handicapping and pool

Lucky_Lew66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The old handicapping question, Is handicapping good for pool? I guess it depends at what level you play at, if you are a local one or two night bar banger playing leagues you probably love the hell out of it,if you are a serious player and one of the top players in town,you hate the hell out of it. The problem is you have people making handicaps that dont have a clue about how to do it and a lot of times arent even good players, deciding what everyones handicap should be,wth. Then if you have a weekly tournament at a room that isnt thriving ,and people come from out of town, the owner feels like to keep them coming back and increase his business, he handicaps them lower then they should be to keep them coming back,screwing all his local players,and consequently they win the tournament. I guess my rule is if you are coming from out of town and i dont know your game you arent going to sneak into my tournament, and beat up my regulars, you are going to be at the highest handicap until i see your level of play,and then i will adjust if necessary. What ever happenned to just manning up and playing even with whoever came to the tournament. I remember years ago when i played we played a guy every week that was basically pro caliber, and didnt get any handicap,he won 90 % of the time but when we did beat him we were on cloud 9 and he made all of the players games better by being there,your only as good as your competition. People say it helps bring people into the game,well maybe at the bottom,but us at the top in our town,we all just quit or find another place to play,so how are they going to get any better without us,my feeling is they arent,at least not as fast. Handicapping isnt easy by any means but its created a bunch of sissy players with no heart.
 

doitforthegame

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Lucky Lew, I agree with you to some extent. The room owner has to be very, very careful with the local handicaps. If he wants the tournament to continue he has to have new winners (or different players in the money) each week to keep them coming back. Eventually if someone wins 90% of the time the tournament will get smaller and smaller before fading away. The old "why should I bother, I can't beat that guy" syndrome. A handicap system within the room will end up pretty accurate over time.

Now, the dreaded "outsider". If the room owner under-rates a newcomer because he believes "he will get more business", he is beyond an idiot. Why would you give anyone from the outside anything and not take care of your regulars. I always made new players play 3 times at the highest rating before I established a permanent rating for them (unless they were known to me as to their skill level). New guys that come in for the tournament never stay. Unless they are going "fishing" and plan on hustling as much money as they can from the room owners customers.

So, imho, handicapped systems are great for the room when they are used correctly.

Bob
 

lorider

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
as the poster above me said....it all comes down to correct handicapping. we have some handicapped tournaments that i feel like i am just donating everytime.

then we have some bar tournaments that are not handicapped where i always do better. mainly due to the level of competition.

its hard for an apa 5 to win a match when he is only being spotted 1 game by an a player.
 

Joe T

New member
The old handicapping question, Is handicapping good for pool? I guess it depends at what level you play at, if you are a local one or two night bar banger playing leagues you probably love the hell out of it,if you are a serious player and one of the top players in town,you hate the hell out of it. The problem is you have people making handicaps that dont have a clue about how to do it and a lot of times arent even good players, deciding what everyones handicap should be,wth. Then if you have a weekly tournament at a room that isnt thriving ,and people come from out of town, the owner feels like to keep them coming back and increase his business, he handicaps them lower then they should be to keep them coming back,screwing all his local players,and consequently they win the tournament. I guess my rule is if you are coming from out of town and i dont know your game you arent going to sneak into my tournament, and beat up my regulars, you are going to be at the highest handicap until i see your level of play,and then i will adjust if necessary. What ever happenned to just manning up and playing even with whoever came to the tournament. I remember years ago when i played we played a guy every week that was basically pro caliber, and didnt get any handicap,he won 90 % of the time but when we did beat him we were on cloud 9 and he made all of the players games better by being there,your only as good as your competition. People say it helps bring people into the game,well maybe at the bottom,but us at the top in our town,we all just quit or find another place to play,so how are they going to get any better without us,my feeling is they arent,at least not as fast. Handicapping isnt easy by any means but its created a bunch of sissy players with no heart.

Man, great post, I just want to copy most of it and reply with just that lol.

I feel there is a place for handicaps that help pool and that is at the lowest levels, makes it easy for Joe to bring his friend Joe in to play on his team thereby helping us. There might be a place at the mid to higher levels where it can help also but we have to switch it from the current direction its been heading in, which is "Don't practice, we'll give you more weight next time". I had one student told upon signing up that their handicap is being raised not because they EVER cashed but because the tournament director heard they were taking kessons from Joe Tucker, lol BAM "Don't practice, don't take lessons and for sure don't buy any books, DVDs or anything that will make you better, lol.

If you have a handicap system that doesn't totally punish players for improving and somehow rewards them you might be on to something. I feel very lucky to have started playing when if I wanted to win a weekly tournament I had to get better because everything was a race to 3 or 4 even up and hell yea I felt great when beating those top players. I believe part of the problem may have been the better players faults as I believe many asked for more and more money :) by raising entry fees. If you keep it to $5 or $10 I don't care if the same guy wins every week, PRACTICE :) I can't stand that people keep barring players, first pros, then A's and Opens, I think there is one in NYC where nobody better than a C+ can play. This is where handicaps hurt us, when it becomes more about the money or winning and nobody cares about the game :(
 

Banks

Banned
I play mostly in a dive bar, by myself or against mainly apa players. I didn't need somebody crying about handicaps to improve my game. "Top players have heart and play even" is laughable. How many threads pop up about what spots road players gave to them? What I've seen is that those players that cry about handicaps tend to quit real quick if the game isn't in their favor. Yeah, lots of heart.
 

doitforthegame

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Banks- it really comes down to heart doesn't it? Are you playing the weekly tournament because you desperately want to win the $107 first prize because, well, you need that money. Or are you playing because you love the game of pool and you want to always do your best and try to beat players that are better than you. Technically I never had any right to play in a Joss NE Open tournament. But I loved to do it. Over the years I got to play some great players and even played some very good matches. This game has a way of making heros out of the first group of players and chumps out of the second. JoeT is absolutely correct about players being unwilling to put in the effort or seek out the knowledge to become better players. Don't know how many times I had players quit my tournaments because I wouldn't lower their handicaps "so I can win".
 

Banks

Banned
I rarely play tournaments any more, because I love playing pool and figure if I'm going to be in a bar for hours, I may as well be playing more than a few short races in that time. At one point I played some because I was needing the money, now that I don't need the money, I just go out and play, sometimes til close like last night. I'm usually giving up a spot when I play, because it's the easiest way to match up with my friends. I don't think they're stupid or heartless for not wanting to give me free money. Some of the best tournaments around here(not saying much) are handicapped.
 

bdorman

Dead money
Silver Member
I'm struggling with the issue right now: in our informal tournaments we handicap by games on the wire (an 8-handicap has to give a 5-handicap a 3-game spot). The problem is that the same high handicap guys keep winning every tournament. A 4- or 5-handicap just isn't going to win enough games with only a 3 or 4-game spot.

If the handicaps truely "level the playing field" I've got to come up with a system that means the winner will be whoever played better than their previous playing. The challenge is that the system has to be simple; 80% of the players are casual-players who barely understand rules of the games.
 

Lucky_Lew66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
well the big problem is if you handicap and make things fair for lower players where is the incentive to struggle and practice and buy books and study the game to get better. I say handicap should be like golf or bowling, give them a fair-er chance to win it should never be fair,the better player that put in years of practice and time should have the edge,its about work ethic man,any player can improve his game if he tries,especially with the internet and all the old secrets of the game being at your finger tips. Dr. Dave ,bless his heart,lol, has made all the secrets i used to use to beat guys,common knowledge. Why practice and struggle if the room owner is going to reward you for playing bad by making the better players give you 3 games on the wire going to 7. I think it should be fairer not fair,like golf or bowling give them 80% of their handicap not 100%. I think if they would just let the lower player have their own bracket where they lay each other and give the better players their own bracket, then the lower players are guaranteed to get third with a chance to play the winner of the other bracket in the end,with no handicap or very little, thats the ticket i think. if you have mostly lower players you can make the best of them play in the better bracket to even it out and give them a little handicap to make it fairer. what i see now is all the better players are dropping out of the tournament because they are tired of having to play perfect only to get beat by 4s who are mishandicapped from the beginning. Part of the problem is we have an idiot that doesnt know how to handicap people, hes a 3 trying to handicap better players,and he thinks we are crazy when we tell him he has half the fields handicaps wrong....we really need to have an open tournament once a week with no handicap, I would rather play Strickland and get beat to death every week then to get beat by newbys with low handicaps,thats how i came up playing and it forced me to strive to get better,that takes heart.
 

itsfroze

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
well the big problem is if you handicap and make things fair for lower players where is the incentive to struggle and practice and buy books and study the game to get better. I say handicap should be like golf or bowling, give them a fair-er chance to win it should never be fair,the better player that put in years of practice and time should have the edge,its about work ethic man,any player can improve his game if he tries,especially with the internet and all the old secrets of the game being at your finger tips. Dr. Dave ,bless his heart,lol, has made all the secrets i used to use to beat guys,common knowledge. Why practice and struggle if the room owner is going to reward you for playing bad by making the better players give you 3 games on the wire going to 7. I think it should be fairer not fair,like golf or bowling give them 80% of their handicap not 100%. I think if they would just let the lower player have their own bracket where they lay each other and give the better players their own bracket, then the lower players are guaranteed to get third with a chance to play the winner of the other bracket in the end,with no handicap or very little, thats the ticket i think. if you have mostly lower players you can make the best of them play in the better bracket to even it out and give them a little handicap to make it fairer. what i see now is all the better players are dropping out of the tournament because they are tired of having to play perfect only to get beat by 4s who are mishandicapped from the beginning. Part of the problem is we have an idiot that doesnt know how to handicap people, hes a 3 trying to handicap better players,and he thinks we are crazy when we tell him he has half the fields handicaps wrong....we really need to have an open tournament once a week with no handicap, I would rather play Strickland and get beat to death every week then to get beat by newbys with low handicaps,thats how i came up playing and it forced me to strive to get better,that takes heart.

Good post I agree!
 

Banks

Banned
If what you insinuate is true, apa teams would never break up because nobody has incentive to improve. Run your own non-handicap tournament and see how well that goes. If people feel that they have no chance of winning, the could go play much more pool in the same amount of time it takes to get talked down to and deal with the egos of some "players". Sounds like you're putting the experiences of one place onto the entire system of handicapping.

When I was in my first year(about an apa 5), I think, I played a tournament where they handicapped games by adding them. I did great and won 1 tourney and got second in the one ran next the same night. I showed up the next week or so and needed 3 more games from a starting race to 3. I had to spot A players, a few masters and play even with very few. I had no intention of going back for weeks to get to the proper handicap. My problem wasn't with handicapping, but with the way the organizer did it. He still does tournaments and regularly has good turn-outs, iirc. It just didn't work out for me that time. I tell ya, tho.. nothing like tournaments at strip clubs.
 

cbrand

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I don't understand local tournament handicaps. I would be a 3 because he won't go lower and because I'm a 3 in apa but the owner of the bar is an 8 in 9 ball and shoots his tournamenat as a 5. In apa I have a shot but not in the tournament when 9 are 5's and 6's. Other 3's in the tournament shoot as 4's and 5's in apa. I think its to get more people playing. However, few low numbers play so everyone complains about the system when there are not many low level players playing to determine what a good high level shooter should be.
 

Joe T

New member
Two of the best formats I have seen recently are Paul Scholfields quadruple elimination and a Chip tournaments. The Chip tournament is handicapped with Chips (losses) the more chips you get the more games you're allowed to lose during the event, i believe it ranges from 3-7 or thereabouts. Everyone plays even, racing to 1, winner stays on that particular table and loser is replaced immediately. Saw them run about 70 players on 10 tables in 6hrs I think. What I like about that format is weaker players receive value for the entry AND if they practice to improve they can win. The Quad also provides value & experience to the player and sends the message to improve. I believe we need to see more events like this to bring back a little more appreciation for the game.

Better plays do need to treat lower level players with respect at all times, just because you can runout doesn't entitle you to talk down to people. Make an effort to be a little nicer, offer some occasional advice and respect them for stepping up and supporting. Out of control handicaps do not help create this type of atmosphere, lol
 

cbrand

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Better plays do need to treat lower level players with respect at all times, just because you can runout doesn't entitle you to talk down to people. Make an effort to be a little nicer, offer some occasional advice and respect them for stepping up and supporting. Out of control handicaps do not help create this type of atmosphere, lol


Couldn't agree more, newer players like myself stay away from these things because there intimidating. I do them for experiencenot for money but everyone hates playing me because I don't side bet. I will when I learn that aspect but they will try to intimidate me into putting money in side bets. I don't expect to have a great player take it easy on me but I also don't expect to have the 9 cheesed in 4 out of there 5 matches just to bump me out for not betting.
 

jburkm002

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
" I would rather play Strickland and get beat to death every week then to get beat by newbys with low handicaps,thats how i came up playing and it forced me to strive to get better,that takes heart."
Are you better than Earl now or getting close or have you peaked. Just saying we could all improve no matter how good we are. Most are just better than their level of competition. There are lower ranked players who play 4 nights a week and put in just as much time as higher ranked players. Most of us are only as good as our natural ability. Unless we do things properly to improve ourselves. I hear high ranked players knock lower ranked players all the time. Heard one guy talk about 3's being the same for 20 years. I wanted to say unless your a pro your probably the same as you were 20 years ago.
 

Lucky_Lew66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
most of the APA 3s in my town,have the ability to play as 4s or above and are told to dump to keep their handicaps low so they can keep winning the league and go to tri-cups and win and states and win, Its all about who can sandbag the best here in Kokomo,In, and the league operators are too busy to take time to help the situation,they have a local person watch for them,well the local person isnt going to help because they do it too,thats why i dont play. Plus as a 8ball seven nobody wants me on their team, because everybody knows me and i cant sandbag and play as a 5 or 6, its all about money for the operators, thats it. APA has hurt pool in my opinion,for all the bangers they have gained,they have disgruntled alot of the top players and they dont play much anymore. Now anytime you go to a room they have you in the systemand use your apa handicap for their handicaps and what if the person is a sandbagger in apa, he gets to get an unfair handicap on the field of players. Isnt it a whole lot easier to say forget all the handicap BS and man up and play even, bring on Earl,hell i played a guy who played like Earl every week and loved the hell out of it and felt honored i got the chance to play him. We are bringing up a bunch of heartless sissy players. I have always tried to help lesser players get better,and always will, i love to see i guys game get better from something i showed him, i feel needed and respected, these heartless people who want to play 3 hours a week and are too stubborn to learn, and yet wonder why they cant win,wth put in 8 or 10 hours a day for years and study the game like i did and you might be able to compete with me. Its about work ehtic man they want to spend no time and effort and be able to win,that why poker became so popular overnight,for the same reason. You might say APA has made pool bigger,has it really,or just made the top escelon quit playing and fill thr ranks with bangers,yeah we have more bangers and sandbaggers then we ever have thats true. i guess i just need to move south to a bigger town and a larger population of players that are real players, and came up old school. Part of the problem is we have one poolroom in town and the guy is an idiot and has no clue what he is doing and wont listen to the better players advice on how to handicap people, so he has the tournaments all screwed up. If i didnt have a handicapped father,i would start one myself. oh well it is what it is for now...who do i make out this check to for listening to my ranting....lol... maybe Mr Wilson huh....lol
 

Banks

Banned
most of the APA 3s in my town,have the ability to play as 4s or above and are told to dump to keep their handicaps low so they can keep winning the league and go to tri-cups and win and states and win, Its all about who can sandbag the best here in Kokomo,In, and the league operators are too busy to take time to help the situation,they have a local person watch for them,well the local person isnt going to help because they do it too,thats why i dont play. Plus as a 8ball seven nobody wants me on their team, because everybody knows me and i cant sandbag and play as a 5 or 6, its all about money for the operators, thats it. I've got enough teams as it is bugging me, the only down side is being a 9. Being a 7 hardly does anything. Your players must win nationals a lot..

APA has hurt pool in my opinion,for all the bangers they have gained,they have disgruntled alot of the top players and they dont play much anymore. You're trying to say that strong players quit pool because they don't like how the APA works? Srsly?

Now anytime you go to a room they have you in the systemand use your apa handicap for their handicaps and what if the person is a sandbagger in apa, he gets to get an unfair handicap on the field of players. So, I'm getting the feeling you're a bad 7.. been there myself, it's okay. Heck, I probably still am.

Isnt it a whole lot easier to say forget all the handicap BS and man up and play even, bring on Earl,hell i played a guy who played like Earl every week and loved the hell out of it and felt honored i got the chance to play him. Then why aren't you horse-#$%*(&U'ing the tournaments as a 7? By your logic, you should play like Superman now.

We are bringing up a bunch of heartless sissy players. Maybe nobody wants to play with you because of your attitude.

I have always tried to help lesser players get better,and always will, i love to see i guys game get better from something i showed him, i feel needed and respected, these heartless people who want to play 3 hours a week and are too stubborn to learn, and yet wonder why they cant win,wth put in 8 or 10 hours a day for years and study the game like i did and you might be able to compete with me. Oh, just 8 or 10 hours a day? Sure, I don't see why anybody without any semblence of a life, including TV, can't do that.

Its about work ehtic man they want to spend no time and effort and be able to win,that why poker became so popular overnight,for the same reason. You might say APA has made pool bigger,has it really,or just made the top escelon quit playing and fill thr ranks with bangers,yeah we have more bangers and sandbaggers then we ever have thats true. i guess i just need to move south to a bigger town and a larger population of players that are real players, and came up old school. Part of the problem is we have one poolroom in town and the guy is an idiot and has no clue what he is doing and wont listen to the better players advice on how to handicap people, so he has the tournaments all screwed up. If i didnt have a handicapped father,i would start one myself. oh well it is what it is for now...who do i make out this check to for listening to my ranting....lol... maybe Mr Wilson huh....lol

Not sure where to start, so I'll just chop it up a bit..:eek:

Make the check out to me, even though I didn't read most of that large part.
 
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