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I agree 100 per cent - 01-26-2006, 04:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by enzo
... Efren plays great and has the attitude and ability of a great champion. But, I believe that Efren executes many of his shots and is given many key opportunities because of the very attitude Mike has put forth. I think it's ok for B players to give Efren this type of admiration, but as for serious and better players, I don't think it is wise. ...i'm certainly not trying to bring down Efren's game. I think what i'm trying to do is raise everyone elses game. I've just seen this pattern in too many sports: 5 or 10 great teams or players, one of them wins a world title and everyone starts acting like they are god... If you could organize a tournament of any game in pool ...and nobody got to see who their opponent was, and they just came to the table when it was their turn.... do you really think Efren would be as successful as he is? I certainly don't ...I know this format for a tournament is silly, and i'm definitely not proposing we do this, but I think the implications from this thought ...are very important... lets say I think Efren's game is at a 100. What do I think his game would be at if his ego wasn't being stroked all day, every day... maybe 85 or 90. What does that mean? What it boils down to is I believe your chances of beating him go way up if you have that (a different)attitude (which is a difficult attitude to have, I know).
You are right on the beam. For the top players to have a chance with Effy, they must first stop adoring him! I played Effy many, many times and had great success with him (which means I didn't lose every time I played him). When I was playing out of Bensingers in Chicago, we had an attitude that everybody who walked through the door was a sucker. We looked upon everybody as just fresh meat. Champions received few accolades in Bensingers. Bensingers had been the home to Champions for 80 years, so we were comfortable around champions. If there was going to be any pre game intimidating it was going to be done by us. That was the main reason most road players who came to Chicago stayed well clear of Bensingers. Effy is the greatest player in the game, but his success rate in short race tournament matches is disproportionate to the competition he faces. I watch these matches and notice that nobody ever tries to put any Psyche on Efren. They just gentlemanly put their heads on the block and let Effy chop it off. I would love to get a guy like Joyner or Frost and teach them the more insidious, psychological side of competing. I would show them how to make the match more painful for the opponent. To ingrave my point, has anyone ever seen Efren not having a nice time at the table?

the Beard

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01-26-2006, 07:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by enzo
Let me try (quickly), to put this another way:
If you could organize a tournament of any game in pool (but especially a 9-ball tournament), and nobody got to see who their opponent was, and they just came to the table when it was their turn.... do you really think Efren would be as successful as he is? I certainly don't (if you dont agree with me here, you're not going to agree with anything I have to say, which is fine). I know this format for a tournament is silly, and i'm definitely not proposing we do this, but I think the implications from this thought (if you believe as I do), are very important..
I think this is true for every game that he plays except one pocket. Especially the one pocket he's played the last two years.

Efren is obviously beatable in every other game, even rotation. But, one pocket is so much a thinking & executing game. And that's his where he's above the rest.

He's not the best shotmaker. He's not the best pattern player. So games that focus on those two things, he's beatable.

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01-26-2006, 09:00 AM

It is a fact that players are effected by who they are playing. I guess you react to what kind of heat is put on you. Example: Few years back I was in a local tournament(no strong players in this town) and a player from down the road comes and snaps off the tourney. He freewheels and runs out from everywhere. The locals think he must be the world champion. I tell them there is people that can spot him big and beat him. They look at me like I am smoking crack. About a month later he is gambling with Smokey Bartlett getting the six ball and he is taking the heat so bad he can't run 3 balls!
  
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01-26-2006, 09:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by freddy the beard
You are right on the beam. For the top players to have a chance with Effy, they must first stop adoring him! I played Effy many, many times and had great success with him (which means I didn't lose every time I played him). When I was playing out of Bensingers in Chicago, we had an attitude that everybody who walked through the door was a sucker. We looked upon everybody as just fresh meat. Champions received few accolades in Bensingers. Bensingers had been the home to Champions for 80 years, so we were comfortable around champions. If there was going to be any pre game intimidating it was going to be done by us. That was the main reason most road players who came to Chicago stayed well clear of Bensingers. Effy is the greatest player in the game, but his success rate in short race tournament matches is disproportionate to the competition he faces. I watch these matches and notice that nobody ever tries to put any Psyche on Efren. They just gentlemanly put their heads on the block and let Effy chop it off. I would love to get a guy like Joyner or Frost and teach them the more insidious, psychological side of competing. I would show them how to make the match more painful for the opponent. To ingrave my point, has anyone ever seen Efren not having a nice time at the table?

the Beard

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Hey Freddy,

I don't know about the others. But for me, it's not that I "adore" him. I just appreciate his level of play. And, like Cornerman, I'm mostly speaking of one-pocket, although he plays all games great.

I agree with Enzo that it is easy to play confidently when a person feels (by whatever means) that he is the superior player. Speed kills speed at all levels of pool. That's a fact. Even at the highest level, players don't get out when they should in games when they are intimidated by other great players. And even at my level of play, if I normally play well against certain players (even if they play better than I do), I play them tough most every match.

Watching Efren play one-pocket, and beat Alex P and Jason Miller in back to back matches was when I made the "he's the best" assessment. It was no fluke that Efren, Alex, and Jason were the final 3. Alex plays as well as any other one pocket player alive except Efren (IMO). And Efren beat him 3-0. Unless a person was there to see the exhibitions against Alex and Jason, it's hard to comprehend how well Efren played. I also feel that he would not shut 2 great players like Alex and Jason out every match. But that performance, coupled with how he gambles against great players, makes me feel that he is the best overall player alive. I don't say that to stroke his ego. Somebody has to be the best. Why not give credit where it is due.

Again, I agree with you and Enzo. But watching Efren play the semi-finals and finals of the one-pocket at the Derby was something to see.

Mike


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01-26-2006, 10:17 AM

I watched Rob Saez play Efren last year at DCC in the 9-ball semi-final. It was hill-hill. Saez had a road map out and dogged an easy 6-ball in the side. Efren-itis surely was the reason.

So I agree with Enzo partially. Except to the degree that there is a reason for Efren-itis. Because you know if you make a mistake you're toast.

Hope that made sense.


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01-31-2006, 03:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by freddy the beard
I watch these matches and notice that nobody ever tries to put any Psyche on Efren. They just gentlemanly put their heads on the block and let Effy chop it off. I would love to get a guy like Joyner or Frost and teach them the more insidious, psychological side of competing. I would show them how to make the match more painful for the opponent. To ingrave my point, has anyone ever seen Efren not having a nice time at the table?

the Beard

Bank on, brother! Old school pool.
I have an accustat match with efren vs tony ellin. tony is visibly disrespectful to him in my opinion, and he just ends up robbing him. he put the pressure on him by running out, one or two things don't go efren's way, and next thing you know tony wins the match. further, i believe, the commentators said that tony had a good record with efren.

another accustat i have worth mention, shannon daulton vs efren at, i think, the legends of one pocket semi finals. shannon isn't disrepectful, but in my opinion, he just plays strong, aggressive pool. he wasn't afraid and efren felt the heat and dogged many shots. also worthy of mention, the hill-hill game turned out to be an uptable game. although efren did wrestle his way back in the game, he has NO patience for this type of stuff. he wants to shoot like nobody i've ever seen, except maybe mcready. somebody mentioned how efrens "thinking is just above the rest" in one pocket. i just highly disagree with this. efren wins with overpowering offensive execution and creativity. i feel his defensive "thinking" and patience is weak relative to many players. so what you say, well... give other players his offensive talent and i feel he'd get robbed by quite a few players i can think of (in one pocket). i only bring this up because i don't like it when people blow his "one pocket thinking" into something it isn't (to go back to my original point, this is the type of stuff i feel perpetuates a champion into winning more than he should).
  
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02-01-2006, 12:40 AM

Mike - great post; the kind of literate, well-thought-out feedback that we need more of. I couldn't make the DCC this year and was hoping to get more reporting (like yours) from the people who were there. I watched Charlie Williams' game jump up a notch after playing daily with NicK Varner, and have seen decent players turn into real tough players after spending a few months playing the old Florida Tour events against Buddy Hall, Tommy Kennedy, Dennis Hatch, etc. Being around the best does rub off, like you said.

Enzo - I don't entirely disagree with what you said in your post; I've seen pro players who were playing flawlessly and just melted when they had to play Buddy Hall. But I never thought this took anything away from Buddy's game; I give him credit for earning the respect and, often, awe that makes players wilt when they get in the box with him. Same with Efren. I kinda hate to see a player as accomplished and decent as Efren get jabbed a little because of what other players are doing (or not doing). As a pool fan, I feel fortunate to be able to watch Efren play in person and through TV and ACCU-STATS. Nothing personal, I used to defend Michael Jordan a lot, too; I just gotta speak up when "once-in-a-generation" talents get shortchanged for stuff they have no control over.
  
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02-01-2006, 12:49 AM

What most of what you are referring to is short match play on video tape. Have you ever watched Efren play long gambling matches? Sure many can beat him in short races but Efren seems to always make adjustments during a long match and come out on top. This is his greatness. He just keeps coming and coming Try to watch the Color of Money match between Efren and Earl in Hong Kong. Efren just overcomes pressure and comes out on top I have seen it time and time again

During the Derby Efren just played heads above anyone else. Pros like Corey, Gabe, and Johnny were just awed by his one pocket play Those who keep denigrating his stature just dont want to face reality. That he is one of the greatest cueist that has ever lived.

Im sorry Freddy. I disagree with you about Efren. You might have some notoriety here and one pocket.org, so does Billy Incardona and Danny Diliberto. And they seem to think like me. Right now he is the best. Certainly his game has never been overrated like so many others. How many titles must he win and how many champions must he defeat before he can get the simple recognition that he deserves. To say that his pattern play is weak is a joke. 8 ball is all pattern play and he just keeps beating everyone in that discipline. Cornerman you better go back and look at all those videos you took of Efren and Corey play and see his shotmaking ability.
  
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Disagree about what?
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freddy the beard
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Disagree about what? - 02-01-2006, 05:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by yobagua
... Those who keep denigrating his stature just dont want to face reality. That he is one of the greatest cueist that has ever lived.

Im sorry Freddy. I disagree with you about Efren. ...Billy Incardona and Danny Diliberto.... they seem to think like me. Right now he is the best. Certainly his game has never been overrated like so many others. How many titles must he win and how many champions must he defeat before he can get the simple recognition that he deserves.
Just what are we disagreeing about? Efren is the greatest Onepocket player ever. I make that statement in writing in my next book. I did the commentary on the Alex/Efren semi-final match. The DVD will be available at the end of Feb. On the tape, Incardona and I affirm over and over the magnificence of Effy's game. To think otherwise is ridiculous. You completely misread my thread. My point was, just because he is the world's best doesnt mean everybody else has to lay down and die when they play him. I am a very competitive guy and I concede nothing to nobody. I always played to win, whatever the odds. That's all I am suggesting to the players under Efren.
Artie Bodendorfer was the world's best for several years, that never stopped me from scheming ways to be able to play him and win. I didn't just leave him alone, I tested him every time I could muster up some new moves and a new bankroll. Bugs was the best banker for years, I played him every time I seen him. I never gave up on the hope of being able to eventually surpass those great players. Once in awhile I would win, but mostly I was never able to achieve their speed. My view is, if you dont think you have it in you to be the best in the world, just play for fun and get a day job.

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misunderstanding - 02-01-2006, 06:27 AM

i initiated this discussion about efren's game, if you didn't read the entire thread, all i said was that i feel efren wins much more often than he should when you consider how strong the top players are nowadays. i don't dispute efren's greatness, believe it or not (when considering my posts), i feel he's the best pool player (all around) to have ever lived. to have a record like he does in races to 11 9-ball and races to 3 in one pocket doesn't make sense because people play good enough to knock him out of tournaments with those short races. but they hardly ever do. Why? because people worship him too much IMO. stop worshipping him (as i've done in this post, lol) and he's very beatable.

i'm reaching here, but it is part of asian culture to defeat your opponent before battle ever begins and make your opponent realize his own inferiority to achieve the easiest victory, ultimate victory comes when an opponent doesn't even fight. this is what people do to themseleves. people don't think they have a chance when they play him, but i feel they are terribly mistaken. even a fairly strong player can put 5 or 6 racks together. i have a little experimant here for people who know efren, ask him who his favorite pool player is or what player he learned the most from. if he tells you a name then maybe i'm wrong, if not, that means he is very concerned about making players feel in their heads that they have nno chance to beat him, but he knows they do, he knows better than anyone.

ok, nice initial post mike! and thanks to all for the discussion!
  
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Mike Templeton
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02-01-2006, 06:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by enzo
i initiated this discussion about efren's game, if you didn't read the entire thread, all i said was that i feel efren wins much more often than he should when you consider how strong the top players are nowadays. i don't dispute efren's greatness, believe it or not (when considering my posts), i feel he's the best pool player (all around) to have ever lived. to have a record like he does in races to 11 9-ball and races to 3 in one pocket doesn't make sense because people play good enough to knock him out of tournaments with those short races. but they hardly ever do. Why? because people worship him too much IMO. stop worshipping him (as i've done in this post, lol) and he's very beatable.

i'm reaching here, but it is part of asian culture to defeat your opponent before battle ever begins and make your opponent realize his own inferiority to achieve the easiest victory, ultimate victory comes when an opponent doesn't even fight. this is what people do to themseleves. people don't think they have a chance when they play him, but i feel they are terribly mistaken. even a fairly strong player can put 5 or 6 racks together. i have a little experimant here for people who know efren, ask him who his favorite pool player is or what player he learned the most from. if he tells you a name then maybe i'm wrong, if not, that means he is very concerned about making players feel in their heads that they have nno chance to beat him, but he knows they do, he knows better than anyone.

ok, nice initial post mike! and thanks to all for the discussion!
Thanks, enzo, and I agree 100% with your assessment. I think that Efren wins many matches because of the intimidation factor.

Mike


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02-01-2006, 12:02 PM

Youre right Freddy I do agree with your final analysis. You have to have the heart of a lion in any battle. But I dont think it is the fact that ADORING Efren is the cause of his defeating top players. Most of it is because of his excellent play. The big part of why people break down against Efren is because his weapon arsenal is so huge. I saw time and time again of his use of the cue to demolish someone. People talk about his break and his shotmaking weakness. But Ive seen him run 10 racks in a row. How does he get there with a weak ass break. At the Derby Efren was outmoving Gabe Owens in a 9/7 game. So Gabe left Efren with a 10 foot spot shot jacked up over 2 balls. Efren changed his shaft and proceeded to slam the spot shot in for the win.
It is not the adulation that Efren defeats people but his skill. It is ones own human weakness that succumbs to it.
  
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02-01-2006, 05:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by enzo
i have a little experimant here for people who know efren, ask him who his favorite pool player is or what player he learned the most from. if he tells you a name then maybe i'm wrong, if not, that means he is very concerned about making players feel in their heads that they have nno chance to beat him, but he knows they do, he knows better than anyone.

ok, nice initial post mike! and thanks to all for the discussion!
His favorite player and the one he looked up to was Jose Parica.

Still doesn't mean you're wrong...but you are right about people looking up to him to much WHILE they're playing him. They can save it for later..........AFTER they beat him.

It is digusting what he does on a pool table though..........and to be so mild mannered and humble about it! Picture some of these cocky SOB's out there if they played like him, you'd have to kill them for sure. That's all the more reason to admire Efren.
  
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Wink 02-01-2006, 06:26 PM

the cocky guys didn't distract me in the pool hall much. Its the guys who think they are so smooth with the waitresses or the guys who can't do nothing better than talk thrash. I sure do like to watch these geniuses think up stuff to say, its the predictable ones that are the worst for me.
  
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I would have been long dead by now
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I would have been long dead by now - 02-02-2006, 03:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevelomako
His favorite player and the one he looked up to was Jose Parica.

Still doesn't mean you're wrong...but you are right about people looking up to him too much WHILE they're playing him. They can save it for later..........AFTER they beat him.

It is digusting what he does on a pool table though..........and to be so mild mannered and humble about it! Picture some of these cocky SOB's out there if they played like him, you'd have to kill them for sure. That's all the more reason to admire Efren.
It is amazing Steve, how humble and nice Efren is about robbing everybody. It's hard to get mad at him. When I was playing, one of my specialties was heating up my opponent with subtle needling, and the better I played the more heat I would apply. When I got done playing good on a guy, you could fry hamburgers on his head. That was my style, it insured me of continuous action. Guys I beat were always hot to get even with me. It gave me an edge. If I would have been able to hit them with the Efren barrages, somebody would have for sure have offed me by now.

the Beard
Bank on, brother! Old school pool.
  
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