Handicap Mentality - What's my spot ? What are you giving me ?

Diamond69

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Spots for gambling

Just focusing on the gambling aspect. Tourney's do handicaps to increase the number of players, end of story. Their tourney, they can do what they want.

Gambling is a different story. Nobody should EVER ask for a spot.

The only spot in any gambling match should be if the better player really wants to be in action and can't get anyone to play.

Anyone who approaches a better player to gamble should not expect to negotiate. If you are stepping up to play, GOOD! This should be to challenge yourself and get better, or prove you can beat him.

The only exceptions to this should be if it is a cheap friendly game where it's just to keep it fair. Those 2 players would determine what cheap/friendly means.

Never challenge a better player asking for a spot for big $, then disrespect that better player when they don't agree to your spot. Then go tell your friends that X is afraid to gamble with me, has no heart, etc.

That is all....
 

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
but can you do this, are the races fair against the competition you are playing against?

I was wondering the same, I think.

He says he 'can do' with the spots involved, that sounds like it is approaching fair to me. Is it his motivation to play his best that is missing?

Handicapping opens up participant #possibilities in a huge way.
 

Bambu

Dave Manasseri
Silver Member
I've always enjoyed the spotting part of the game. It makes it possible for all kinds of interesting variables and matchups, and more action. It also gives newer players a way to win, it keeps them hungry. Best of all, it keeps the better players grounded, playing within their means. Nothing better than watching a heavy hitter lose because he thought he was so good, he gave up the world.

If you keep playing games you aren't supposed to win, that's not heart. Locally you would only be known as a lion if you won those matches regularly. More than likely you would be branded as a philanthropist, or an easy mark. Part of what makes a player a player, is their ability to negotiate a game.
 

Dunnn51

Wait for something good
Silver Member
I'm glad you said this. ;)

There's a tournament going on this weekend that's a big handicap tournament. I would like to play, however, my rating is a "10" - this means I have to give players that play like John B. and Lou 4 GAMES ON THE WIRE (going to 10) AND the 7/8/9 (playing 9-Ball). This is a LOT of weight on 4/8 tables alternating the break.

Don't get me wrong, I "can" do this, it's just a lot to ask for me to do it EVERY MATCH for the entire tournament......this basically means I can't make any mistakes (and break flawlessly) to have a legitimate chance of winning.

Meanwhile, the lower numbered players can win the tournament and never want to get any better.....because if they do their handicap will go up and I'll only have to give them 3 games on the wire.......brutal!!

I won't disagree,............. that is "brutal"

ItsFroze : Perhaps you misunderstood the point I was trying to make in the other thread. I didn't mean this to be the "norm," just to do this to totally new players that arrive in league/at a poolroom.
Look at it from their perspective,.....
They clean off that dingy 6 or 7ft table that was used as storage in their basement and start batting balls around. after awhile , they feel pretty confident at how they play so they keep playing, perhaps inviting friends to play against them. They beat their friends pretty regular now, and they feel empowered to try a larger pool of "victims," so they join a league, or go to the local poolroom.
Once there, no-one will play them right away, so he thinks he has the nuts. Then some older guy asks him to play some for fun, and smokes him off of the table for HIS sheer amusement. The newb is floored, dismayed, and realizes he will never get "that good" at this game,...................... So,.............. he quits.
One perspective newb to the game lost ,(to video games, soccer,card games, whatever!) I seen this happen a dozen times in more than 1 poolroom.

Does a coach of a baseball/football team put their 3rd squad in a game against the opps best and expect them to win ?
Does the opps coach make adjustments to his team and put in 2nd and 3rd squad players to play yours ?
The answer is YES, and quite often. Not so much in PRO sports, except toward the end of a game when a win is locked.

IMO, sometimes you have to give(in) a little. :wink:
 

JC

Coos Cues
Gold Member
Does a coach of a baseball/football team put their 3rd squad in a game against the opps best and expect them to win ?
Does the opps coach make adjustments to his team and put in 2nd and 3rd squad players to play yours ?
The answer is YES, and quite often. Not so much in PRO sports, except toward the end of a game when a win is locked.

The coach with the nuts is controlling the handicap and he will never give up enough that he feels losing might be the result. Have you ever seen how fast those starters get back in the game when it gets too close? You see the spot is dynamic, not static like a pool match once it's started. Unless of course it's some kind of liberal kid sports rules designed for everyone to get a trophy. Personally I never let my kids play sports in that environment. It teaches that being a loser is ok. Losing today is ok but being a loser isn't. Big difference.

JC
 

Dunnn51

Wait for something good
Silver Member
The coach with the nuts is controlling the handicap and he will never give up enough that he feels losing might be the result. Have you ever seen how fast those starters get back in the game when it gets too close? You see the spot is dynamic, not static like a pool match once it's started. Unless of course it's some kind of liberal kid sports rules designed for everyone to get a trophy. Personally I never let my kids play sports in that environment. It teaches that being a loser is ok. Losing today is ok but being a loser isn't. Big difference.

JC

Wow, I feel like I'm getting some bad rap here. I AGREE with you, but I am trying to see the world for what it is today. Us "older generation" guys can't hold kids today to the same standard of our time AND expect to keep the same (level) of pool playing population. There are too many other alternatives for kids in this day & age.
I (too) wish it were like days of old, but reality says that isn't so.
Losing is ok,.............. it means there's room for improvement next time ! :)
 

Joe T

New member
The American Billiard Club and American Rotation Series is built for the small group of players that wish to play even and work on their game whether they have the best or the worst of it. We're currently not getting enough support from the higher level players that constantly complain about handicaps and expenses. We get about 90% support from players that simply want to compete, work on their game and build something for their sport.

Froze you should dig up 8 players over there and see if they can fade at least 1 Series. If we form at least this one group of 512 players nationwide we'll have something others can aspire to and respect. An opportunity to take action is here.
 

Poolplaya9

Tellin' it like it is...
Silver Member
what about the guys like C J Wiley that have put in thousands of hours to get where he is at,and let some novice play him and beat him, WTH how is that fair. If the players dont have enough love of the game and heart to compete then maybe they should take up checkers or something.
And many would argue that a top player that won't play as soon as somebody else actually has a chance to win "doesn't have enough love of the game and the heart to compete". I mean it isn't like the handicap puts them at a disadvantage or anything, it just takes away most of their advantage.

No matter what though, if you have open events you will have lesser players that refuse to play because they cry about having no chance to ever cash, and if you have a handicapped event you have better players that refuse to play because they cry about losing the massive advantage they feel they have earned and are entitled to and don't want to play more even games.

As you mentioned, the solution that best takes away all of these excuses not to play on both sides of the coin and makes the most people as happy as possible and probably attracts the biggest fields is to have handicapped events where the handicap is set up to still favor the better players slightly. The good players still get some of the advantage they feel entitled to and have earned, and the lesser players still win sometimes and are ok with not winning quite as much as the better players because they realize that skill should give a little advantage.

It is pretty easy to accomplish this with any handicap system, even the one that you currently use. In any particular match, just make the lower rated player play one rating level higher than they really are. For example, if an A rated player is playing a C rated player, the C has to play the match as a B (which is one level higher than he really is). If that same C player in his next match has to play a D, then it is the lower rated D that has to play one level up so they will both play the match as C's.

You could also use a rating system like the Fargo Rating System that already has an advantage built in for the stronger player (and you can also tweak it to give as little or as much advantage to the stronger player as you want). Watch the video at the bottom of the page for a good explanation:
http://www.fargobilliards.com/pool-tournaments/fargo-ratings/

Another very similar but simpler system is Bob Jewett's NPL Rating System. While it is set up to make matches fair at 50/50 odds on who wins, it can also be easily tweaked to provide an advantage to the stronger player in any match up (although it perhaps doesn't allow quite as much fine tuning or precision on how much advantage you give the stronger player as the Fargo system does):
http://www.sfbilliards.com/articles/1996.pdf
http://www.sfbilliards.com/Misc/NPL_info.txt

I think there is a place for open events and fully support them, and there is probably even a place for handicap events where every match is 50/50 on who wins, but for attracting the most players and having the consistently biggest fields you will probably accomplish this in most areas by having your regular events handicapped but with a small advantage given to the better players. This takes away most people's excuses for not playing. both from the good and the crappy players.
 

JC

Coos Cues
Gold Member
Wow, I feel like I'm getting some bad rap here. I AGREE with you, but I am trying to see the world for what it is today. Us "older generation" guys can't hold kids today to the same standard of our time AND expect to keep the same (level) of pool playing population. There are too many other alternatives for kids in this day & age.
I (too) wish it were like days of old, but reality says that isn't so.
Losing is ok,.............. it means there's room for improvement next time ! :)

Then maybe it's time to stop pining over the past and admit that pool as we know and love it is gone forever. Let the handicap crowd have their own circle jerk and move on.

Unfortunately the drive toward the pussification of the American male knows no boundaries. Therefore pool worth saving, cannot be saved.

JC
 

Poolplaya9

Tellin' it like it is...
Silver Member
Actually the hdcp.'s are so wrong sometimes that it actually does put the best players at a disadvantage, so you start out with an an untruth.
Incorrect handicaps is a whole different issue entirely. I think everyone in the world agrees that handicaps should be accurate and not out of line, whether the handicaps are intended to make for even matches, or whether they were intended to give the better player a slight edge. And it isn't just great players that get handicapped incorrectly. It happens to all levels of players and it is no more fair when it happens to a crappy player than when it happens to a great one.
 

macguy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
"And many would argue that a top player that won't play as soon as somebody else actually has a chance to win "doesn't have enough love of the game and the heart to compete". I mean it isn't like the handicap puts them at a disadvantage or anything, it just takes away most of their advantage."
----------
Actually the hdcp.'s are so wrong sometimes that it actually does put the best players at a disadvantage, so you start out with an an untruth.
When the best player has to basically play perfect to win and the player being spotted
has to only play a little above average, then this absolutely puts the best player at a disadvantage.
Handicaps should only give the spotted player a hand up, not a hand out.
When the better players are put at a disadvantage this is wrong, as they have earned their right to having an advantage.
Players call it "Out running the nuts". In other words you actually have given them a spot that on paper looks like they should win. But a top player can put the kind of heat on a weaker player they don't know if they are coming or going. And once they begin to do down the drain there is not enough weight they could get that can save them.

You actually see his in tournament play all the time. A local will draw a well known player and they lose without even hardly putting up a fight and it doesn't matter how the champ plays, the weaker player will just hand it to them. In fact, top players begin to expect it. They expect the locals to just fall over like the draw is a bye.
 
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CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
I seriously doubt if Shane, Rodney, Johnny or even Earl could out-run this spot.

I believe it could be done on 4.5/9' tables with a small pocket size. Playing on 4/8 tables against formidable opponents is difficult giving them {at least} 2 games going to 10 -

I have to win 10/7 against the best players in the tournament....this is barely an ascertainable task, not only do I have to play flawless, I also have to break nearly perfect. I seriously doubt if Shane, Rodney, Johnny or even Earl could out-run this spot.

It's a stellar compliment being rated 20% higher than anyone in this part of Texas, and I guess I'll just leave it at that. ;) 'The Game is the Teacher'



but can you do this, are the races fair against the competition you are playing against?
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
breaking luck, slop and poorly hit shots become a significant factor.

The reason I put "can" is the issue of equipment. This is another huge equalizer, the bigger the pockets the more breaking luck, slop and poorly hit shots become a significant factor.....if we played "call shot," and a mandatory "roll out" after the break I could play as a "12" and possibly win. 'The Game is the Teacher'


I was wondering the same, I think.

He says he 'can do' with the spots involved, that sounds like it is approaching fair to me. Is it his motivation to play his best that is missing?

Handicapping opens up participant #possibilities in a huge way.
 

MiscueBlues

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There are tournaments that give out the LAST 5!?!? As a spot.... Wow. I don't care if efren is playing in that tourney, that much weight just takes away from the game. That kind of spot should be reserved for gambling.

At the same time there are 10-3 matches in my local tourney but that's fine, the player going to 10 doesn't make many mistakes and the 3 needs to take advantage of every opportunity if he wants a chance to win.

I like playing in the handicapped tourney whether I'm the high or low guy, it still requires me to bring out my best game.

And I am trying my best to get my handicap raised. I won't ask for it, but when the tournament director tells me I'm going up I feel a real sense of accomplishment. Like I just moved up to the next level of a video game! Beating the best player 10-10 will be the "final boss"

And I'm never gonna let them lower my spot. When I've moved up, that's it. Every match is harder an I gotta train that much harder to keep winning. Yea I lose for the first few weeks, but then I start winning a few matches and eventually I'll win the tourney again. And then the handicap goes up an it's back to the practice table until I can hold my own again.


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