From beginner to APA4

JC

Coos Cues
Gold Member
According Dr Dave BU ratings comparaison APA4 is about Fargo 350-400 and "Lower intermediate". I want to work hard to become APA4 in 2 years max. I just want to compare no idea to complete here, in France.
Justin Cousteau?
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
How much time for you to become APA4 when you begin to work hard ?
Thanks to share

If you learn to play properly with a teacher and don't ignore advice "to do your own thing" as I have heard many I try to teach say, maybe half a year of playing 10 hours a week.
 

mikepage

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Nah, I'm on the same page as Mr. Page. ;)

That discussion was about how a player's exposure outside their pond effects the group they normally play with. In APA it doesn't. In Fargo it does. What it boiled down to was APA Operator not being able to disclose the 'ways' the APA may or may not use to give balance to an isolated league to the rest of the organization.

It is a bit awkward if they don't say what they do. But I don't think it is as dire for APA as you suggest. For instance, suppose the basic approach was to look at just the games you won and see the average number of innings you took to win the game.

If that was the case, then the 600-level player who happened to get shipwrecked on an island inhabited by only pro pool players might only win a quarter of his games in 8-Ball league. But when he DOES win a game, it'll be because the pro hooked himself on the last ball. In this case the 600 gets out half the time in 1 inning. Or because the 600 broke and ran, which he does, say, 15% of his breaks. Put together, the system recognizes he is a modest-level 7 despite his low game-win percentage.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
It is a bit awkward if they don't say what they do. But I don't think it is as dire for APA as you suggest.
I didn't mean to paint a dire picture at all. My apologies to everyone if that's the impression I was putting forth.

APA Operator was very willing to explain all he could, and I appreciate his efforts in doing so.

With 100 SL2's, some will be bad, some will be good, some will be the best. Those SL2's would deviate from being the bad, will have their handicap increase. It's the natural order of things....lol
 

Straightpool_99

I see dead balls
Silver Member
Depends where you're starting from and how much you work. A month?
How much time for you to become APA4 when you begin to work hard ?
Thanks to share
Reaching the APA 4 level or the equivalent Fargo rating (I'm European as well, btw) shouldn't take 2 years. Absolute max is 6 months, with some dedication. I'd suggest getting some instruction to get the fundamentals in check. Then buy this book:
Shoot these shots over and over until you master them and before you know it you'll be in the 500 fargo segment. If you're not a book guy, I highly suggest Bert Kinisters videos. He has a monthly membership. His drills are very well put together and have "hidden" agendas that will help you develop a feeling for the game as you play, without having to read and understand the theory. In many situations there are several ways to shoot a shot to get to a position, what Berts drills do for you is to "force you" to shoot the "correct" or highest percentage shot to shoot in various situations.

That's not to say you can't find this info for free, but you'll probably spend a lot of time looking around that you could have spent on the table, playing.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and I don't want to sound like a jerk, but the real understanding and enjoyment of the game starts around 550 fargo. It's ok to have "sub-goals" that are achievable, but below 550, your game has many holes and you're unlikely to run out much at all, at any game. I think you'll get to your sub-goal faster than you think if you work at it, but it's not a destination, only a rung on the ladder.
 
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tim913

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Depends on what you mean by 'working hard'. If your fundamentals suck you might never make it no matter how hard you work, or you might make it in one year and stay there for the next 20! It's very important that you practice the 'right way', if that involves lessons, a coach. or just an upper level player to get you started the right way. You can bang balls all day and call it practice, or run drills(I know .. boring!) designed for your level and get there and beyond! Good luck!
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
--- snip ---

Everyone has to start somewhere, and I don't want to sound like a jerk, but the real understanding and enjoyment of the game starts around 550 fargo. It's ok to have "sub-goals" that are achievable, but below 550, your game has many holes and you're unlikely to run out much at all, at any game. I think you'll get to your sub-goal faster than you think if you work at it, but it's not a destination, only a rung on the ladder.

I think you can enjoy the game at any level, as long as you set some reasonable expectations on what you can do at the table, and don't think you will be able to beat those 500+ Fargo players. I have seen many players strut around their friends showing off till they play someone that really knew how to play, even a C player, and got shown that they really new nothing. After that it becomes a lot less fun for many when they realize their actual skill does not match what is in their head LOL

On the other hand I play with many lower level players that enjoy playing with better players and have as much fun as when playing with anyone else, yes they know they can't win, but they enjoy the challenge and trying to work their way up to be more competitive. I think the learning and getting better, seeing the misses turn into made shots or learning how to spin the ball, etc.. is as fun as a break and run is for the better players.

-- edit - adding that I totally agree that the 500-550 level is when you learn the more fun (advanced) tricks of the game and can do a nice run out and good shots here and there. The "pool vision" is pretty well developed by that skill level. It's also the level where understanding of how equipment changes affect play and being able to adjust for conditions gets developed. A 600 (or even a 700) is really a 550 with better ball pocketing, for the most part past 550 it is not as much just knowledge of what to do but ability to do it, when talking about the basic games like 8,9,10 ball. 14.1, banks, one pocket takes a bit of extra development in knowledge past those other games. There are many times I see shots that pros play and I can see them also, I just would have very little chance to playing them myself and actually pocketing the ball or getting the action on the cueball needed.
 
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justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
Depends on what you mean by 'working hard'. If your fundamentals suck you might never make it no matter how hard you work, or you might make it in one year and stay there for the next 20! It's very important that you practice the 'right way', if that involves lessons, a coach. or just an upper level player to get you started the right way. You can bang balls all day and call it practice, or run drills(I know .. boring!) designed for your level and get there and beyond! Good luck!

instead of calling it drills its pool study
competition is pool work
league or events is social pool
and lastly there is hitting balls shooters that are not sure what will happen if i hit it too hard 99% it will get it to pocket eventually
 

Straightpool_99

I see dead balls
Silver Member
I think you can enjoy the game at any level, as long as you set some reasonable expectations on what you can do at the table, and don't think you will be able to beat those 500+ Fargo players. I have seen many players strut around their friends showing off till they play someone that really knew how to play, even a C player, and got shown that they really new nothing. After that it becomes a lot less fun for many when they realize their actual skill does not match what is in their head LOL

On the other hand I play with many lower level players that enjoy playing with better players and have as much fun as when playing with anyone else, yes they know they can't win, but they enjoy the challenge and trying to work their way up to be more competitive. I think the learning and getting better, seeing the misses turn into made shots or learning how to spin the ball, etc.. is as fun as a break and run is for the better players.
Yes, of course the game can be enjoyed even at a completely casual level. At a level in the low 400's of Fargo, I don't think people understand what can and cannot be done, or even conceptualize how the game is supposed to go. They just play shot for shot and hope for the best. That's my main gripe with APA, not only do people get points for each ball (so as to not encourage deveopment of a plan for a runout), but they actively discourage getting better (so discouraging a plan for personal development).

You can play at a decent level, even with dumb shotmaking and luck, but the full enjoyment comes with understanding the game at a deeper level IMO.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
This thread sure has had a lot of twists and turns:)

To the OP, if you don't get to an APA 4 level in 6 months of playing, you will be a "beginner" in pool for your entire life. I don't mean to be harsh, just honest.
 

APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ok no problem.... Answer me this and convince me otherwise.

If I have a 100 players that would be SL2's anywhere else USofA, and segregate them into their own league. Zero exposure to the world outside their pond. Would that group's SLs not divide into the range of 2 thru 7...? Within that group of 2's some will be weak (remain 2, 3), some will be better then that (>2's = 4~5), and there will be a portion that will be better than the last group (>4/5 = 6~7).
Easy-peasy. No. APA doesn't distribute skill level. They measure it, and winning percentage is only a small part of the formula (win% will never be the direct cause of a skill level increase). The rest is objectively-measured data. If that data says they're all 2's, they will all be 2's without intervention. Just because you can beat all the other 2's, it doesn't mean you're not just the best 2. APA converts every match you play into a score, and every score by itself indicates a specific level of skill demonstrated in that match. If you never shoot a score indicative of anything but 2, you will never go up on your own. If a player goes up it is either because a higher ability was measured or because the LO saw a very high win% and wanted to see if that player could maintain a higher level. If they are all really 2's, that player will not be able to maintain even a 3 - none of them will go higher than that. In the end you might have eight 3's and ninety-two 2's. Contrast that with a system that does distribute, and the result will be a much bigger variation in ratings probably centered around the starting level, but if that starting level doesn't match the true ability of the people in the group, everyone in the group will be too high or too low. You tell me, which of those two systems got it right? I think they both did, as long as there is never any play outside the group. The first time there is play outside the group, the APA skill levels will be closer to right because of the absolute data. After that intermix happens, both systems have record of it. One system can adjust everyone directly and indirectly from that data, and the other can make direct adjustments directly and indirect adjustments over time (but because it was closer to right before the intermix, that's probably good enough, especially since it's mostly based on the measurables anyway).

APA considers your skill level as an absolute measure of your ability, to the extent that that ability can be quantified, while the other considers your rank as a relative measure of your average performance. I use "skill level" and "rank" as different terms because they mean different things. In APA, you only see rank on a six-point scale (9 for 9-Ball), because that's all you need to know for our purpose.

We both know that's true. That's how math works. Other than intervention by some outside higher authority that would for some reason mandate they all remain as SL2's, the group will spread based on win/lose against each other.
The spread is all within the skill level group. Without outside intervention, we will be able to tell you who is the best 2, and that they all calculate to 2. The other system can only tell you how they rank relatively, not what their actual ability is. That system will probably rank this particular group too high.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
The spread is all within the skill level group. Without outside intervention, we will be able to tell you who is the best 2, and that they all calculate to 2.
ok no problem... so if you're telling me that no one in a group of SL2's only ever competing against only themselves will experience a raise in their handicap based on their play within that group, then I stand corrected and you'll never see me speak of the possibility again.

Some how I think something is being lost in translation, but I will most definitely bow to your knowledge on the subject matter.

Thanks for clarifying
 

APA Operator

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
ok no problem... so if you're telling me that no one in a group of SL2's only ever competing against only themselves will experience a raise in their handicap based on their play within that group, then I stand corrected and you'll never see me speak of the possibility again.
Not if they're really SL2's. If their play within that group indicates something higher, they could (eventually) go up. For all the other skill levels, that is true no matter who they play, they won't go up unless they have some "out of skill" scores, indicating a higher ability. At any time, the LO could make them higher, but that happens way less often than people think. The LO's job is to make sure the number is accurate.
 
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BlueRaider

Registered
This thread sure has had a lot of twists and turns:)

To the OP, if you don't get to an APA 4 level in 6 months of playing, you will be a "beginner" in pool for your entire life. I don't mean to be harsh, just honest.
I think the 6 months only "counts" if the player is actively practicing and learning. I spent probably 3-4 years as an APA 3 (wasn't in league but roughly that skill level), but I only practiced a handful of times a year and never read/watched any instructional materials. I just played my buddies and random people in dive bars. But I do agree that 6 months of focused practice and research should get you to roughly APA 4 level. 1 year mark to reach APA 5 and 2 years to APA 6.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think the 6 months only "counts" if the player is actively practicing and learning. I spent probably 3-4 years as an APA 3 (wasn't in league but roughly that skill level), but I only practiced a handful of times a year and never read/watched any instructional materials. I just played my buddies and random people in dive bars. But I do agree that 6 months of focused practice and research should get you to roughly APA 4 level. 1 year mark to reach APA 5 and 2 years to APA 6.
Yeah. I meant 6 months of at least an hour per day of really practicing, playing snd watching better players, etc. basically being a pool room bum for half a year:)
 

BlueRaider

Registered
That's a bold prediction... Out of respect for the 6's a I know that ground hard to get there I think a 2yr span may be a bit unlikely on the average.
Yeah, it may be more in the 2-3 year range. It also kind of assumes you don't start with bad habits, which can make it very, very easy to cap out at SL 5 or so. Breaking out of that rut is extremely difficult and requires allowing yourself to regress pretty heavily for a while, and many league players just won't do that.
 

MitchAlsup

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have taken people (more girls than boys). who did not know how to hold a pool cue. at the local bar. and had them shooting at APA-3 in 20 minutes.
 
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