Benefits of playing opponents with less skill

RacerChris

New member
When selecting opponents of less skill is it worth it to play them?

How can a strong player develop their game while playing against a weaker player?

Yes. I have two ways to do this:

1. Shoot left handed. I do this with my son to help equalize things.
2. Play Straight pool doubles with two people - I do this with a friend. Essentially we take turns shooting as one player. So I have to set him up with every shot I take. Lots of fun trying to break our record for the longest run.:thumbup:
 

c32077

New member
I’ve always taken that opportunity to work on the weaker parts of my own game. It has allowed me to build those skills with less pressure on myself.

I learned to shoot left handed quite well this way.

I honed my bank shots and carom shots this way.

I always took the more difficult shots and thought about defensive cue placement if I should miss this shot as well as still leaving myself a shot if I should make it.

There are a lot of benefits, but you’ve got to get away from your game and treat it as training/practice for the parts of your game where you need improvement.
 

Doctor_J

Registered
It definitely has its downside. Two weeks ago in APA handicap league I (a 6.5 playing as a 7) was matched against an SL 2 in 8-ball. On rack 2 I tried a dumb show on the 8, cue ball rolled in. So the entire rest of the match (5 more racks) I had to completely abandon any aggressiveness for fear of giving something away. It made for a pretty boring evening.

On the upside I was able to try some different breaks and safeties with no fear that if the table opened up or the safety failed the rack would be lost.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I didn’t read the thread, but playing a lesser player is great for one’s ego! True story:)
 

Maniac

2manyQ's
Silver Member
Yes. I have two ways to do this:

1. Shoot left handed. I do this with my son to help equalize things.

I’ve always taken that opportunity to work on the weaker parts of my own game. It has allowed me to build those skills with less pressure on myself.

I learned to shoot left handed quite well this way.

I honed my bank shots and carom shots this way.

Brilliant! You two guys need to be posting more.

There are many times it would be beneficial to be able to shoot off-handed, and playing lesser skilled players WOULD be a good time to hone those skills. After all, it's not always about the winning and losing....right?

Maniac
 

JoeJester

Registered
Like it was said previously ....

1. Give them a lot of weight. That way you must develop your focus.
2. Both of you must view it as a lessons.

A team mate of mine and I were getting ready for the cities a few years back. We were both the same skill level, however, when we practiced, we would take turns of playing the part of a player four skill levels down from us ... to force the focus issue.

In a 14.1 league, I know it's tough to give weight of 25-55 points.

If your parked in your seat, you must be ready when you get back to the table.
 

chuckg

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The guy I play regularly is the type who tries to make everything and it almost all ways cost him the game.When we play eight ball I give him bih whenever I miss and the five and the last two in nine ball.We tried one pocket with a ten to five handicap,was pretty pointless...trap him and he will always take a crazy shot that he has no chance of making and cost him dearly.I am learning one pocket still but I really prefer to practice it by myself. 14.1 is no challenge...in a game to 50 he has yet to reach double digits.I could give him bih after every miss but I am not sure it would change anything.I am not going to get into the mindset of taking stupid hi risk shots just to make a better game.Such is pool at my community center.
 

BobTfromIL

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Here's my situation. I pretty much just play one pocket. It's a senior center and we don't have a lot of players at this time. There are 2 players that are what I would call an even game and 1 player who is outclassed. I should also state we are not gambling. When I play the lesser player I can go one of two ways first my normal game or second, try some things which are much riskier. I think there are benefits to both. If I play my normal game it can be good practice, if I try more risky play it can be a good learning experience
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
slow flash to bang!

My "trick" was asking them what they wanted and give it to them. If they said I need 10-6 in One Pocket or the seven ball I just gave it to them, no argument. I knew they would fold at some point and they almost always did (maybe 95% of the time).
Weak players tended to over rate their game and would usually ask for less than what they really needed. I think that's human nature.


Jay,

A bit slow flash to bang bringing this old thread back after a week or three but what you did reminds me of a line by UJ Puckett, "I gave them what they asked for, I didn't give them what they needed!"

I think the lesser players are more inclined to rate themselves by their best game, the more seasoned players rate themselves by the game they can lay on the table most of the time. Of course we have all seen the guy getting two balls that should be giving two balls also! Clubbing baby seals does pay the bills.

Hu
 

Icon of Sin

I can't fold, I need gold. I re-up and reload...
Silver Member
When selecting opponents of less skill is it worth it to play them?

How can a strong player develop their game while playing against a weaker player?
Give them weight, make it harder on yourself.
 

justnum

TesticularCancer Survivor
Silver Member
The reason I brought this topic up is some players just want to shoot around and have fun. As opposed to the technical players, trying to be perfect on every shot with every position.

Sometimes I like to loosen up and just enjoy being at a pool table.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The reason I brought this topic up is some players just want to shoot around and have fun. As opposed to the technical players, trying to be perfect on every shot with every position.

Sometimes I like to loosen up and just enjoy being at a pool table.
So you just enjoy "being at the table" as you put it and playing like crap?? Seriously, i have no clue what you mean by that. What type of player do you aspire to? If you're aiming higher then playing lesser players really will do nothing for you. Only thing might be working on bearing down as you grind them to dust. I've never enjoyed"funsie" pool.
 
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Pete

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The Perfect Mix (imo):

50% of game play should be a coin flip, if you play your best and your opponent doesn't you should win, and vise versa.

25% against a monster, you need to fight for everything, the main goal is not giving it away, and watching their patterns that don't look right to you (then practice them, also see what shots you choke on due to the pressure).

25% you are the monster, your goal is to crush their soul, safe when you should, win all the games you are supposed to, and steal as many games you are not from them.

The 50 teaches how to compete.

The 25 against the monster teaches heart.
]
The 25 where you're the monster teaches how to dominate.

The perfect ratio for me.

Plus more solo practice...
 

BC21

Poolology
Gold Member
Silver Member
The reason I brought this topic up is some players just want to shoot around and have fun. As opposed to the technical players, trying to be perfect on every shot with every position.

Sometimes I like to loosen up and just enjoy being at a pool table.

I get it, like when drinking or hanging out with non-pool players and there's a pool table in the place, it's fun to just bang balls and cut loose with rediculous shots that you'd never shoot in competition or gambling matches. I feel a little sorry for players who've lost their love for the game, at least to the point where they don't enjoy a little mess'n around on the table every now and then.
 

CGM

One Ball Runner
Silver Member
What??
As long as the person knows you play good I see
it as disrespectful to that person to let up on them in
any way. Most of the time they want to play with you
because you play good. They want to learn and
are excited to see good pool first hand.
In my experience if you dont play well against them
for whatever reason, they think you are letting up
on them(sometimes we all miss balls or play poorly).
They want you to beat them into dust not the other
way around.
As someone who is striving to get better I can attest that this is absolute truth for me. When I play someone better than me I want their best game. It's the only way to truly gauge how far I still have to go.
 
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