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Fast Player or Slow Player?
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Fast Player or Slow Player? - 04-20-2020, 10:29 PM

Just for fun, but maybe an interesting psychological part of the game....

When it comes to your opponent, what gets under your skin the most - A fast player or slow player? This has probably been touched on here before, but any thoughts now?
  
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04-20-2020, 10:40 PM

Slow players are the worst.

I don't mind if they take a little bit, but when it starts taking minutes and minutes for every shot, it gets old.

I can play as fast as pretty much anybody unless we are playing speed pool.

I don't mind fast.


The Hustler

Such a man spends all his life playing every day for small stakes. Give him every morning the money that he may gain during the day, on condition that he does not play-you will make him unhappy. It will perhaps be said what he seeks is the amusement of play, not gain. Let him play then for nothing, he will lose interest and be wearied. ***Blaise Pascal***

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Last edited by HawaiianEye; 04-20-2020 at 11:02 PM.
  
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04-20-2020, 10:57 PM

interesting question
I can only envision that a slow player would annoy
and a fast player would, if anything, intimidate (if they're also playing well)
personally, I try not to let either bother me
and focus on my own pace


A billiard table is that richest of metaphors,
by turns a theatre, an altar, touchstone, gauntlet,
ritual ground, a gunfighter's high noon, a refuge,
a verdant landscape for balls to scatter and rest in meaningful synchronicity,
a classroom, a karma dance, mirror of moods, a guide and trusted friend...

-- from grissim's "billiards"
  
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HawaiianEye
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04-20-2020, 11:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by evergruven View Post
interesting question
I can only envision that a slow player would annoy
and a fast player would, if anything, intimidate (if they're also playing well)
personally, I try not to let either bother me
and focus on my own pace
I wouldn't mind playing every game, with anybody, with a shot clock of some sort.

There should be some sort of time limit that a person can stall around and stall around.


The Hustler

Such a man spends all his life playing every day for small stakes. Give him every morning the money that he may gain during the day, on condition that he does not play-you will make him unhappy. It will perhaps be said what he seeks is the amusement of play, not gain. Let him play then for nothing, he will lose interest and be wearied. ***Blaise Pascal***

_______________________

In the beginning he was a man...then he became the game.
  
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straightline
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04-21-2020, 01:20 AM

Long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I worked in a couple rooms, had free table time after hours and was able to get into automatic mode. Back then slow was a sign of weakness and I didn't mind the slow players. There was lots of chair time to cringe and make faces. Couple decades later I had slowed down my play considerably; maximizing competence instead of attempted intimidation. Well I don't know what the law of quantum thermodynamics actually states but the most psychologically debilitating style of play nowadays is slow and perfect. There are lots of turnovers at my level but you are still faced with taking your performance into some very difficult territory instead of waiting on gravy.
  
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evergruven
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04-21-2020, 02:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by HawaiianEye View Post
I wouldn't mind playing every game, with anybody, with a shot clock of some sort.

There should be some sort of time limit that a person can stall around and stall around.
I admit the idea of a shot clock can be a tempting one
but if the play is slow, I'd rather just deal with it
maybe bail if it was really bad..
I pretty much just play for fun tho
so when I'm in a pool room, I enjoy
and sometimes
you get a nice give and take with the other player
without a watch on it

I do like a shot clock for watching pool on tv
pretty uncomfortable watching a player take a day to shoot
when you can't even see the table right in the first place


A billiard table is that richest of metaphors,
by turns a theatre, an altar, touchstone, gauntlet,
ritual ground, a gunfighter's high noon, a refuge,
a verdant landscape for balls to scatter and rest in meaningful synchronicity,
a classroom, a karma dance, mirror of moods, a guide and trusted friend...

-- from grissim's "billiards"
  
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04-21-2020, 07:05 AM

I would love a shot clock.

I try not to let anyone see that anything bothers me...and usually it doesn't but if I think someone is intentionally playing slow to get under my skin then when it's my shot, I might take a bathroom break, wash my hands, talk to a couple of people.
  
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Easy Answer
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Easy Answer - 04-21-2020, 08:05 AM

Slow bothers me way more.

I played APA 8-ball about 25 years ago. Our captain was a friend of mine and played well. He was a 7 in 8-ball and a 9 in 9-ball. At the time, he was considerably better than me and would beat me regularly. He played at a normal pace and it didn't bother me at all.

About 5 years ago, we got together to play. He had not been playing much over the last 10 years and now we played at about the same skill level. He discovered quickly that we were about the same skill level and he put the stall on. It was maddening. At one point, during his turn at the table, he actually stopped and approached a player on the adjacent table to ask, "I notice you put chalk on your cue after every shot. Why do you do that?" Then he had a conversation with him before coming back to our table. I knew he was doing it to disrupt me and as I said, it was maddening. We have not played since.

Fast opponents are great. Win or lose, you spend less time int he chair.
  
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04-21-2020, 08:11 AM

I don’t mind a slow player ‘if’ they are actually concentrating on what’s on the table and not just a slow routine they have.

A fast player has no impact on me. I need not react to his style.

Pro Snooker keeps meticulous stats over decades. Top players average about 20 to 25 seconds...there is a lot to strategize on the table. It’s also a big table to walk around. There is no shot clock and a player can take a few minutes but it’s considered bad etiquette unless an extraordinary situation with big consequences.

I play is 3 pool leagues and all are for fun. No money, etc. We tend to be considerate of each other. In general we are ready to play and likely don’t take more than 20 seconds. If someone takes a minute, nobody would likely notice or care.

Last edited by Geosnooker; 04-21-2020 at 08:14 AM.
  
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04-21-2020, 08:47 AM

About 9 months ago I watched a player in a wheelchair move faster than a man who would endlessly "study" the table. If you need to take so much time you're either sharking or indecisive and either is a sign of someone who isn't confident. That's typically good to see in someone you're gambling against but otherwise just inconsiderate.

Note: wheelchairs need some kind of hydraulic lift attachment. The guy shooting in the wheelchair was at a severe height disadvantage, it didn't look comfortable at all and surely the match wasn't even (although he won).
  
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04-21-2020, 09:16 AM

Slow players should be sent to gitmo pending a trial that never comes.
  
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One of my "mentors"
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One of my "mentors" - 04-21-2020, 09:31 AM

I put mentors in quotes because Old Joe or Gentleman Joe didn't deliberately mentor me. I was playing pretty decent bar pool at this point, making money consistently most nights, booking few losses until I ran into Joe. This story is long, pass if you are in a rush. It is about slow play and dealing with it though.

Joe was tall, thin, and ancient. He was at least in his seventies, possibly his eighties. We played on a ratty old nine footer in a 24-7 bar. It was the front room of a house built in a style once pretty common on the busier roads. The big room served as store or other business with living quarters in the back. This place was maybe forty by forty, had an ambitious sixty feet or so of bar that ran front to back and across the back wall, and one ratty old nine foot table. The place didn't have a name but the table was open to challenge and the bet was three dollars almost all the time. You could pump up there any time if you were willing to chop wood at that three dollars a game and lose one now and then to keep others interested. The action was like the bar, 24-7.

Anytime I showed up Joe wasn't far behind if he wasn't there already. Did somebody drop a dime? Did he own the place? I don't know. Seemed like every time I came in I ended up playing Joe whenever I visited for months. Joe was s-l-o-w! Without stalling, glaciers grew and shrank while he walked around the table. He never shot hard enough an object ball lost contact with a pocket bevel. The hell of it was that Joe could run out and take ten or fifteen minutes doing it.

The chinese water torture was nothing compared to playing Joe. I was in my late teens and would sit literally on the edge of a bar stool waiting for Joe to miss. If and when he did I would jump up impatiently and shoot too fast. Either I failed to pocket a ball or I blew shape, failed run out after run out. Joe would just take a swallow from an Old Crow half-pint bottle and totter up from his stool and finish the table! The place only sold beer but Joe always toted his own drink in his ancient sport coat he always wore. He never ran out. Only years later did I wonder if some of those multiple bottles had tea in them instead of alcohol.

I felt sure that I had better table skills but Joe owned me. I was several hundred down never playing for more than three dollars a game. Minimum wage was $1.25 an hour and that was all most in there made. That worked out to a dollar an hour after taxes so three hours work was on the line each game, not that small of a bet viewed that way. I had to find a way to get by Joe!

After a lot of thought I decided the ticket was to go from eager and even anxious competitor to mildly interested spectator while sitting well back on the bar stool, feet off the floor. Lean the house cue somewhere, no need to hold it every moment.

Joe never beat me again. After a couple of sessions he would only play me one or two games and he would get off the table. Never got my money back from Joe but that was some of the best money ever spent. In the next seven or eight years learning to cool my jets in the chair made me thousands total.

Aside from anything else, I burned a lot of energy in attack mode all of the time. A six or eight hour session wore me out, sometimes a lot shorter sessions. As a mildly interested spectator I got some rest in the chair and twelve hour plus sessions left me far less tired than sessions half that long had before. When I catch myself on the edge of a chair now I deliberately slide my back all of the way to the backrest. I might fake a yawn or two to tell my body to relax. Nothing to do but watch for fouls or the other person's time at the table to end. Fast play, slow play, speed no longer bothered me. If you want to spend five minutes on a straight in shot I'll sit in my chair seemingly half asleep.

Sailor's advice is excellent when it is your turn to shoot, no nonchalanting at the table, mentally or physically. Seeming nonchalance in the chair is a good thing. If your opponent wants to spend four times the amount of time you do standing and walking around, remember he is the one wasting energy, let him. It is likely to get under his skin when his stalling is totally ignored.

Hu
  
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04-21-2020, 10:36 AM

I mostly play one pocket, it's is like Chess on a Pool Table, I play slow, it seems to help me make better choices about the game.


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04-21-2020, 11:33 AM

I think, rather than a ‘shot clock’, maybe some limit of the number of times you can get down on a shot. There is nothing more aggravating than playing someone who’s gets down, strokes a few times, then changes his mind and gets down on another choice, strokes again, decides against that one, walks around the table, gets down on another and strokes, then gets up and starts the whole process all over!
  
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04-21-2020, 12:39 PM

I’ve played hockey for over 50 years.

I know an opposition player has played a good game if at the end of the game , a hole opened up in the ice, he fell through and I wanted to jab him with my stick to keep him under until he perished.

He has got under my skin. Psychology is as much a part of competitive sports as other skills.
  
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