What next?
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shoutout33
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What next? - 05-26-2020, 07:50 PM

Hello again, AZB. Yes, the title box is confusing, but I would really like some honest, tough love answers on this one. Outside of having a love for the game, going to leagues (strong 4 in APA), watching tons of practice, tournament and instructional Youtube videos...whats left for the amateur in the pool?

In bowling, there's a ton of money that can be made in tournaments and brackets, even if you're not that high a level of bowler. I have been in two house tournaments in my area and I did that to see how I measured up against folks who were obviously more skilled than me.

I always had this picture in my head that the US Amateur Open was the pinnacle of amateur cue sports. In my mind, that was the goal to shoot for. Now I'm hearing things like, it's a sham; the same guys win it all the time; you don't make enough money to cover traveling, etc, etc. So now, I have no idea what to do if I want to works toward a certain level of the pool as an amateur.

Yes, it'd be cool to be able to match up with my peers and everything, but after that, what's the point? I mean, am I missing the point? I've heard some folks say that those who are really good "true" 7's (APA) start to go to tournaments and only stay in leagues so they can still qualify for events. I don't know how much that is true, but that is what I've heard.

I'm not good enough, and even if I was, to gamble and I'm not trying to hustle someone out of their money or be hustled out of mine. I do believe in paying for time to play someone that is much better than your to get "lessons" but that's about it.

So, if folks don't mind sharing, when did the game become serious for you and how far did you go with it and what would you recommend to someone whose stuck on what to do? I mean, I do love this game, but I'm at a crossroads here. I mean, I could continue to play in leagues and try to make it to Vegas or SBE or wherever. But a part of my inner self keep slapping me in the back of the head telling me I'm not doing enough in the game.


Current Player:

Scott Erwin 19 ounces
Shaft: OB-1+
Tips: Kamui Clear Super Soft

Break Cue:

Coker Custom Jump Break
Shaft: Samsara Break shaft with their ferrule/break tip combination (original version)

Cue's I'm waiting for:

My Southwest's!

"Realistic" bucket list:

-5-point Coker (Titleist theme)
-Davis-Prince
-Sly
-Lambros
-Another Scott Erwin
-Tascarella
  
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De420MadHatter
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05-26-2020, 07:59 PM

Your a strong 4....
You haven't even gotten serious yet, or given the game a chance.
Pool is tough, all the way around, and takes a certain amount of dedication to become proficient at it.
Figure out how much you really "like" it
  
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shoutout33
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05-26-2020, 08:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by De420MadHatter View Post
Your a strong 4....
You haven't even gotten serious yet, or given the game a chance.
Pool is tough, all the way around, and takes a certain amount of dedication to become proficient at it.
Figure out how much you really "like" it
Ouch! LOL! Hey, thanks! I asked the question, but yes thank you for the input!


Current Player:

Scott Erwin 19 ounces
Shaft: OB-1+
Tips: Kamui Clear Super Soft

Break Cue:

Coker Custom Jump Break
Shaft: Samsara Break shaft with their ferrule/break tip combination (original version)

Cue's I'm waiting for:

My Southwest's!

"Realistic" bucket list:

-5-point Coker (Titleist theme)
-Davis-Prince
-Sly
-Lambros
-Another Scott Erwin
-Tascarella
  
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05-26-2020, 09:00 PM

The best thing about American Pool is also the most neglected, so many game types. I play so many that people think I make them up. The truth is most American Pool players have a very small comfort zone with game types, but to me in my opinion, that is the difference between loving all things billiards and just liking them.

Play Ta La seriously and find out just how aggravating it is that "running out" is no longer about just shooting straight and leaving for position as the luck of the cards change so much...

http://poolshot.org/pokerpool.php

Try to play Honolulu with a 2 shot type maximum (a.k.a. HON.2)...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honolulu_(pool)

Kaisa can be very aggravating/interesting as the score can become biased quickly regardless of the quantity of balls made...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaisa_(cue_sport)

If those require too much skill for you, try hybrid popular games like Eight-ball rotation...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight-...-ball_rotation

HON.2 and 3-Cushion style games on an American Pool table are my favorites. You loose a ton of players when you suggest 3-Cushion variants (they just look confused), but it seems you gain players when you suggest HON.2. That is fine with me as HON.2 is extremely aggressive and requires real focus on every shot. HON.2. is the extreme opposite of 1-Pocket, so if you're playing it with a 1-Pocket player, don't be surprised if they like it, but decide not to play it (I think everyone likes Honolulu, but it sets a very different bar). And for disclosure, I'm not that great at Honolulu but I typically win. But even I know that the only reason I win is because most people don't play those shots unless they have to, so me winning when I prefer that style of play means nothing besides I've practiced more, not because I'm gifted or some glorious bullshit reason.

Oh, there is also Cribbage. This is a good game, but to make it easier so you don't have to add, just use matching colors and make the 8-Ball the new 15...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cribbage_(pool)

There is also easier smaller games like 7-Ball. I actually like 7-Ball, but finding people to play it is rightfully hard and basically impossible if you're not gambling. I'm not kidding here, I once saw a race to 11 over in 5 minutes real time... crazy fast money... crazy...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven-ball

Bonus Ball 99 is also typically easier if you can overlook whatever it is that is fundamentally wrong with it, but it's fun for a bit...
Note: Apparently Bonus Ball is considered so... strange that I can't find any type of "official" rules for it, but they're listed on the product page.

https://canadabilliard.com/collectio...l-99-balls-set

Last edited by Cron; 05-26-2020 at 09:35 PM.
  
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05-26-2020, 09:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoutout33 View Post
Hello again, AZB. Yes, the title box is confusing, but I would really like some honest, tough love answers on this one. Outside of having a love for the game, going to leagues (strong 4 in APA), watching tons of practice, tournament and instructional Youtube videos...whats left for the amateur in the pool?

In bowling, there's a ton of money that can be made in tournaments and brackets, even if you're not that high a level of bowler. I have been in two house tournaments in my area and I did that to see how I measured up against folks who were obviously more skilled than me.

I always had this picture in my head that the US Amateur Open was the pinnacle of amateur cue sports. In my mind, that was the goal to shoot for. Now I'm hearing things like, it's a sham; the same guys win it all the time; you don't make enough money to cover traveling, etc, etc. So now, I have no idea what to do if I want to works toward a certain level of the pool as an amateur.

Yes, it'd be cool to be able to match up with my peers and everything, but after that, what's the point? I mean, am I missing the point? I've heard some folks say that those who are really good "true" 7's (APA) start to go to tournaments and only stay in leagues so they can still qualify for events. I don't know how much that is true, but that is what I've heard.

I'm not good enough, and even if I was, to gamble and I'm not trying to hustle someone out of their money or be hustled out of mine. I do believe in paying for time to play someone that is much better than your to get "lessons" but that's about it.

So, if folks don't mind sharing, when did the game become serious for you and how far did you go with it and what would you recommend to someone whose stuck on what to do? I mean, I do love this game, but I'm at a crossroads here. I mean, I could continue to play in leagues and try to make it to Vegas or SBE or wherever. But a part of my inner self keep slapping me in the back of the head telling me I'm not doing enough in the game.
If you play pool and have fun , keep doing it. If you play pool to make money , take up magnet fishing .
  
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05-26-2020, 09:19 PM

This game is absolutely a journey and not a destination.

You do need goals. Those goals are to create a journey that is meaningful, not because there is an external payoff that justifies the years of effort.

I compare it to me shouting to my kids "Race to that tree!" We run the race because we are laughing and whooping it up, catching up and passing each other, all of that. The idea that there is something at the tree worth reaching to make it worth running towards is just silly.

Such is pool. I have goals that mean something to me and I enjoy the heck out of pursuing them. But there is no payout. Just a tree.


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05-26-2020, 09:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Man View Post
This game is absolutely a journey and not a destination.

You do need goals. Those goals are to create a journey that is meaningful, not because there is an external payoff that justifies the years of effort.

I compare it to me shouting to my kids "Race to that tree!" We run the race because we are laughing and whooping it up, catching up and passing each other, all of that. The idea that there is something at the tree worth reaching to make it worth running towards is just silly.

Such is pool. I have goals that mean something to me and I enjoy the heck out of pursuing them. But there is no payout. Just a tree.
Beautifly said...thanks!
  
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shoutout33
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05-27-2020, 05:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Man View Post
This game is absolutely a journey and not a destination.

You do need goals. Those goals are to create a journey that is meaningful, not because there is an external payoff that justifies the years of effort.

I compare it to me shouting to my kids "Race to that tree!" We run the race because we are laughing and whooping it up, catching up and passing each other, all of that. The idea that there is something at the tree worth reaching to make it worth running towards is just silly.

Such is pool. I have goals that mean something to me and I enjoy the heck out of pursuing them. But there is no payout. Just a tree.
Thanks, Tin Man.


Current Player:

Scott Erwin 19 ounces
Shaft: OB-1+
Tips: Kamui Clear Super Soft

Break Cue:

Coker Custom Jump Break
Shaft: Samsara Break shaft with their ferrule/break tip combination (original version)

Cue's I'm waiting for:

My Southwest's!

"Realistic" bucket list:

-5-point Coker (Titleist theme)
-Davis-Prince
-Sly
-Lambros
-Another Scott Erwin
-Tascarella
  
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hang-the-9
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05-27-2020, 07:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoutout33 View Post
Outside of having a love for the game, going to leagues (strong 4 in APA), watching tons of practice, tournament and instructional Youtube videos...whats left for the amateur in the pool?

(
Well you personally seem to have more playtime left to get better, the goal is to get good, everything else comes naturally after that. Now if you said you were ranked 10th in the country and was wondering what's left that is another thing.

I play to get good, if I happen to win a tournament or a league match doing that, bonus! I'm usually happier when I make a tough shot than winning a game because I'm not out to beat someone or win money as a goal. As a 4 or even 5 skill level in APA there is years of playing ahead to improve.

If you need to play pool to earn a living then it's a different story, you use your skill as a job vs just for fun. Seems there are a a lot of league players that seem to think that "getting to Vegas" is their job so they turn into cheating a-holes since their goal is to win. You can have a goal in your pool playing not to turn into one of those LOL


"I'll back you against anyone, as long as you did not know you were playng for money"

Charter member of the D-Bag Club, we stick to the letter of the rules not the spirit, and up yours!

Last edited by hang-the-9; 05-27-2020 at 08:22 AM.
  
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05-27-2020, 01:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by hang-the-9 View Post
Well you personally seem to have more playtime left to get better, the goal is to get good, everything else comes naturally after that. Now if you said you were ranked 10th in the country and was wondering what's left that is another thing.

I play to get good, if I happen to win a tournament or a league match doing that, bonus! I'm usually happier when I make a tough shot than winning a game because I'm not out to beat someone or win money as a goal. As a 4 or even 5 skill level in APA there is years of playing ahead to improve.

If you need to play pool to earn a living then it's a different story, you use your skill as a job vs just for fun. Seems there are a a lot of league players that seem to think that "getting to Vegas" is their job so they turn into cheating a-holes since their goal is to win. You can have a goal in your pool playing not to turn into one of those LOL
Thanks, Nine!


Current Player:

Scott Erwin 19 ounces
Shaft: OB-1+
Tips: Kamui Clear Super Soft

Break Cue:

Coker Custom Jump Break
Shaft: Samsara Break shaft with their ferrule/break tip combination (original version)

Cue's I'm waiting for:

My Southwest's!

"Realistic" bucket list:

-5-point Coker (Titleist theme)
-Davis-Prince
-Sly
-Lambros
-Another Scott Erwin
-Tascarella
  
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05-27-2020, 01:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoutout33 View Post
Hello again, AZB. Yes, the title box is confusing, but I would really like some honest, tough love answers on this one. Outside of having a love for the game, going to leagues (strong 4 in APA), watching tons of practice, tournament and instructional Youtube videos...whats left for the amateur in the pool?

And believe me, going from a SL3 to a SL4, or from SL4 to SL5 is far different from going up the remaining skill levels. For many "amateurs, anyway. I went from 4, down to 3, back to 4 and up to 5 in a matter of a year and a half or so, and that's from the true beginning, never having played before. Now, 11 years later, I'm still a 5. That is primarily because of a lack of dedication to the practice it takes to make the next jump in ability. Like many, I have flashes of ability, but lack the consistency. Some folks have a natural aptitude and rise right up through the levels quickly, beyond how its measured in APA, but still remaining "amateur".

That's just in the APA arena. There are many other league formats, not to mention tournaments, in the realm of "amateur pool". Other formats/games...beyond the 8-ball/9-ball offerings from APA. Singles, Doubles, Teams. Major pool events like SBE, DCC, etc. There is a whole world of possibilities in pool.

Good luck!


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05-27-2020, 02:41 PM

The best unsolicited advice I can offer, and it was previously given to me about participating in competitive
sports, is realistically align your expectations at the start & upon attainment, create more challenging ones.


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Thumbs up Well........ - 05-28-2020, 06:14 AM

APA is fine for an introduction to pool. I would suggest you play league one night a week, and play in at least two other halls with 9-foot tables the other 3-4 nights a week. Once a week try to find a cheap game against a better player that you can afford to loose to. (not the BEST player in the room, but someone that clearly plays better than you do) Do not expect to win. but go into it with a set amount you are willing to lose for the lesson. Ask questions afterwards if you see something you don't understand about a shot or sequence. You are paying and they will share if they are decent players. Each week try to play the money match with a different player, and then try to get a game with each of them about once a month. That way you can measure your skills/improvement and gain different knowledge from different players.

The other practice sessions work on things you are having a hard time with and practice/play with your friends or other players near your skill level. You should see improvement pretty quickly if you are serious and put the time in. The Key word is TIME! It will take plenty of it. The old guys at the pool hall will show you plenty of things and tips to work on and they will play cheap. Practice with them until you can beat them regularly. The goal should be improvement and development. You can buy a ticket to Vegas anytime....... Doc
  
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05-28-2020, 06:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cscott67 View Post
APA is fine for an introduction to pool. I would suggest you play league one night a week, and play in at least two other halls with 9-foot tables the other 3-4 nights a week. Once a week try to find a cheap game against a better player that you can afford to loose to. (not the BEST player in the room, but someone that clearly plays better than you do) Do not expect to win. but go into it with a set amount you are willing to lose for the lesson. Ask questions afterwards if you see something you don't understand about a shot or sequence. You are paying and they will share if they are decent players. Each week try to play the money match with a different player, and then try to get a game with each of them about once a month. That way you can measure your skills/improvement and gain different knowledge from different players.

The other practice sessions work on things you are having a hard time with and practice/play with your friends or other players near your skill level. You should see improvement pretty quickly if you are serious and put the time in. The Key word is TIME! It will take plenty of it. The old guys at the pool hall will show you plenty of things and tips to work on and they will play cheap. Practice with them until you can beat them regularly. The goal should be improvement and development. You can buy a ticket to Vegas anytime....... Doc
Thank you, Doc and thank you to everyone who gave their two cents. It is greatly appreciated!


Current Player:

Scott Erwin 19 ounces
Shaft: OB-1+
Tips: Kamui Clear Super Soft

Break Cue:

Coker Custom Jump Break
Shaft: Samsara Break shaft with their ferrule/break tip combination (original version)

Cue's I'm waiting for:

My Southwest's!

"Realistic" bucket list:

-5-point Coker (Titleist theme)
-Davis-Prince
-Sly
-Lambros
-Another Scott Erwin
-Tascarella
  
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