is a joke so it's back to the APA where at least I know someone is paying attention.

I see you are from the Boston area. Which area do you play out of. I wouldn't be surprised if we came across each other before in a tournament.

Regards,
Dave

Blackjack
04-16-2003, 09:01 PM
Kerry,
I have posted my views of leagues in the past. For some, leagues are great, but I have never cared for the rating systems at all. I do not believe that the system charts progress accurately. My playing is style is not unique. I play safes to frustrate my opponent, lock him up when I can, or when playing cat & mouse in 8 ball. Now let's say I'm playing Larry Shwartz in the APA tuesday night league. We get into a classic safety battle, trading lock ups, and it goes back and forth with me collecting about 7 extra innings.. How does that affect my rating if this happens over quite a few matches? Does the fact that I played safe, instead of total offense, make me less of a player because I couldn't run the table? It is situations like this that make no sense whatsoever when it comes to rating a player's skill. Over time (as is evident my Bluewolf) some players start chasing the rating, and the rating does not necessarily make the player any better or worse. It is my opinion that though leagues provide enjoyment, comradery, and very good competition, they do not accurately measure a player's true playing ability. As was stated earlier, not everybody is a league player, nor does everybody like the environment of league play. This is quite evident on the very last league I participated in here in El Paso several years ago. Local players Gilbert Griego, Jerry Cordova, Perry "Hitman" Fisher, Jeff Georges, David Sapolis, and several other top players from El Paso. This team was awesome on paper, but we could barely scrape a victory due to the league format. We were the "Dream Team" and we looked quite intimidating with all those names, but NONE of us were very good league players. Heaven help you if you met any of us in a tournament environment, or gambling. Our Dream Team experiment was a nightmare, but we had lots of fun. Leagues are meant to be fun, as well as competitive. I do not believe leagues are measuring sticks for players, nor should they be.


Meanwhile, the team from the WB gets ready for Vegas.....

Pop And Slop
04-17-2003, 03:17 AM
Just to start I would like to say that I love the fact that the forum has gone back to the format I liked in the first place (I stopped visiting and posting because I hated the format).

Next, on the issue of "shape", Shape has very little to do with the term of english or "spin". you can use english to get shape on your next ball but your can get your pose by doing a stop shot as well.
Playing english is a big part of the game, as well as playing the bands but no bigger than doing a good stop shot or playing soft. If you feel that the shot and pose can be made with a soft shot rather than hitting 3 bands and coming around the table then that's great, if you get it. You should practice english and using the bands just as much as anything else in the game, being a well rounded player is always better than being stuck and not knowing how to get out.

On to the subject of stance. In my learning experience I have come to believe that stance is a personal thing. I had asked a friend of mine (Nick Nikolaidis) to help me with any problems he saw in my game. The very first thing he told me was that my stance was wrong. It wasn't like he did it. He showed me how to approach the table and just step into the stance (just like he does it). It was very uncomfortable to say the least. I tried it for a few weeks and decided that it wasn't for me and I went back to doing it my way but I did take a little of what he taught me and add it to how I line up my shot. Playing well depends a lot on how you feel, when some one tries to "help" you, then take their help and use it in a way that you are comfortable with.

Now finally on the subject of leagues and handicapps (phew, almost over). I don't know how the APA works its handicapping system, although it seems pretty complicated from what I hear. I play in the VNEA and that system I know. They work on team handicapps only and all players play even. Handicaps really only work in the area you play most. You can really only be juged on your opponants and if your playing lower players the obviously you will be ranked high. as an example, last year my team was ranked #1 in our city league, we went to an intercity tournament and lost in the first round, though my players played well, our team as a whole was not up to their standards.

Personally though, players do have good nights and bad nights, and depending on who you are playing when you have a bad night could really hurt your rating. as an example you can be playing a good player and if you are having a bad night they will probably beat you (unless they are having a bad night too), or if you are having a bad night and you are playing a lower player then you might still win the game and your rating will still go up.

Jay

Bluewolf
04-17-2003, 05:01 AM
Originally posted by Kerry
This says nothing about how the APA handicap system works. What it says is how you and your team cheat and work around the APA system. Let me just point some things out:

1) Maybe you had a good night when you played the 4's or maybe they had a bad night. Look at the performance for the whole season, since they don't play against you every week. Also, any player that gets "rattled" just because their opponent played a safe is not a very experienced player.
2) If you don't count safeties, you are a sandbagger. Whether it is intentional or not doesn't matter. It is because of this weekness of character that the handicap system doesn't work better. Kind of like the "locks are for honest people" idea. Basically, this is cheating. Don't say the system doesn't work just because you don't follow it and would prefer to be a "renengade". Maybe you are supposed to be a 3, but just conceal yourself enough to be a 2.

Laura, I believe you would improve faster if you were honest with your league. Besides, there is no feeling greater than when you are playing a match against a low ranked player who thinks they are better than they really are, and they have one nice run and win a game, and giggle among their friends..and the friends try to taunt you with remarks like "ha ha ha...some 3, huh?", knowing full well their friend should be ranked higher--and then you procede to beat the piss out of the guy, run everything in site, and shut him out the rest of the match. It's a beautiful wake up call to the dishonest sandbagger. (This is the true story of how I made it to the last regional qualifier, playing against a 3 who won the first game in 1 inning. I doubt that guy will ever be better than he was then, so he will forever have to make it by cheating)

Kerry

I do not sand bag!!!! I always played my best. And the wins agaiinst the fours were not mistakes.There are few fours that I could not beat in a 4-2 race because I have that albeit unfair handicap advantage. I have the old APA formula from 2 years ago, which someone posted to RSB and got in a heap of trouble over it.

Unless things have changed drastically, here is what it said.

20 matches-best 10 matches

Then a list of less than 20

18 matches= best out of 9

I have 8 wins, 9 if you count the one LO lost. They counted my matches from 3 years ago but not my win.

I have literally gone up to the score people and said 'that was a defensive shot'. They still marked one when I did four. After doing this over and over, I gave up and accepted that was not going to happen in our league.

It is my understanding that this happens all over, not just in my league. Others leagues do this too, this is not just an APA problem, from what I have heard from other leagues. The only difference is that in BCA they count all potted balls as in 9ball APA. Since I take 95% of my games to the wire, I would probably be a higher rank in one of those systems.

I happen to like the LO. I think that he sincerely wants to do what is right. But I must bide my time. Nobody is going to listen much to an sl2. If a sl6 approached him, maybe he would try to do something. But he has a huge league he is trying to run.

I guess I could write the LO or just enjoy my twodom in the tiime it lasts. I have been told by certain 7s to not make a big deal out of the safes, that I would cause waves and nobody would like me.
I have read the apa manual and the local bylaws and have copies.The manual plainly states, any intentional miss is a defense shot.

I started keeping score more often because I am the only one on my team that does it right! There are a few teams that try to mark safes but most do not. Also there is another problem. Most of the sevens on our team are burned out and the 4s end up keeping score. The majority of the fours would not recognize a defense score it bit them in the rump.

As far as beating the fours, the difference between my shooting ability and theirs is not much. I beat them in the mental game. Yes 4s rattle and so do many 5s. I play our good five before the game and take the game down to the wire every single time.He wins most of the time but he says 'you are killing me with your defense'.

The first 4 I beat was in last sessions playoffs.The strategy was this. Not to put up our four in a dead even 3=3 race, because he would lose. Not to put up our good sl3, because in a 3-2 race, he would lose. I had the handicap advantage. I felt guilty over that matche because I knew Iplayed like an sl3 and if I was a three, he would have won more 3-1. Same with the other 4.

The first 4 was the best four in our league. He became a five a few weeks later. He was a good four, but you might not have any idea what you get when a person can quickly size up the opponent and mentally play games with their head. In fact, David said in one of his articles how important it is to size up your opponent and it is not only the best one who wins, it is the one who is best in the mental game.

On the first game in the first few shots, he was not making long cuts. So in addition to my safes, guess what shots I gave him over and over, up and down the table I sent him.

My ability to make up safes on the fly knows no bounds. Yes, good players can be rattled. Our good five was once a six. He played a five who was a worse shooter but was an ace in the defense game. He got him off his pace and our 5 got so frustrated he literally fell apart mentally and got beaten by a player who was not as good at potting but was an ace in the mental game.

It is NOT fair to the other players that I am a two. But it is not my fault. The system is broke. Even the league rep for the league sandbags. I taked to the LO at Valley Forge about the fact that since lots of fols do not have a defense game of much, they do not recognize safes, either. I was hopiing he would set up a workshop or something. nadanada.

Well that is about it.

Laura

Bluewolf
04-17-2003, 05:29 AM
Originally posted by DDKoop


Nice post Kerry and you hit the nail on the head. I was playing in the APA and then everyone decided to start an in house league that absolutely sucks. The handicapping is a joke so it's back to the APA where at least I know someone is paying attention.

I see you are from the Boston area. Which area do you play out of. I wouldn't be surprised if we came across each other before in a tournament.

Regards,
Dave



tap tap

As far as some players chasing their handicaps:: I am basically a pretty flexible person, but fair is fair. If I play like atwo, I should be a two, if I play like a three, I should be a three. The apa rating says that at handicap review, if a player plays equivalent to the worst player of the next handicap, they should be bumped up.

In terms of our threes, I play better than many of them. There are some that play better than me. These are the ones who play like a bad four. I am being honest here. If a player is B, As should not be in their tournaments etc.

I do like our league for the following reasons; I get to talk to my friends, everybody knows everybody, I get to watch the better players to learn, the 4s and 5s, to size them up, to see their strengths and weaknesses.

Laura

Blackjack
04-17-2003, 05:32 AM
Jay,
Great post! Glad to see you back here! You madesome excellent points.

Blackjack
04-17-2003, 05:41 AM
Jay,
Great post! Glad to see you back here! You madesome excellent points.

jjinfla
04-17-2003, 06:17 AM
I hope everyone keeps in mind what the goals of the APA are. To provide a forum for the average player and for the APA to show a profit. And they must be doing something right because they claim to have over 100,000 players. The APA is really not aimed for the really good players. Yet they do allow them and have some really good players in the leagues. As far as sandbagging I see nothing wrong with it. The person who does it is using his head and playing intelligently and playing by the rules set up by the league. Calling safes and calling intentionally missed shots is just not all that easy to call. Many times I have missed shots and people say "nice safe" or "you're just giving me a chance" and the real truth is that I just plain old missed the shot and got lucky on the leave. And then I have actually played to miss a shot and play safe and no one realized it. I suggest that if you are playing in the APA league just enjoy it quit worrying about someone's SL. Because no matter how many safes they play or how many innings they extend they still must win the match for the team and that alone will catch up with them and they will be moved up to the next skill level. Or they go to Vegas and are moved up there. It all works out in the end. Jake

Pop And Slop
04-17-2003, 07:23 AM
Originally posted by jjinfla
As far as sandbagging I see nothing wrong with it. The person who does it is using his head and playing intelligently and playing by the rules set up by the league.

I agree, pool is like playing chess, a win is a win and you don't need to bring out your queen to win at chess nor do you need to play your best to win at pool.

Jay

Bluewolf
04-17-2003, 08:47 AM
I do not believe in sandbagging. If you read the apa handbook, the main way to prevent this is by marking safes.There is another type of 'sandbagging' that goes on some call 'handicap management. I do not believe in this either.

Last session, one of my captains turned to me and said 'you will be a 2 for a long time'. I turned to my 7 hubbie and asked him what that meant. He said that meant that they would play me aginst players they kknow I could not beat to keep my sl down.

I just do not believe that these kind of practices are what Corporate APA had in mind, and our LO certainly does not promote this type off 'cheating'.

Laura

Pop And Slop
04-17-2003, 09:59 AM
Originally posted by Bluewolf
I do not believe in sandbagging.


I've been playing tournaments for about 14 years now and League for only the last 2 years (as a captain). Last year my team placed 1st in league play and 2nd in the season ending tournament (16 teams). This year we placed 3rd in league and 2nd in the tournament (33 teams). I was ranked #1 overall (242 players) and all without sandbagging. In league play I don't feel the need for me personally to manage my handicap because it's meant to be fun. Tournament play I feel differently about it. I used to play in a handicapped tournament and would on occasion manage my handicap. I mean, why play great during the season, raise my handicap so high that I would have no chance to win in the final tournament so that a "rookie" would walk away with the prize.

You may not believe in doing it but for some it is just another skill used to win tournaments.

You find that managing your handicap is "cheating" and that is your opinion and I respect that. Some people think that playing a safety is cheating too. I think it's all just part of the game.


Jay

Ruby
04-17-2003, 12:01 PM
Hi Laura

I'm not familiar with the APA system but I've played in VNEA and BCA. I just wanted to tell you my experience in leagues.

My first year in league was in VNEA. The team really wanted my boyfriend to play, but he was not interested in league. He wanted me to join to gain experience. We all agreed for me to play regularly and have my BF substitute against tough teams. Overall it was a good experience. I learned to play under pressure (The entire room is watching you!)and I enjoyed reviewing my stats every week. Anyway, my teammates gave us an ultimatum to make my BF play because they thought I wasn't good enough, even though I was beating the best players every week.

I never focused on my handicap because it really only matters for the team's standing. Even if I can win money, sandbagging has never been my thing because I'm just trying to play well. If I were playing for your captain, Laura, I would have left by now, or at least complain about it because he would be wasting my time. He can say that it's for the team but why should you sacrifice so much?? You show up and you don't even get to play sometimes.

I'm not trying to tell you to leave, but you might want to think about what your goals are. There's nothing wrong with sitting out or keeping your stats low to benefit the team but not if it upsets you. My BCA team was the lowest ranked team when I joined in the middle of the season. It was already too late to win money, so I focused on winning as many games as possible and keeping my team out of last place. We finished 4th from the last!! It probably meant nothing but I was happy.

I agree with Jjinfla. I wish they would just let you play and forget about your handicap.

Kerry
04-17-2003, 12:08 PM
Wow, lots of feedback here.

Dave,
You describe an example of a safety battle in 8-ball. Keep in mind that every safe you and your opponent play is supposed to be recorded. These will be subtracted from the total innings. Therefore, your ability to play safes would be reflected in your handicap. I played a great match last week. Here's how it went: I won 5-0 in 1, 2, 0 (break and run), 1, and 3 innings. This adds up to 7 total innings. I played one safe, so make that 6 innings. 6/5 is about 1.2 innings per game, which is a solid 7 score. May teammate who is a 4 played 4 games. She won 3-1 against another 4. She took 24 innings, with 9 safes. This means 15 innings over 4 games, which is 3.75 innings per game. This is probably a solid or strong 4 score. SHe recently went down to a 4 from a 5. Another player won 3 games in 19 innings. No safes. That's 6.3 innings per game. She's a 3. I think all these are fairly accurate and represent the differences in abilities we all have. Keep in mind that the APA is an AMATEUR league. It is intended for D and C players. The league structure falls short when you get up to the 7 level, because there are 7's who are C players and 7's who are A players. They both need the same number of games. I think the 7 skill level is the only really inaccurate one.
Laura,
I hear where you're coming from. Maybe I should consider myself lucky because I play in a pretty good league. My LO is very fair, and has some quality people working for him. There is very little sandbagging in my league, from what I can tell. This makes it a LOT easier to stand up to it, and do things right. You mentioned 7's who would get upset about making a stink over safes. These people would not be looked upon very favorably in my league. Also, we have a handicap review committee, of which I am a part. I generally say nothing about 95% of the people in the league. The ones who play like 6's but are 4's, maybe I'd say they should go up to a 5. Those are rare, though. It sounds like you are playing among a bunch of deceitful people. Maybe you could find a higher quality bunch to play with? Maybe the APA in your area just sucks? Though I suppose if cheating is as rampant as you say, then at least your other league members will be playing at lower than actual handicaps?

Pop and slop wrote:
"You find that managing your handicap is "cheating" and that is your opinion and I respect that."

Actually, Pop, it is also the opinion of the APA, and since that is what we are really talking about here, there really is little room for dispute. Page 31 of the 2003-4 Team manual says: "Intentionally missing shots for the purpose of increasing innings and holding your skill level down to gain an unfair advantage over your opponent is cheating!" This isn't an opinion. It is the rules of the league. If you don't agree with the rules, then go ahead and cheat, but don't try to make it out as some grey area. I don't dispute that some skill is needed to effectively cheat. It's the same type of skill involved in hustling someone into an unfair game. I guess if you want pool skill to encompass negotiating skills, and in the context of the APA-cheating skills, well then, I guess you and I play two different games, but we both call them pool.

And actually, the APA now has over 200,000 memebers, for what that's worth.


Kerry

Blackjack
04-17-2003, 12:26 PM
Kerry,
Excellent explanation! The system puzzles better players because we fail to see where we would accurately fit into the rating system, but then again, the system was not made for us, so I should shut up about it. I don't want anyone to think I am against leagues. As a former room owner, I had leagues four nights a week, which kept the vendor of my coin ops extremely happy. Leagues are a lot of fun and a great place to start, and maintain your skill. It doesn't matter which league system you belong to, as long as you are having fun. When I had my own room, my leagues helped my business substantially. When supporting the sport of pool, it all starts with leagues and tournaments at the local level.

Kerry
04-17-2003, 02:11 PM
Blackjack,
I'm glad you see where I'm coming from. I think B players and above should just expect to be 7's in 8-ball. The 9 ball skill levels go from 1-9. I am currently an 8. I think it would take a B+ type of player to stand up as a 9. Any A player should expect to be a 9, however. If you don't care much for the 8-Ball handicaps, you'd HATE the 9-ball league. First of all, what regular 9-ball player would ever imagine making every single 9-ball and horribly losing the match?? In the APA, you get 1 point per ball and 2 for the 9-ball. SL-1's go to 14 balls while SL-9's go to 75!! It sounds like a lot, but it really isn't so aweful. You must adjust your game a bit, particularly when playing a much lower rated palyer. I played a 1 the other week. What a nail biter!! It was a 65-14 race. As you can see, every time she runs 2 balls, I have to run a rack. Still, if I couldn't do that I wouldn't be an 8. The biggest thing is that you must be careful on the break. You really must not scratch ever, but particularly on the break. Every ball in hand is at least 1 or 2 balls for the opponent. LOTS of safeties. Anyway, I won the match by 1 ball, 65-13. Now if that isn't an even race, I don't know what is. Now I know everyone has their ups and downs. Sometimes I'll run 30 balls in a row, sometimes I have trouble with 3 or 4. But on the average run, I can be counted on to run several and not leave my opponent too much. So it averages out that I'm an 8. I generally prefer regular 9-ball, but APA 9-ball is a fun game too, like straight pool by 9-ball rules. Another crappy thing is no push outs. These types of things have lead to a HUGE improvement in my break. I realized that control is the key, and getting shape on the low ball. I didn't think about this so much before playing APA 9-ball. Now my break in all games is much improved (thanks in part to the great article you posted a little while back!!). So this is an example of something positive I got out of the APA, even though I rarely if ever get an even match. That's what the tourneys are for!!

Laura,
I see that you don't have much choice about sandbagging in your current situation. Like Ruby said, I would have been out of there a while ago. I hope things improve. One nice thing--if anyone on your team goes up 2 full skill levels once you get to Vegas, or if some number of people on the team go up a total of I think 4 full skill levels, your whole team gets booted. Its sort of like a "pay me now or pay me later" situation. Good luck with a less than ideal situation--don't let it keep your game down.

Kerry

Bluewolf
04-18-2003, 08:57 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Kerry
Wow, lots of feedback here.

Laura,
I hear where you're coming from. Maybe I should consider myself lucky because I play in a pretty good league. My LO is very fair, and has some quality people working for him. There is very little sandbagging in my league, from what I can tell. This makes it a LOT easier to stand up to it, and do things right. You mentioned 7's who would get upset about making a stink over safes. These people would not be looked upon very favorably in my league. Maybe the APA in your area just sucks? Though I suppose if cheating is as rampant as you say, then at least your other league members will be playing at lower than actual handicaps?

I played a guy last night. Yes!!! i finally got to play. He was obviously a sandbagging three, had been a three for three + sessions, knew safe,shape, very good at shooting and read the table including some knowlege of which balls to play next. The other three on their team told me she was a four and it took her a long time to go to a three and she loved being a three, did not want to be a four.

I felt great. I played good shooting, was told I played like a typical three, did some good safes, some better shape, and some good choices on the 'right' next ball. I just wanted to play. Next session I am trying to get on two leagues. Even if they sandbag, I will get to play.

Actually, Pop, it is also the opinion of the APA, and since that is what we are really talking about here, there really is little room for dispute. Page 31 of the 2003-4 Team manual says: "Intentionally missing shots for the purpose of increasing innings and holding your skill level down to gain an unfair advantage over your opponent is cheating!"


I do not cheat. I try to follow the rules. It is too bad that so many cheat. The league could be much better if they did not.

Laura

Pop And Slop
04-18-2003, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by Bluewolf
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Kerry
[B]I do not cheat. I try to follow the rules. It is too bad that so many cheat. The league could be much better if they did not.


I don't cheat either, I just don't try my hardest to win, but I never miss intentionally.