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sixpack
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07-26-2019, 09:47 AM

Tin man - I watched your matches in that tournament and I was rooting for you. I remember a couple of times thinking ‘come on! Shoot!” But overall your pace of play didn’t bother me. I was very impressed by how you thought through the table and then executed perfectly most of the time.

Playing in that scenario is definitely not routine and you needed that extra time to make good decisions and execute. I’m fact, I have a tendency to rush a little in that situation and make a mistake so I really took away some resolve to take the time I need when I need it no matter how big the situation is. And it helped me quite a bit. Thank you for that.

It’s not realistic to think that you can make decisions as quickly as guys who have played thousands of high pressure matches on the biggest stages.

As you keep putting yourself in those situations you’ll get better and quicker at coming up with a plan and your pace will naturally get a little faster.

IMO trying to rush that process will lead to disappointing results.

When Shane or other top players get into tough situations they can take a lot of time to figure out exactly what to do as well. It’s just that they aren’t stumped as often because they have so much experience.


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Use the web test - 07-26-2019, 10:53 AM

There is an easy way to tell if you are shooting too slow, use the web test. If you see a spider just casting eyes at your cue and arm you are just fine. One strand you are OK, starting to get into the realm of slow, a full web between your cue, arm, and the table, with a few bugs caught and cocooned in it you need to step things up a little bit.

More seriously as others have said in various ways, when you are at the table the table is yours, not your opponents. Deliberate slow play is asinine at best but taking all the time you need is fine unless it gets you put on a shot clock. I shoot fairly fast because I read a table fast. If it took me more time to read the table I would slow down. I would not shoot until I had considered the outcome of that shot and the rest of my shots in that inning.

Never, never, never, did I say never?, act like you are on somebody else's clock and they can fire you for being slow. My best men in a crew were a little slow but never required working behind them. There were faster workers but when I had to pull another man to clean up their mistakes before signing off on that little part of the project they were slower than my "slow" workers. I realize that this isn't an apples to apples comparison because you only get one chance at a shot but it does compare in a way. Take all the time you need to do the job right the first time! I try not to shoot until I visualize the object ball dropping in the pocket and the cue ball going where I want it to. I never miss in visualization and seldom miss when I have good visualization.

Take your time, you aren't getting paid by the hour!

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07-26-2019, 01:35 PM

Tin Man, if you're just savoring the moment(s) on our hill-hill match,
hay I'm all good,
take your time and enjoy it while you can.
  
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Tin Man
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07-27-2019, 10:40 AM

Thank you guys for the thoughtful replies.

I think my main point was to let people know that slower play isn't generally a sharking or deliberate. Some of us just need time to steady our nerves. When I shoot before I'm ready it doesn't work well but when I take a little time to confirm my shot, commit to it, and take a deep breath, I tend to do better.

I will keep putting myself in these situations, developing my skills, and practice quicker play at home. My pace of play has improved over the years and it's nice to know many people think I'm still within tolerance of acceptability, but I will continue to improve both tempo, rhythm, and confidence. I know this is the path forward for me.

Sorry I chalk goofy. I don't know where that started. I've never made it a priority to change that because it doesn't hurt me. I was half self taught in the 90s and learned from books and lots of hours of cheap sets as a kid. I have been trying to overcome goofy old school quirks and learn the new gen way of playing. It's been a hard road but a heck of a lot of fun.

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07-27-2019, 11:16 AM

I don't find the way you chalk all that goofy, it actually looks fairly efficient. I did however notice shots where you actually chalked at least 4 times before taking the shot. I see lots of players occasionally do it twice if they restart their pre shot routine but you hadn't got to that point. Again, I think it's just burning off nervous energy that adds all the extra time.

Then again, I usually can't run over 4 balls.
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ChrisinNC
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07-27-2019, 01:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Man View Post
I have struggled all my life with pace of play. I've improved over the years, but I still tend to be on the deliberate side. As an example, I invite you to watch this match I played with Vilmos. For what it's worth I speed up as I go, the first rack is pretty brutal but the pace does pick up a little. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vji4wk5f78

I empathize with the frustration. I have played players who play much slower than I do. Slow play can ruin the fun of a match. It can lead to tournament brackets running behind schedule, 1AM matches, loss of interest to viewers, and many other problems. I take these seriously. I have no arguments with shot clocks or other reasonable solutions. And I apologize for the frustration experienced by other players who have played me.

As to why I play the way I do, it is hard to explain to someone that doesn't have the same demons that I do. The best I can do is compare it to something else we've probably all been through. Suppose you played SVB in the finals of a tournament and he started running multiple racks on you. You could tell yourself 'Don't get psyched out, play the table not the player', but that is not so easy to do. You know perfectly well that is good advice, you know that getting nervous and pessimistic about your chances doesn't help, you know that your best course of action is to play your normal game. But we are human, and as humans we have human responses to these situations that aren't always optimal.

Well, for me, I struggle with confidence. I don't have a powerful game where I can flow through racks and overpower the table. I struggle with execution, I struggle to pocket difficult shots. I have always been a fearful player. And as a result, my game built around those fears. I learned to play really good cue ball and very tight patterns to eliminate risk. I play good defense. I keep a good attitude. I try to control all the things I can to minimize the chances of unforced errors.

On every shot I have to battle doubts and fears not everyone has, or that not everyone processes the same way. I have to take a few extra deep breaths and try to calm myself. I am competitive and hate to make mistakes, so I have to make sure I'm making the best decision, that I'm set up on the shot right, that I feel good. I am not doing this to shark my opponent, I am doing the best I can to keep going.

I am smart enough to understand that the best players in the world have tremendous belief and trust in their game, and that it will be hard for me to improve or maximize my potential if I can't do the same. I've tried to evolve my style of play. I have worked with sports psychologists and hypnotists. I practice straight pool which is a rhythm game to try to improve my ability to get into a rhythm and achieve flow. I watch top players and visualize playing the same way. And I practice, practice, practice, so more and more situations look routine instead of challenging.

Some days I can do it. When I'm comfortable, when I get settled. I'm not always slow. But some days I struggle. This match was a great example. I'm three rounds in on the winners side of a tournament I flew to play, with a friend who's got half my action. I'm playing a higher rates player bar table 8 ball in a short set and know that a single mistake could cost me the set. Flat out, I'm nervous, and when I get nervous I struggle to flow.

I understand some people may feel that if I can't play faster by now I should just quit. I can't do that. Playing pool is an important part of my life. It is meaningful to me because I get to fight those demons. I get to say to my fears "You can scare me, but you can't make me quit, and you can't make me fail". It is my chance to show that with the right amount of practice, effort, and will, you can exceed what you thought were your limits and achieve amazing results. While I am not proud of my demons or the pace of my play in this match, I am proud of how hard I've worked and what I was able to achieve in spite of it. And I love this game as much as anyone has ever loved pool.

I will keep trying to play with better tempo. I am trying to play more tournaments hoping that with experience I'll get smoother. I don't know that I can get to a fast pace, but I think that players like Alex and Ralf or Nick V have a pace I could duplicate. Not fast, still deliberate, but not excessively slow. Still careful, but not too bogged down with doubt and fear. As I said, I've gotten better and play like this more and more of the time. And again, I have no objection to a shot clock, I actually appreciate it because if I was forced to play quicker it might help me and if not I'd welcome that added challenge to the game.

Mostly just wanted to share as many have expressed confusion as to the reason behind slower play and some have assumed it was all sharking. I think it's reasonable to be fatigued by slow play and use a shot clock to put an end to excessive time between shots. I just want you guys to know that some of us are just humans battling problems doing our best, and I hope there's still room for all of us to share this game.
I commend you for putting yourself out there with this thread, and in your absolutely excellent play in this match shown in the video. I didn't yet watch the entire 5 games, but my immediate impression / observation is that 39 minutes for any highly skilled player to run 5 consecutive racks of 8-ball without missing (basically averaging 1 ball made per minute) is indeed agonizingly slow - particularly for your opponent.

It's hard to criticize someone who plays as good as you do, and is (I'm guessing) as nice a guy as you are. However, being absolutely honest, I'd find it hard to want to practice with you regularly, if you also practice at this pace. I'd be thinking too much about the wasted time I'm not practicing that I'm sitting in my chair waiting for you to shoot, particularly as good a player as you are and that you rarely miss. I'm sure I'd also find it hard as your opponent in a match playing against you.

I am keeping in mind that in these short races, on a bar box, against quality opponents, at any time during the match you could be one miss away from your last miss and losing the match. I also realize playing 8-ball offers many more different options in terms of the order you plan to run the balls out, and this order often can change if you get even slightly out of line in your positioning. This naturally requires more thinking/planning before getting down on the shot. I'd have to see you playing another match, preferably 9-ball, against another high level opponent on a 9-foot table, to have a more complete picture of your pace of play.

It is clear by watching the video, and by your thoughts expressed in your initial thread, that you in no way are trying to play slow to shark your opponent, and that this pace of play works for you. We all have to accept that everyone has a different pace of play. If you were not a very good player but played at this same pace, it might be more of an issue, but that is obviously not the case with you.
  
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07-27-2019, 01:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisinNC View Post
I commend you for putting yourself out there with this thread, and in your absolutely excellent play in this match shown in the video. I didn't yet watch the entire 5 games, but my immediate impression / observation is that 39 minutes for any highly skilled player to run 5 consecutive racks of 8-ball without missing (basically averaging 1 ball made per minute) is indeed agonizingly slow - particularly for your opponent.

It's hard to criticize someone who plays as good as you do, and is (I'm guessing) as nice a guy as you are. However, being absolutely honest, I'd find it hard to want to practice with you regularly, if you also practice at this pace. I'd be thinking too much about the wasted time I'm not practicing that I'm sitting in my chair waiting for you to shoot, particularly as good a player as you are and that you rarely miss. I'm sure I'd also find it hard as your opponent in a match playing against you.

I am keeping in mind that in these short races, on a bar box, against quality opponents, at any time during the match you could be one miss away from your last miss and losing the match. I also realize playing 8-ball offers many more different options in terms of the order you plan to run the balls out, and this order often can change if you get even slightly out of line in your positioning. This naturally requires more thinking/planning before getting down on the shot. I'd have to see you playing another match, preferably 9-ball, against another high level opponent on a 9-foot table, to have a more complete picture of your pace of play.

It is clear by watching the video, and by your thoughts expressed in your initial thread, that you in no way are trying to play slow to shark your opponent, and that this pace of play works for you. We all have to accept that everyone has a different pace of play. If you were not a very good player but played at this same pace, it might be more of an issue, but that is obviously not the case with you.
He takes down Mika Immonen here, 9 ball on a 9ft table. https://youtu.be/fyG2n65tvcA
  
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07-28-2019, 06:30 AM

The only thing worse than a slow player is one who's 50 points your fargo inferior that grinds you into dust.


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Brookeland Bill
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07-28-2019, 07:19 AM

Inability to make a decision. Who makes the decisions at home and at work? Someone else I presume.


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07-28-2019, 08:11 AM

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Originally Posted by Brookeland Bill View Post
Inability to make a decision. Who makes the decisions at home and at work? Someone else I presume.
I can be snarky but that was a pretty sheety thing to say to someone who choose to come here with a question like this. It says a lot more about you than him.

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