Do you have a strategy when playing a higher rated player?

doitforthegame

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So you are playing in a regional double elimination tournament. Your rating is a 500. You draw a 600. Do you have a strategy to play a higher rated player? Chances are if you miss he is going to run out on you. So, when you get out of shape (of course you will...you are a 500!) do you try to make the tough shot or look to duck? Do you play loose and fire away or try to play the grease?
 

Logandgriff

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
So you are playing in a regional double elimination tournament. Your rating is a 500. You draw a 600. Do you have a strategy to play a higher rated player? Chances are if you miss he is going to run out on you. So, when you get out of shape (of course you will...you are a 500!) do you try to make the tough shot or look to duck? Do you play loose and fire away or try to play the grease?
Start sipping slowly on a Jack Daniels straight up. Keep my eye on the object ball when stroking. Make sure to stroke not poke. If there is a hard shot to make, look for a safety. Don't get anxious the guy I am playing is better than I am.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yep, my strategy is to warm up my legs for the walk to rack the balls.

There are very few times where someone should change how they play based on the opponent, especially a better one. Look at it this way, no matter what you can do or know, they are almost certainly going to know more than you about every aspect of the game. If you play a safe vs a shot, as a 500 Fargo there is not a lot of guarantee it will be a good one, and the opponent can still make the kick due to their skill. If you leave clusters so they need to break them out, they know what you are doing and likely can easily break them up or leave you in a tougher position. There is really no way outside of getting a ball or game spot to out-do a better player unless the weaker player is shooting good/lucky and the better player is playing poorly, especially with a 100 pt Fargo difference.

Best thing to do is pay attention to how you play, and go practice after the match and figure out what reasons one has for being a 500 vs a 600.
 
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boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
So you are playing in a regional double elimination tournament. Your rating is a 500. You draw a 600. Do you have a strategy to play a higher rated player? Chances are if you miss he is going to run out on you. So, when you get out of shape (of course you will...you are a 500!) do you try to make the tough shot or look to duck? Do you play loose and fire away or try to play the grease?
The one thing is to not play fearfully. You're still in the tournament and deservedly so. Play every shot correctly and look for air tight safes instead of taking a chance at a flier.

I'd also say to never look at a FR during a tournament. It's needless information, you should be playing just as strong playing a nobody as you are playing a giant. Easier said than done, but seeing FR does nothing but have the potential to become a mental hurdle. Just imagine the person you're playing is the best player ever and said something derogatory about your mom's combat boots! ;)

I routinely play a player ~250 Fargo higher than me. I usually get destroyed, but if I play my best at times I can win on a shortish (5 or so) race. I rack an awful lot. Even a higher rated player can have swings, you gotta capitalize on anything like that and just game tight.

I'm pretty fortunate to have friends who are better at pool than me. The funny part is that since we all practice seriously our games all go up. At times I feel I'm not improving but it's just because we are all working on improving and keeping each other sharp. When you get out and play people that used to give you trouble you can really see the improvements. I'd like to be able to always say I could spot myself a year ago and dominate that chump! 😄
 

MitchAlsup

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You should ALWAYS be looking for air tight safeties--even with makeable balls on the table--unless you have a clear runout.

You should never care about the rating of the opponent--you only playing against yourself.

And be gracious in defeat.
 

telinoz

Registered
Happened recently for me at Australian 10Ball Nationals.
First round, a player 100 points higher than me.
My attitude was, I am going to win.
Take my time, one shot at a time, don't push the boat out.

I won 8-4.
He was not happy, but he did the opposite of me.
He tried too hard, pushed the boat out.
Even went for a 2nd toilet break, not allowed. I let it go, as it bothered him more than me.
7-4 up, he comes back, thinking I am sweating it.
Not the case.

If you go into matches expecting to lose.
You will.
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
When I’m playing a better player-in anything. The LAST thing I think about is the other guy. The moment you start sweating who you’re playing you’re already preparing your concession speech. GG.

That’s the fastest route to losing I know of short of a forfeit.

Fatboy<———focuses on his game
 

ChrisSjoblom

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I seem to be able to get into a slightly higher gear than my normal when playing someone significantly better than me. I think it has to do with focusing more and doing less "nonchalanting" at the table as Sailor Stellman used to say. I do this without thinking about it much - it just happens when I know my opponent is better.

However, I do have a problem with my game dropping off when I'm playing someone with significantly lower skill than myself. Same situation, only in reverse. I have to consciously force myself to focus and be serious about pocketing and position when I'm feeling like it ought to be an easy win.
 

sjm

Older and Wiser
Silver Member
I'm guessing Josh Filler won't post in this thread.

Seriously, though, the answer for the underdog is to stay patient. Underdogs who figure they must take on everything and hope it's the day when they find their maximum level of execution usually get massacred in our game. Stay patient, and when the really good opportunities come, make them count.
 

SmoothStroke

Swim for the win.
Silver Member
Play the game the way it's meant to be played.
When you're gun shy and take to the heat you just wet your pants and are going to the cash board, to pay, not receive.
Just play pool.
 

Stickman9

Member
Playing the table makes sense when you are going for the runout. But when playing a safety or deciding whether to play a safety, you need to consider what your opponent’s response is likely to be. Therefore, you need to consider your opponent’s ability.

If I am playing a weaker player, I will play more conservatively. I will play more safeties and will be willing to play weaker safeties.

If I am playing a stronger player, I will play more aggressively because he is more likely to be able to get out of all but the best safeties.

One time when coaching an APA 4 vs. a 7, I advised him to go for a tricky runout because the only safe he could play would have left the 7 an easy kick on the 8 ball. The safe might have worked against a 2-4, but not against better players. After the match, the 7 told me that he was hoping that my player would play the safety.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
I am used to either wide open competition or playing at the highest ranking which means I may have to work very hard to even beat the dogs if there is a handicap system.

Good advice already on the thread but I will spell it out again, play your game! I always try to play my best in tournaments and then figure the other person has to beat me, I don't have to beat them.

Somehow it turns things around in my head when I am the baseline and the other person has to surpass that baseline.

Playing heads up I would think a five hundred could possibly beat a six hundred with careful play. Neither of you are monsters. If you are ranked five to six hundred and playing somebody above seven-fifty heads up it is a different story. Might as well sell the shithouse cause you just lost your ass! Still doesn't hurt to come out firing and hope good things happen. Sometimes you will persuade the better player that you are vastly underrated if you play a good game or two early. Too much disparity in table skills, getting in their head is the only faint hope. Best way to do that is to move around with confidence, shoot every shot like it was a hanger. I usually like to come out firing early and acting like I expect every shot to fall. A favorite when the other player is forced to acknowledge a tough shot, I just comment "it was dead."

Never let them see you sweat!

Hu
 

couldnthinkof01

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I would just play. Ain't making up 100 Fargo points in one match. Shoot if I have the best of it or play safe until I do. Might mess around and surprise myself.
 
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