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Do you let up against friends?
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Straightpool_99
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Do you let up against friends? - 10-05-2015, 10:52 PM

I have this friend I've been playing pool with since I started playing. In a set to 10 I usually beat him about 10 to 5, without too much of an effort. Straightpool about 100 to 50. He's not a bad player really, and he works hard on his game. Every now and again he will win of course. He will not accept a spot, and he doesn't take losing too well either, he gets kind of down on himself. I try to cheer him up by pointing out that he played well etc. He has actually been improving a little bit lately.

Anyhow, having played him for a long time now, I know his weaknesses and strengths, and could really murder him if I wanted to, by playing a specific way. I usually go for the flashy runouts instead, often giving him a game or two extra as a result.

So to cut to the chase, finally, do you "play to kill" against such an opponent, or do you let up? I catch myself letting up a bit, and I'm afraid I might be doing him a disservice by doing so, but then again I don't want to bring him down either....
  
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10-05-2015, 11:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straightpool_99 View Post
I have this friend I've been playing pool with since I started playing. In a set to 10 I usually beat him about 10 to 5, without too much of an effort. Straightpool about 100 to 50. He's not a bad player really, and he works hard on his game. Every now and again he will win of course. He will not accept a spot, and he doesn't take losing too well either, he gets kind of down on himself. I try to cheer him up by pointing out that he played well etc. He has actually been improving a little bit lately.

Anyhow, having played him for a long time now, I know his weaknesses and strengths, and could really murder him if I wanted to, by playing a specific way. I usually go for the flashy runouts instead, often giving him a game or two extra as a result.

So to cut to the chase, finally, do you "play to kill" against such an opponent, or do you let up? I catch myself letting up a bit, and I'm afraid I might be doing him a disservice by doing so, but then again I don't want to bring him down either....
This is always a tough situation, on one side, you want him to improve, on the other he's your friend and you want him to enjoy playing.
I guess this happens to a lot ppl
So I say depends on your mood
What I would do, let him get real close sometime, so he feels some hope and feels confident with his game and not being far from you.
Then massacre him some other time so then he realizes he's still got a lot to improve thus providing some motivation
  
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10-06-2015, 12:57 AM

I do think the best way is to actively help your friend, pointing out shots he might miss (banks, combinations, caroms), consulting over the best next 2-3 moves.
Even Snooker-style retry for shots which is great fun!
We usually do 3-5 attempts or as long as we like it (even passing over the attempt and see who can actually hit it!).

That way he REALLY learns from you. And it's imperative that he does not lose the fun.

If you really want to give him some balls you'll need to consistently display an off-game for a night or else it would spoil his fun.

Cheers,
M
  
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10-06-2015, 04:48 AM

When I play friends I don't try as hard to play dirty. Meaning lock up safe leaves, etc. Its not really dirty pool but you know what I mean.

When I play people that I have grudges against anything goes. AND THEY MAY EVEN BE FRIENDS. Lock up safe shots, mental strategies, racking patterns, every legal tool I know.

When I play friends that basically have not improved in years, I play fast and loose, still beat them most of the time but they don't get discouraged.

When I play friends that are improving well in their game, I play dirty to give it to them good because THEY WILL LEARN from it.
  
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10-06-2015, 04:52 AM

Massive situation, I don't envy you.
I say it depends on your definition of "friend", I have this gentleman that I play and I would call him a friend but we're only friends at the room, so he's more of a close acquaintance. Next I would say it depends on your overall ability and mental state of pool. Explaination, if you are a very strong player or mentally strong player letting up could affect your game as you never really get to let loose, and letting him get close will hurt him more than help cause he'll beat himself up for not closing out the match.

When I play said guy I get up there to murder him but that's because of his attitude, I still let up some but not playing to many safes if any, I usually try to run and would usually leave him a speed bump safe (meaning long, wrong side, funny side, etc).

Do you play other friends the same way you play him? If he's the exception to the rule then let him live, if he's shooting good that day then over run balls and miss position ever so often so that he has a chance to do his thing, but if he's playing bad then destroy him. What that will do is keep his confidence up on good days and he will improve, on bad days he will know that he played bad that day and see you destroy him will give him something to aspire for and keep him motivated.


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10-06-2015, 05:50 AM

I know the type. It's a no-win situation. You're trying to control his reactions by tempering your own game. Play your best game. It's your right to do that. Let him go ballistic. Either he'll learn to deal with it or he'll finally ask for a spot, or he'll quit playing you, but that's his problem, not yours.

He needs to grow up emotionally, and in a way, you're preventing him from doing this by giving him false hope.


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10-06-2015, 06:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straightpool_99 View Post
I have this friend I've been playing pool with since I started playing. In a set to 10 I usually beat him about 10 to 5, without too much of an effort. Straightpool about 100 to 50. He's not a bad player really, and he works hard on his game. Every now and again he will win of course. He will not accept a spot, and he doesn't take losing too well either, he gets kind of down on himself. I try to cheer him up by pointing out that he played well etc. He has actually been improving a little bit lately.

Anyhow, having played him for a long time now, I know his weaknesses and strengths, and could really murder him if I wanted to, by playing a specific way. I usually go for the flashy runouts instead, often giving him a game or two extra as a result.

So to cut to the chase, finally, do you "play to kill" against such an opponent, or do you let up? I catch myself letting up a bit, and I'm afraid I might be doing him a disservice by doing so, but then again I don't want to bring him down either....
If it is someone who can play, then we just play. I don't really like to play with friends that don't really play. I just stay on the side lines.


"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."
Thomas A. Edison
  
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10-06-2015, 06:02 AM

I let up against my friends a lot. Being social while still playing competitively is much more fun than turning into robot trying to destroy them. I know it hurts my game but the tradeoff of having a good time hanging out with my friends is worth it.


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10-06-2015, 06:09 AM

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Originally Posted by Spimp13 View Post
I let up against my friends a lot. Being social while still playing competitively is much more fun than turning into robot trying to destroy them. I know it hurts my game but the tradeoff of having a good time hanging out with my friends is worth it.
Same. I also phone in cheap sets because I don't really care. It's a bad habit, but indifference is an easy way to lose $5 or $10 sets all day.


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10-06-2015, 08:10 AM

I don't like to let up - it too easily becomes habit. Instead I offer a spot, or if my opponent won't take one I might handicap myself silently by (for instance) playing my 8-ball suit in rotation or silently "calling" the next shot (after the one I'm shooting) and then shooting it whether I get shape on it or not (against a very weak player I might call 2 shots in advance).

It's not so much for the other player's benefit - mainly I want to challenge myself so I don't slack off.

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10-06-2015, 08:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by FranCrimi View Post
I know the type. It's a no-win situation. You're trying to control his reactions by tempering your own game. Play your best game. It's your right to do that. Let him go ballistic. Either he'll learn to deal with it or he'll finally ask for a spot, or he'll quit playing you, but that's his problem, not yours.

He needs to grow up emotionally, and in a way, you're preventing him from doing this by giving him false hope.
This ^^^^^^. I used to be that type of guy that you are playing down to and it never helped me. I got my wake up call early on in playing and grabbed hold of the reality that I wasn't the player I thought I was. Now due to my personal experience, I only let up on my friends who don't have the goal of ever getting better and are primarily social or very casual players. Although sometimes you just have to let them know who they're playing with and that's my fun to show them from time to time. If my friend/opponent truly cares about playing well, getting better and wanting to be competitive then I bring out my best game. I give no false hope to them and will help them find the flaws in their games of course if they're open to it. I don't mind helping people become tough opponents as the better they play the better I have to play. It's a win win situation that keeps both players sharp in their games and everyone in reality. I think you might even be doing your friend a great favor by playing your best and hopefully he'll come to the same realization I came to. The getting down on ones self and excuse making can be turned into self reflection and improvement with the proper encouragement.

Good shooting to you and your friend!

Kevin
  
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10-06-2015, 08:48 AM

I don't even let up against my kids. You're not teaching them anything by letting them win.


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10-06-2015, 09:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straightpool_99 View Post
do you "play to kill" against such an opponent, or do you let up?
NO!!!!!!!!!! Of course not.
Is the man your friend or not?
Why would I have to show my superiority at the pool table with him?
What possible thing do I have to gain from that.

All it's gonna do is turn him off the game and he'll stop going with you.
Besides it's soooooo cheesy to do stuff like that.

I have been a GM in chess for about 12 years, and play chess
- online and otb tournaments - literally all the time, I have friends who
are in the 1500+ rating.
Do you think I'm going to crush them every game that we play?
OF COURSE NOT.

Geeezzzzzz.......what kind of MAN would even do such a thing.


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10-06-2015, 09:16 AM

Aside from not playing lockdown safeties except if I'm about to lose a game, I don't intentionally let up. But my level of play does tend to be much lower - a mix of playing down to the competition and focusing more on socializing and less on pool.
  
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10-06-2015, 10:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jb1911 View Post
I don't even let up against my kids. You're not teaching them anything by letting them win.
You're teaching them to enjoy the game so they'll keep playing with you and improve - sometimes that may mean challenging them; other times it may mean letting them have some fun and maybe win a game or two. I don't think there's a single answer for all people and situations.

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