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View Full Version : To stay low is to lay low.


Handsumm
11-22-2006, 12:34 PM
I recently have been contemplating the push to become a BCA master player. I have many friends and aquaintances as such, a lot of whom I can beat out of their money, but I have some restraint in doing as they did and play in a BCA sanctioned event and hope to get third or better in the open division.

I have played in B tournaments that have really strong competition. Some of these "B" players are a threat to string racks together. I often think that many players will keep themselves from becoming an "A" player or BCA master just to have the opportunity to stay in the lesser fields and have viable action.

Is it a good idea to push towards something that will reduce your chances of action and force you to play in a tougher field in BCA sanctioned tournaments? I have the feeling that staying low, is a good idea, but it is somewhat counterproductive as far as improving your game.

What do you guys think about this? A lot of so-called "masters" don't put the least bit of intimidation in me, and I will play even with. SOme "B" players I will ask for a spot. So who is on the better end of it all? I seem think that being an "unknown" is a definite advantage, but that is the money player in me after all.

VIProfessor
11-22-2006, 01:03 PM
I recently have been contemplating the push to become a BCA master player. I have many friends and aquaintances as such, a lot of whom I can beat out of their money, but I have some restraint in doing as they did and play in a BCA sanctioned event and hope to get third or better in the open division.

I have played in B tournaments that have really strong competition. Some of these "B" players are a threat to string racks together. I often think that many players will keep themselves from becoming an "A" player or BCA master just to have the opportunity to stay in the lesser fields and have viable action.

Is it a good idea to push towards something that will reduce your chances of action and force you to play in a tougher field in BCA sanctioned tournaments? I have the feeling that staying low, is a good idea, but it is somewhat counterproductive as far as improving your game.

What do you guys think about this? A lot of so-called "masters" don't put the least bit of intimidation in me, and I will play even with. SOme "B" players I will ask for a spot. So who is on the better end of it all? I seem think that being an "unknown" is a definite advantage, but that is the money player in me after all.

It depends--what do you want out of the game? As someone (I forget who) told Cornbread Red early in his career, if all you want is to win money then that's easy to do. Just don't play anyone unless you're sure you can beat 'em! If, however, you have a burning desire to improve your game and reach your maximum potential then there's no substitute. You will have to step up and play better players.

To offer my own viewpoint on the matter, I have one question which I'm sure many of you have heard before. If someone offered you a million dollars tax-free with the condition that you never again touch a pool table, would you take it? Surveys on this question have demonstrated that most pool players would not. Thus, it can be safely concluded that despite our many protestations to the contrary, most of us, at the end of the day, play because we genuinely love the game. If this is true for you, abandon all thoughts of sandbagging and get out there and play!

Peace,
VIProfessor

bsmutz
11-22-2006, 01:05 PM
It sounds like you have to make up your mind whether you want to play for money or develop a reputation as a great player (assuming that you are/have the potential to become a great player). That point may be open to debate (hehe). Personally, I think it is best to give every match your best effort. I have no desire to "hustle" anyone, though. It is my opinion that there will always be better players than you in both groups and that there are plenty of ways to get into action without having to really worry about it.

bsmutz
11-22-2006, 01:08 PM
If someone offered you a million dollars tax-free with the condition that you never again touch a pool table, would you take it? Surveys on this question have demonstrated that most pool players would not.
I wonder if your survey results would be different if you actually had a million dollars in hand.

Snapshot9
11-22-2006, 01:53 PM
It's hard to be a 'great' player without taking down the 'CASH', and that means in money matches and tournaments. The best money player is usually the most feared.

Not a whole lot of players are considered great that never gambled, and even most of them did on the way up, but maybe not after they got there.

No one has been able to make a decent living entirely off tournaments except maybe Allison, but just because she was so above the other women players until Karen Corr came along.

Sigel took down the cash, then became one of the best tournament players.
Buddy Hall took everyone's cash around the country, then turned Pro, and took down the cash, money wise and tournament wise.

The reason is: Big money players that have played tons of action are
THE BEST SEASONED PLAYERS IN THE WORLD. They are more adept at adjusting for any and every type of situation they come across, and they have withstood the most pressure in the past. They also gather a ton of knowledge along the way.

VIProfessor
11-22-2006, 02:06 PM
I wonder if your survey results would be different if you actually had a million dollars in hand.

LOL! You have a point! At the same time, though, I'd really be interested to see how many people would end up welching on the bet!

supergreenman
11-22-2006, 02:35 PM
To underachieve is to devalue your own self. To devalue yourself for money makes you a who&%e.

JMHO

Handsumm
11-22-2006, 02:54 PM
To underachieve is to devalue your own self. To devalue yourself for money makes you a who&%e.

JMHO

Good point, but is making more money underachieving?

I am in it for the love of the game, and want to be the best. The question is, the best what? I don't hustle (any more), I just play. If someone wants to play me for money, they will get a good game, because I believe that stalling or dumping can really throw off someone's game. By the time they are ready to "turn it on" they find that they cannot.

The point is, going up too early may be detrimental. Even the Padooine learner must wait to become a Jedi. I don't know when I will be ready to take the plunge, but I feel that at my age (25) I might have a couple playing years left.

Klopek
11-22-2006, 02:58 PM
Just go pro, Efren and Archer will welcome your action.:)

UWPoolGod1
11-22-2006, 02:58 PM
Micah-
I know what you are saying. There are definitely people who are playing in the lower divisions (Open B and Open A) who we both know that are trying to stay low. One guy got caught last year (noone I knew) who blantantly told his opponent he was forfeiting his match so he didn't win and get moved up to Masters. The local reps found out and they punished him accordingly. They have changed how many players they move up to masters from 3-4% to 8% which equates to about 16 players in each tourney get moved up from lower division to upper division. I have never understood trying to stay low especially when you have the travel expenses to get to the tourney. You need to finish high in the tourneys to recoup your expenses. And to finish high means you move up.

Personally I have strived to move up to the Masters division of Western BCA. I started in the Open B (got 3rd out of 178), moved up to Open A (got 7th/8th out of 120) and then became a Master (actually won my first)
But thats me of course. I also do not gamble that often unless it is a situation that favors me or I feel like it at the time.

All "contemplating the push to become a BCA Master" takes is signing up for league, playing your 8 weeks and then proving your play down at the beach at the regional events, or Nationals. I think you have a good enough game to roll through the Open B and do very well in the Open A division also. Obviously the Masters division is tough but there is still a large talent swing between Masters. I just hope you are not basing your success versus these "so-called Masters" on the race to 2 tourneys or races to 5 for $5 gambling matches.

Also I am not sure how accurate your saying players in those 'B' tourneys are deliberately trying to stay low instead of moving up. Either they 1) haven't played BCA to move up or be thought of as an 'A' player or 2) are in BCA and haven't placed high enough while trying to win (as in Steve Myers for example) or 3) they are good players who are unknowns and can play a bit.

You will always have viable action from one person or another. The only thing that moving to a Master will do is not make you be able to play in these specific 'B' tourneys. Then you either have to play in the Open tourneys, Pechaeur Tour or gamble as you have. And you will still have the "so-called Masters" to play since they already play you now being an Open player. Also they do not put that much fear in you because you can play just as well as some of them, you just haven't attempted to play in BCA. Just because they have the BCA Master label doesn't make them better, they just placed high enough to move up a division.

As far as BCA santioned local tourneys there are only two per year at the coast (one 8ball one 9ball). The Pechauer Tour events roll through and also have strong competition. Anyone can play in them however as long as you pay your yearly dues and entry fee. The only thing staying low does is let you play in the 'B' tourneys and eventually if you place high all the time you will not be welcome back anyways.

In other words...play BCA league, it'll take you a year+ to move from Open B to Masters with only two regional tourneys a year, and continue to gamble with the players that you do. Don't worry about hurting their "so-called Master" egos, just play em, shoot well and take their money. Pretty simple.

VonRhett
11-22-2006, 03:16 PM
May I clarify:

You are asking if we condone sandbagging, in a Sanctioned League structure, for the sole purpose of (possibly) winning more money??

Um, what's that word? Int, um, Interg, ahh crap, it escapes me.... um, er, Ingrety, no.. um, Oh YEAH! INTEGRITY

\-von

Handsumm
11-22-2006, 03:22 PM
Micah-
I know what you are saying. There are definitely people who are playing in the lower divisions (Open B and Open A) who we both know that are trying to stay low. One guy got caught last year (noone I knew) who blantantly told his opponent he was forfeiting his match so he didn't win and get moved up to Masters. The local reps found out and they punished him accordingly. They have changed how many players they move up to masters from 3-4% to 8% which equates to about 16 players in each tourney get moved up from lower division to upper division. I have never understood trying to stay low especially when you have the travel expenses to get to the tourney. You need to finish high in the tourneys to recoup your expenses. And to finish high means you move up.

Personally I have strived to move up to the Masters division of Western BCA. I started in the Open B (got 3rd out of 178), moved up to Open A (got 7th/8th out of 120) and then became a Master (actually won my first)
But thats me of course. I also do not gamble that often unless it is a situation that favors me or I feel like it at the time.

All "contemplating the push to become a BCA Master" takes is signing up for league, playing your 8 weeks and then proving your play down at the beach at the regional events, or Nationals. I think you have a good enough game to roll through the Open B and do very well in the Open A division also. Obviously the Masters division is tough but there is still a large talent swing between Masters. I just hope you are not basing your success versus these "so-called Masters" on the race to 2 tourneys or races to 5 for $5 gambling matches.

Also I am not sure how accurate your saying players in those 'B' tourneys are deliberately trying to stay low instead of moving up. Either they 1) haven't played BCA to move up or be thought of as a Master or 2) are in BCA and haven't placed high enough while trying to win (as in Steve Myers for example) or 3) they are good players who are unknowns and can play a bit.

You will always have viable action from one person or another. The only thing that moving to a Master will do is not make you be able to play in these specific 'B' tourneys. Then you either have to play in the Open tourneys, Pechaeur Tour or gamble as you have. And you will still have the "so-called Masters" to play since they already play you now being an Open player. Also they do not put that much fear in you because you can play just as well as some of them, you just haven't attempted to play in BCA. Just because they have the BCA Master label doesn't make them better, they just placed high enough to move up a division.

As far as BCA santioned local tourneys there are only two per year at the coast (one 8ball one 9ball). The Pechauer Tour events roll through and also have strong competition. Anyone can play in them however as long as you pay your yearly dues and entry fee. The only thing staying low does is let you play in the 'B' tourneys and eventually if you place high all the time you will not be welcome back anyways.

In other words...play BCA league, it'll take you a year+ to move from Open B to Masters with only two regional tourneys a year, and continue to gamble with the players that you do. Don't worry about hurting their "so-called Master" egos, just play em, shoot well and take their money. Pretty simple.

Another well-spoken enlightening post from the PoolGod himself. We need to hook up soon. Been dying to get my ass handed to me. By the way, Glen and I have been talking about hooking up for a few (relatively) cheap sets, but I don't know what kinda weight to ask for. I think he agreed to the 7 and the breaks, but wouldn't offer me more. What do you think? Maybe I should ask for the whole damn rack and give him the breaks!!:)

UWPoolGod1
11-22-2006, 03:28 PM
Another well-spoken enlightening post from the PoolGod himself. We need to hook up soon. Been dying to get my ass handed to me. By the way, Glen and I have been talking about hooking up for a few (relatively) cheap sets, but I don't know what kinda weight to ask for. I think he agreed to the 7 and the breaks, but wouldn't offer me more. What do you think? Maybe I should ask for the whole damn rack and give him the breaks!!:)

Yeah I haven't played much since the beach tourney. Greg Sowder has my playing cue so he can refinish it. I have pretty much only played ACS league on Wednesday nights including tonight. Only a few more weeks of that left.

Atwell plays strong and that is a pretty big spot, not sure he would want to go any further. Just have to make sure if you cannot get out make sure he is buried and cannot jump out of it. And make sure you make a ball on the break don't scratch.

yeah I'll be back out playing again once I get my cue back. Been house hunting so maybe I'll get that closed by mid-January and get a table in there.

Handsumm
11-22-2006, 03:32 PM
May I clarify:

You are asking if we condone sandbagging, in a Sanctioned League structure, for the sole purpose of (possibly) winning more money??

Um, what's that word? Int, um, Interg, ahh crap, it escapes me.... um, er, Ingrety, no.. um, Oh YEAH! INTEGRITY

\-von

I agree, but it's not necessarily sandbagging if you simply choose not to play in a sanctioned tourney.

I played APA once. Damn captain wanted me to shoot and duck, shoot and duck. He wanted me to stay 4 or 5 for the regionals. I told him that it was f*cking up my game, and that I couldn't do it. Rat bastard told me that they didn't need me, then called me three weeks later to ask me to play in the tourney. Needless to say, "Homey don't play that!"

I hated playing 3 that shoulda been 5's etc. I think the APA is a good league for beginner players to enter the competitive side of the sport, but sandbaggers corrupt the league like a disease.

The BCA format somewhat eliminates the want to sandbag, but there is still that urge for some players to think about the shortcomings of performing very well, as to not bring attention to themselves for gambling purposes.

As for the many points about there always being action, I certainly agree.

Maybe one of you guys would give me the "Orange Crush" so we can make a game.:D

Portland area action FTW

Handsumm
11-22-2006, 03:40 PM
Yeah I haven't played much since the beach tourney. Greg Sowder has my playing cue so he can refinish it. I have pretty much only played ACS league on Wednesday nights including tonight. Only a few more weeks of that left.

Atwell plays strong and that is a pretty big spot, not sure he would want to go any further. Just have to make sure if you cannot get out make sure he is buried and cannot jump out of it. And make sure you make a ball on the break don't scratch.

yeah I'll be back out playing again once I get my cue back. Been house hunting so maybe I'll get that closed by mid-January and get a table in there.

I might have a beautiful, almost brand new, Olhausen with Simonis 860. My new roommate just moved out of his parents house, and they still have it in the garage. Probably would let it go for $1500, or maybe even less.

Let me know if you're interested, and I will ask him. BTW, are you already committed to a three man BCA Wednesday night team? Wooley asked me to be his open, and Big Dave said he would be the other. That should be real fun for us to hook up against eachother in that league.

UWPoolGod1
11-22-2006, 05:33 PM
The BCA format somewhat eliminates the want to sandbag, but there is still that urge for some players to think about the shortcomings of performing very well, as to not bring attention to themselves for gambling purposes.


Somewhat? There is really no urge for anyone to sandbag. Instead of paying your money to the owners of the APA you actually get paid back for every point you get during the session. Ususally works out to about $0.13 per point so there is no incentive to sandbag. At the end of league the check I get pays for my entries at the coast. You can have the most stacked team you can find which works out better for your pool growth. You play with better players, can learn from them, and also set goals or side bet on who will have the best winning%, most break and runs, etc. And you are not going to bring attention to yourself because you only play each person on the other team one game or two during the match. They will not NOT play you becuse you beat them one game.

I think you are bringing in two different concepts into this thread. Playing league and wanting to become a master versus not scaring away gambling. You, as I know, there is not a ton of action around anyways so I am not sure which action you think you will scare away. Are you scared that a person at Halftime will not gamble you anymore just because you become a master? You gamble the table and person not their accomplishments.

Maybe this thread has me confused. :confused: :confused: